That is the question, for chili anyway.

In this episode, we travel far afield (as usual) but end up talking mostly about chili because it’s chilly outside, right? So chili when it’s chilly. Chili is a big deal in this part of the country and maybe it is where you live as well but we didn’t stop to find that out. Chili contests abound this time of year and sometimes other times of year, too.

The biggest discussion is around whether you put beans in it and if you do, is it still chili and if you don’t, is it still chili? Natalia has some pretty strong opinions about this…surprise!

We had to talk about one of our great landlords because he often texts me pictures (okay, get out of the gutter!) of his cooking. Last year, I got a pic of his chili fixins’ (that’s what we call mise en place in Oklahoma) and then a newspaper article from the ’70s (I think) about his family’s chili recipe. And, you lucky people, I’m going to share it with you later in this post.

Another chili topic centered around using something besides ground meat and tomatoes so I shared my recipe (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, Cook’s Illustrated) for White Bean Chicken Chile Verde. I’m not sure what the Test Kitchen called it but I changed it up and renamed it to suit me and you will find that recipe on our Patreon page along with lots of other fun stuff so if you’re interested…click below and you’ll be over at our page in an instant.

Become a Patron!

Also, I want you to know that we have been on the cutting edge of food topics this season. Most recently, stuffed and baked pumpkin. It appeared on the cover of the Thanksgiving issue of Food and Wine magazine and then the website, The Kitchn featured it in their Thanksgiving Food Fest series with Dorie Greenspan. So, clearly, we are some of the cool kids.

So before we get into the highlights, for those who want them. Here is the Synar family’s chili recipe.


Makes 2½ gallons (enough for 12 – 16 servings)

2 cups chopped onion

2 cups chopped green bell pepper

3 – 4 stalks chopped celery

8 lb lean ground meat, chili grind

¼ cup Worchestershire sauce (up to ½ cup), ½ cup A-1 sauce, and 10 – 12 oz bottle of ketchup

1, 8 oz can tomato paste

2, 14.5 oz cans stewed tomatoes

2, 14.5 oz cans tomato sauce

3 – 4 large garlic cloves chopped (up to 10)

Gebhardt’s Eagle Brand chili powder seasoning, to taste

Seasoned salt, to taste

2 tbsp dried oregano

2 – 3 cups salsa

1 chile pepper, hot, 3” long

Garlic salt, to taste

Black pepper

Heat canola oil in large pot. Add Holy Trinity and cook until softened about 10 minutes.

Increase heat, add meat until pink is gone. Add worchestershire sauce, A-1 and ketchup and stir well.

Add remaining ingredients and 1 cup of water. Simmer uncovered for 1 – 2 hours. Add another cup of water after 30 minutes. Add another cup of water at end of cooking time.

If you are one of those people who is only interested in highlights, here you go but, of course, you’ll really want to listen to the entire episode so you can access it below. I mean, it’s only 30 minutes and it will occupy you during your commute or whatever you’re doing.

03:30 – Chili is serious business!

05:45 – Here goes Natalia, again

08:52 – All about the landlords

11:47 – Synar chili

15:30 – How many ways?

15:55 – Coneys. Really?!

19:19 – White bean chicken chili

28:00 – Winging it is hard

Don’t forget, you can find us all over the place now!

Listen on your favorite podcatcher, we’re probably there, even on Alexa! We’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play and, of course, here, AND, you can take us on the road anytime you like!

We love and appreciate you guys. Keep listening, hang in there.

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