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Whoops: The Offseason Survival Guide Week 3

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What you should have done this past Saturday

NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Auburn vs Oklahoma
“I hope they didn’t notice I messed up.”
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Well, I forgot to write an article for y’all last week. I apologize. That’s on me. I mean, I didn’t stand next to a severed head of a president or say a racial epithet on HBO, but I still feel the need to apologize. I know literally handfuls of people read my articles every week and count on them to get them through the weekend, and I let you down.

Hopefully, you have been following the NBA finals to some extent, because Saturday night’s game was incredible. It almost made me forget about the Auburn football-shaped hole in my heart when I saw Lebron decide in mid-air not to pass to Tristan Thompson, but to throw the ball off the backboard to himself for a dunk. When your teammates aren’t pulling their weight sometimes you have to turn a NBA finals elimination game into a Dunk Contest.

Anyway, if you didn’t watch that game, this is what you could have done on Saturday.

Cook

This is the way to make Texas Chili. If you are not a Texan, you probably will immediately notice the lack of beans in the following recipe. Good eye. Beans are for stew and dip and tacos, so their absence from my chili recipe makes sense. What you are going to want to do before starting to make chili is to open the windows in your kitchen and maybe get a box fan going, otherwise your whole house will smell like chili for the remainder of your life.

  • 3lbs. beef, preferably stewing meat but ground beef also works
  • 2 oz. bacon grease or bacon fat (you can use vegetable oil if you haven’t been saving your bacon grease, you crazy person)
  • 3-6 tbsp of chili powder or ground red chile peppers
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp each: salt, cumin, cayenne
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco or Cholula
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 3-5 spicy chile peppers, chopped
  • 2 tsp masa harina or cornmeal if you can’t find good masa harina
  • 1 beer, a brown ale or Shiner Bock works best.

Get the bacon grease or bacon fat hot in the bottom of a large pot. Place the beef right in, searing it. Get the heat down after the meat has been seared and remove a little of the grease with a spoon. Place the chili powder in the pot and enough of the beer to keep the meat from burning to the bottom, about two inches from the bottom is usually just right. bring this to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients except the masa harina and the chile peppers. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 45 minutes more. Stir it occasionally. Skim the grease off after the 45 minutes are over, taste it and then add the chile peppers and more seasonings to adjust it to how spicy you want it. Now add the masa harina and stir. Let it simmer for another half an hour. Serve this over cornbread or fritos and with a diced raw onion and shredded cheese. WARNING: random Texans might randomly show up to your house upon smelling this chili through your open window. They will be polite, but at some point start talking about their own chili recipe and that’s when you politely ask them to leave.

Watch

‘Anne with an E’ on Netflix. I actually don’t know how good this show is, but my wife has been watching it nonstop recently.

‘Ken Burns: Prohibition’ on PBS. A fascinating and super-long look at one of the craziest times in US history. I watched it and the whole time was flabbergasted at how, less than a hundred years ago, a person could be arrested in America for drinking a beer. It is pretty amazing. Also, Ken Burns can flat out put together a documentary.

Read

Weddings designed with Instagram in mind. Because you need another reason to root for the Apocalypse.

Giant Green Rock Ruins Lives. This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. It will have you mesmerized. A well-written thriller and true story describing the lengths people will go to for what they find valuable. Also, jewelry heist stories are always cool.

Go Outside

Now that your house smells like chili, you should get outside. Find your favorite place in town to drink a beverage, hot or cold. Find your bicycle. Ride your bike to the place where beverages are served and get one or two of them served to you. This is decidedly more fun if you do it a) with friends and b) at night. Do not ride on the sidewalk, though. It’s less safe and not legally where you are supposed to ride. You should probably wear a helmet and follow traffic laws if you live in the South. I have found that motorists get really angry when I safely disobey traffic laws on my bike, even though it doesn’t affect them or their lives whatsoever. I was never yelled at to “get on the sidewalk” or to “put on a helmet” when I lived in Denver. When I lived in the South, it happened a few times each ride I think. In Germany, I get yelled at for things like not having a bright enough light on my bike, but they are otherwise pretty chill about not wearing helmets and riding wherever you want. If you ride a bike, you will probably get yelled at, but who cares? People are dumb sometimes and you are on a bike so you are obviously having more fun than them and they’re just jealous.