Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Some thoughts on recent movies and Pug's "non-chili chili"

The last couple of days I have been getting my "Lord of the Rings" fix!  About once every year or two I have to borrow the set from Thomas or back awhile ago from Brendin and Darcy to see it again!  I read the book before the series came out and have to admit that I cried at the end--in front of students!  Here's what went down.  Our school had a policy of every Wednesday in every class we spent the first 15 minutes reading.  I was strict about it and for several years I devoted my reading time to the whole Lord of The Rings!  After several years I came to the end.  It was sad but also I cried because it did end!  Some of the kids noticed so I had to explain.  I loved the movies (which doesn't happen a lot after I have read the book).  The scenery is absolutely outrageous and I have a goal to go to New Zealand to visit the areas where they filmed these movies!   I am jealous of Paul who did just that a year or so ago!
 Since we have been up in Casper I have seen some more recent movies.  Here are my thoughts on them.  The new True Grit :  I liked it and would watch it again.  I tried not to make comparisons to the old one with John Wayne.  The photography is great.  I especially liked the starry night scenes toward the end as Rooster was taking the girl for help after the snake bite.  I liked the stilted way Rooster and some others spoke like it was real "old timey".  By the way, I heard some young men discussing the movie as we were leaving the theater.   One said the snake scene wasn't as good as the old one; but I must say the snakes were much scarier!

Inception:  We watched this one on a DVD that Carla had.  It is a mind blowing, must see movie!  You have to stay with it the whole way.  No talking, leaving for a break or anything like that!  Very riveting. The ending will be a topic for discussion for years to come! I'm guessing there will be some Academy Award nominations on this one--especially for the screen play!
Gulliver's Travels in 3-D: This was the first recent 3-D movie I have seen.  The movie features Jack Black as Gulliver.  It is a fun movie but does not follow the book!  It is updated to make it identifiable with the younger group of viewers, and only covers the Lilliput part of the book although there is a very short part with the giant people.  Some good laughs and lots of fun!  I have to say the 3-D did not come out and grab me.  It would have been just as good without it, but I did like this movie.
Looking out the front door on a -17 degree day.  I just stuck my camera out so I didn't get as cold!
It has been very cold here lately.   Below zero and not getting any warmer even in the sun!  We have had Carla's chili which is delicious and I may have to give you that recipe another day because today I need to do the following recipe!  This is Pug's recipe that we grew up on.  I never experienced true chili until I went off to college!  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE spicy chili but that was never an option in our house!  Dad had ulcers when he was quite young and Mom was a dietitian and took her job seriously.  By the time we all came along Dad was healed but Mom continued to cook with no spices including pepper!  This is her version of chili as we knew it.  My sister still makes it and sent me this "heritage" recipe.

Pug's Chili 
Here's Pug's chili. You can do it with dried kidney beans, but for  quickness, and her method was always canned. Also, she just put everything in the pot and cooked it. No browning of onions and celery with the meat (which I usually do), but it tastes about the same. So here goes.  Lynn


1 pound ground beef
2 or 3 cans of kidney beans (never had any proportions, so just use more of what you like)
1 #10 (I think she means #2 1/2 can--#10 is like a gallon!) can of tomatoes
3-5 stalks of celery - chopped
1 large onion - chopped
salt to taste (remember, she Never used pepper.)

Pug's Method

Cook the beef in a little oil in the bottom of a pot large enough to accommodate all the ingredients. Dump everything else in on top. Stir. Bring to boil on high, stirring occasionally. Turn down heat and simmer till it's the right consistency.

You should just try it once as is. It should tickle your memory buds. Of course we all add favorite ingredients, but that's the real recipe. 
I never made it this way--too bland-- but maybe it is good for a change or when you can't eat spicy foods!  Lynn used to serve it to guests when she lived in New York City!
Izzy's squirrel tree in the back yard.  It was -17 degrees when I took this!

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