WASHINGTON — Only three things are guaranteed to start an argument: politics, religion and chili.
Since the only one that really matters at a tailgate is the chili, I’ll limit my remarks to that.
There are as many styles and flavors of chili as there are chili cooks. But the truth is when it is cold at a tailgate, there is nothing better.
An old fraternity brother of mine has a pot that hangs off a tripod and has a hot green chili recipe that is second to none. He sets it up over a wood fire and cooks it in the parking lot. It has a great smell and a great taste, but is a lot of work.
I would lean more toward bringing a sealed pot of chili cooked the day before and reheating on the grill. As I said, there are thousands of different flavors and styles. I think the more basic you go, leaving lots of options open, will please the most.
Personally, I like having ground sausage, ground beef and chili beans in my chili. Some like it thick and many here in Indiana put spaghetti in a more thin chili soup. I say make it basic, and let people doctor it up the way they like.
If you have some cut up onion, two kinds of shredded cheese, cut up jalapeno, hot sauce, oyster crackers and or Ritz crackers, then in essence you have created a chili bar that will satisfy everyone. You want more heat? Add more hot sauce.
Have plenty of styrofoam cups and plastic spoons on hand, because you will draw a crowd. If it is less than 60 degrees outside, chili is my first choice.
Drink of the Week
For the drink this week, I have picked one that I first had at the “Oyster Bowl,” a game played between Virginia Military Institute and William and Mary at Old Dominion Stadium in Norfolk back in the mid-80s.