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  • Jennifer Stewart

bean-less love.


Having a child of your own can really create a few moments of crazy. I never thought your own personal fears would grow into a few layers of heavy breathing and/or night sweats and panic attacks. I’m pretty sure I’ve turned into a lunatic…. But then again I think the rest of the World has too.

If you’re a new mom, the best advice that was given to me was “DO NOT WATCH THE NEWS!” It will save you that feeling of crazy times twenty. Although it’s hard for me not to when there are statements being made on every level of social media, including the applications you just want to post pictures of your newborn son on. When I was pregnant I had more time at the 10 O’Clock hour to listen to the terrible things that are, not only developing in this crazy World, but that are actually happening. I had the tendency to drive to work daily with that overwhelming pregnancy emotion and think about all the things that you begin to fear for your child… money, sexual assault, atomic bombs, war, hurricanes, fires, mass shootings, hate crimes, earth quakes, cancer, good world leaders, and crazy world leaders, etc…the list could go on. But in the midst of all that exists, as a mom, you have to shut it off. You have the power to control what influence the World has on your child. You have the power to teach them about good. About acceptance. About positivity. About love. SO MUCH LOVE.

And so, speaking of love, on this gloomy winter Texas morning I’ve begun to prepare my husband’s favorite chili recipe. A recipe that I thought when he first made it for me was written on the recipe card wrong… no beans. That’s right. I argued with him for a couple of days thinking that this was not true chili because it had no beans in it. It called for 8 POUNDS of ground beef and no beans. So for someone who hates beans this could have been my jam; and alas it 100% was. No beans and lots of cumin. Who knew? I’m starting to spread the love with my son this way… through food and music. Our love for food. Our love for music. It can make any one person happy… or at least it does for me.

Family Chili

8 Pounds of Chili Meat

1 Cup of Chili Powder

10 Fresh Green Chilis chopped

2 – 15oz Cans of Tomato Sauce

2 - 15oz Cans of Water

3 – 10oz Cans of Snappy Toms (But this is no where to be found so just get some really yummy bloody-mary mix)

4 Medium Onions (Chopped)

1 Scant TBS Red Pepper

6 TBS Cumin

6 TSP Salt

1 TSP Black Pepper

2 – 10 ½ oz Cans of Beef Broth

½ to 1 Cup Masa Flour

This recipe is meant to be cooked in a crock pot all day… just throw everything in a pot and cook it all day. I’ve cut it in half too… in case you think it’s a lot of meat.

I’m pairing this meat filled beanless chili with a Cole Porter Song. I was reminded the other day when I was watching a movie about Cole Porter how beautiful his writing is…how simple and hopeful his music is. I love Billie Holiday's version of his song Easy To Love. We’re all about love right now. Here's a little bit of history for you….

He wrote it for William Gaxton to sing in the 1934 Broadway show Anything Goes. However Gaxton was unhappy about its wide vocal range and it was cut from the musical. Porter re-wrote it for the 1936 film Born to Dance, where it was introduced by Eleanor Powell, James Stewart, and Frances Langford under its alternate title, "Easy to Love". The song was only later added to the 1987 and 2011 revivals of Anything Goes under the complete title "You’d Be So Easy to Love"

My heart is full as I sit here next to my son on a Sunday morning with the house quiet and the Christmas tree lit. He smirks at me. Smiling. Something we’re working on in our household these days. Such a small thing that we all take for granted. A small simple act of love that I hope my son will forever know. I’ve been trying to block out the negativity of the news, pull in what is important, and only fill my son’s ears with pure love and joy. Maybe one day he’ll be President and teach all those around him to do the same…


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