Blast from the Past: Weekly Writing Challenge: An Ode to Chilli Con Carne

So this week, we challenge you to step outside your blogging box and try something totally different:

Chilli con carne

Do not worry, I am not telling everyone how to cook a perfect dish, so you do not have to flee from this informative blog. I would not dare to do that, lacking a portion Mexican blood and not being able to trace my ancestors to Pancho Villa.

It is just a fascinating thing to cook a chilli con carne, especially as my first experience was hearing the expression in various American police series or films. It seemed to me that Columbo, the famous detective with the hippy raincoat, often ordered a bowl of chilli when dining in between solving the case. I only knew the chilli plant as being something hot, burning and strange. My English taste buds did not appreciate this new spice. I was imagining a bowl of small red chillies being spiced with some salt and pepper.

The solution was completely different, of course. One fine day I ordered a new Swiss cookery book featuring recipes with mincemeat and amongst these was Chilli con Carne. The solution was found, the mixture of beans, peppers and meat was flavoured with chilli pepper. Now I knew what Inspector Columbo had been eating, although I remain corrected. I think he ordered chilli beans, so he probably left all the extras out of this fiery dish; he might have been a vegetarian, hence omitting mincemeat.

With trembling kitchen spoon I stirred my first pan of chilli con carne. I had a glass of cold water ready for cooling my burnt mouth through trial tastes, in case I over spiced this wonderful dish with too much chilli. Since my humble beginnings I have become adventurous, a real dare devil. I even buy a complete red pepper, split it through the middle and remove the seeds. I cook this with the rest but remove it before serving. I discovered this should be done with care. After fileting the seed pod, do not put your fingers in your mouth, or perhaps rub an eye which might be irritated. I do not think I have to explain why.

What do you eat with your bowl of chilli con carne? Again probably a matter of taste and everone has their own thing. At my humble unknowing beginnings, I insulted my bowl of chilli by serving a side salad with it. Since this day I have progressed and now serve my chilli with fresh bread. The Swiss Family Angloswiss prefer white bread with a crispy crust, something ciabatta similar. This is one of the few opportunities I indulge in to eat white bread.

And hints or improvements in this unique dish are welcome. To be quite honest I found it such good photo subject, and I must be the first to have written “An Ode to Chilli Con Carne”.

Blast from the Past: Weekly Writing Challenge: An Ode to Chilli Con Carne

Daily Prompt: Bloggers, unplugged.

Sometimes, we all need a break from these little glowing boxes. How do you know when it’s time to unplug? What do you do to make it happen?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us UNPLUGGED.

The Garden grill

I think this bar-b-q would have been better left unplugged, instead of subjecting my garden and the surroundings to a smoke screen. This box never glowed, it just went up in smoke.

I live on a plug it seems. Computers were a good instrument for a business to survive. Instead of receiving an order by post and sending the confirmation, you were online. In five minutes the deal was done. Such became modern plugged in life. It moved fast, no time to think about it, just do it. At the end of a working day my brain was glad to be unplugged, but was it?

Of course not, it arrived to somewhere called home. I was not a blogging masterpiece at this time, but the seed had been planted. I discovered sites where I could write according to a photo or a subject and jumped on the band wagon. Perhaps this temptation should have been stifled at birth, just carry on baking cakes, knitting, housewifely hobbies in between.

By the time I was retired, I was hooked and had time for the dreaded, habit forming, brain dead Facebook and all its games and silly comments. I know, I should have unplugged before I even did the “online” operation, but it seems I am a sucker for punishiment.

Then we have phase two, the iphone and its brothers and sisters. It is important to be available twenty-four hours a day, you never know. It might be that your president or queen wants to speak to you. Your children will be home late from school, husband has to stay later at work, a life important contract is to be completed and above all he wants to make sure that the food is not cold or overcooked when he arrives home. There is no problem, when all these delays occur, you have more time to complete a field of wheat on Farmville, carry on cooking in your Café World, and buy another house and furniture in Yoville. The world of Zynga games in Facebook is infinite.

One day you wake up, “I want my Life Back” is emblazoned across your brain cells. I refuse to let life be dictated by an imaginary world of people proclaiming their love for their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, cousins, dogs and cats (not forgetting Jesus). I no longer want to worry when I sleep in the evening whether my crops have grown and ready for harvesting in Farmville or whether my goals have been completed in my fictitious restaurant. I will leave, well almost. I took the necessary steps I left all my games. I was never someone to love everyone in any case. I was cured. My fields are now lying idle, the stoves in my restaurant are no longer cooking, and my house in Yoville is a ruin. Almost.

WordPress suggested make your own little home in Facebook which I did; a comfortable solution. I no longer care about the 800 colleagues I have in Facebook, there is only an elite invited in my little plugged-in world. If you want me, you know where to find me.

I am now “only” plugged in when and where I want to be. It is my choice and not Mark Zuckerberg’s choice. I wonder if he is sometimes unplugged?

What did I do to make this happen? I made a decision and do what I want to do and not what I have to do. As I am typing this I have a Facebook tab open on my screen, just in case and my iPhone lays on the table next to me – you never know.

By the way, does everyone else get these adverts for holidays in Russia as the first on the daily prompt, that has absolutely nothing to do with the subject. Just wondering?  Is this spamming, or pehaps this is a clue to being plugged. 

Daily Prompt: Bloggers, unplugged

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