Last year at Halloween, we invited a few friends over for an early casual supper, and then we headed out as a group to go Trick or Treating. Luckily the little ones were still all not even two years old and really had no clue what was going on — we all enjoyed ourselves for a little too long, and were a bit late on getting out the door on time.
This year, our wise-beyond-their-almost-3 years kiddos fully grasped the idea of trick or treating, and they were determined.
Must. Get. The. Candy.
The focus changed from fun adults evening with babies in tow, to wrangling overexcited toddlers.
And while last year there were maybe 3 or 4 toddlers, our group has grown. With Clara in play school now, this fall has brought a whole new slew of friends for her — which means, new friends for all the parents, too. Her class is small, only 6 kids, and everyone lives within 10 minutes of us. We invited them all to our house, along with a few other good friends who aren’t in school. Add that to the fact that Clara was not the only one to become a Big Sister in the last year — rather, every single toddler brought along a new baby brother or sister. In the end, we had about 14 adults, 7 toddlers, and 7 babies in our house. MADNESS, I tell you. But SO. MUCH. FUN.
After getting Clara dolled up in her Ariel costume for school, I dropped her off at school, raced home (with the baby) and threw together a recipe-less pot of chili to feed a crowd. This is my favourite kind of meal – a rough idea of proportions and ingredients, but no finicky (or time consuming) measurements needed. You’re welcome. Thrown into the slow cooker, dinner cooked itself and happily fed a crowd. Fast forward 6 hours of simmering time, dinner was ready. Some buns on the side, grated cheese, sour cream and corn chips for the top, and let’s call in dinner.
After grating some cheese and popping a few appies into the over, I dashed upstairs to paint myself purple and don some fabulous tentacles that I sewed during the last few nights infront of the TV after bedtime.
Dressed in Ursula’s finest, all I had to do was set out a stack of bowls, park the soup ladle beside the slow cooker, and pour a well deserved glass of wine. This chili ‘recipe’ (and I use air quotes because these are just approximate amounts — I don’t actually measure anything which is the beauty of a recipe like this) feeds a crowd and two days later, we will enjoy the leftovers for dinner again.
Yield: 20 servings
- 1.5 cups dried black beans
- 1.5 cups dried kidney beans
- 3lbs ground beef
- 4 onions, diced
- 3 cans of tomatoes
- 1-2 TBSP chili powder
- 1-2 TBSP cumin
- Put beans in large pot. Fill pot with water. Bring to boil. Turn off heat, cover, let sit overnight.
- The next morning, drain and rinse the beans.
- In a large pot, brown the beef. When the beef is nearly cooked, add the onions.
- Stir in spices.
- Pour in the tomatoes, and add a cup of water or so if it looks too thick.
- Stir in the beans. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down, cover and let simmer for 5-8 hours.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more chill powder or cumin if desired.
- Serve topped with grated cheese, sour cream and corn chips.