UUCW member Jeanne Baker reveals a few secrets of her husband Phil’s well-loved chili. 

We love chili in my house, and my husband Phil Kroner has perfected a family recipe.  It’s our preferred companion for football games, family parties, and cold-weather dinners.  When my youngest son, Alan, was home a few weeks ago, Phil and I offered to take him out to a restaurant of his choice.  “I’d rather Dad made chili,” he said.  That’s a vote better than a State Fair blue ribbon!

I wanted to tell you all about Phil’s recipe, which is a half-day process involving a conversation with a butcher and a careful selection of beans, beer, and chili peppers, but I was told that the recipe was on a need-to-know basis –  and I didn’t need to know.  So until my security clearance goes up, I can only comment on the tools that make a great pot of chili.

Phil’s chili-making team has three-star items, and all three live in our kitchen in places of honor.  The first thing Phil uses to sear the beef is an old cast iron frying pan that belonged to his grandmother in Portland, Oregon.  “Heavy” and “well-seasoned” seem to be the important qualities for this pan, which cannot be harmed by anything except dish detergent.  Another member of the team is an old, well-used Le Creuset Dutch oven.  This pot, as heavy as an anchor and almost the same color after countless uses in the Kroner/Baker household, ends up in the oven for hours with a bubbling mixture of beans, meat, chilies, and seasonings.  The final star member of Phil’s team is a razor-sharp chef’s knife that is never, ever to be placed in the dishwasher and has a special electric sharpener that sounds like an airplane taking off.

Sounds like good chili, doesn’t it?  Hope to see you all at the Chili Cookoff event on Oct 9th where you can test Phil’s chili for yourself!

If you have any questions, contact Jeanne Baker, UUCW Stewardship Team member.