Chili on St. Patrick's Day

In typical Sassymonkey weirdness I eat chili for St. Patrick's Day. Well, I haven't always but this will be the third year in a row that we've done it. And yes, there is a story.

It was March of 2008 and Lee and I had just started living together. He had just returned to Canada from India and had never really spent much time in Montreal. We knew we'd only be in Montreal for a couple of months and we were trying to squeeze as much into his Montreal experience as our meager funds could at the time. I decided to introduce him to that great Montreal tradition - the St. Patrick's Day parade. You see, every year, the Sunday before (or of as the case may be) St. Patrick's Day there is a huge parade in Montreal. It is long. It is exuberant. It's festive. It's downright rowdy. If people aren't drunk by the time the parade starts they are by the the time it ends. The one time I really went out for the St. Patrick's Day parade (instead of just watching) I was drunk off my butt by 5pm, and hungover by 10pm. It's an event, and one that must at least be witnessed, even if not participated in, at least once.

So Lee and I headed down to St. Catherine's Street and it was COLD. There had been a major snowstorm just a week before and even properly dressed standing outside in that weather was not fun. We lasted probably two hours before heading home. By the time we got back to the apartment I couldn't feel my toes. Lee was not in much better shape.

Eventually though we thawed out and it was time to think of dinner. All I wanted was something warm and comforting. I raided the fridge and pantry and came up with enough stuff to make a chili of sorts. Onions, garlic made their way into the pan first. Then some ground beef and chorizo. A can of Guinness.  A can of tomatoes. A can of black beans. A packet of chili seasoning (hey, sometimes I'm lazy). A few chipotles in adobo sauce.  We let it simmer and then sat down with big bowls topped with green onions and shredded cheese.

It was warm. Filling. Comforting. Perfect after having frozen your nads off watching people wave from floats.

By some miracle I actually wrote down what I made that day, something I rarely do when I throw things together in the kitchen. So I made it last year. I'll make it again this year. And when I do we'll sit down to big bowls of it and remember how our toes were so cold that we could barely make it up the hill. And how Lee offered to rub my feet and warm them, to which I replied that I was in so much pain that if he so much as breathed on my feet he'd walk funny for a week. In other words, good times!

And that's how traditions are born around here.