Surprise, Surprise!

Last week when I surprised my Mom at church, after the service they were selling tickets for their annual Chili Supper.  I heard my Mom and another woman talking about how they were going to be short staffed in the kitchen this year.  I thought – bummer I have to work on Friday!

But then I remembered I had originally taken Friday off for my photo shoot and switched my mammogram appointment to Friday – so I was off of work!  I realized Thursday afternoon that I could again surprise my Mom and show up and help them cook!  I told my sister about it on my drive home from work on Thursday.

Since we had a lazy morning yesterday, I didn’t realize my Mom had called my cell phone at 8:30.  Odd.  My Mom usually doesn’t call me on my cell phone on a work day.  I called my sister and said “why would Mom be calling me?”  There was a pause.  She said “I accidentally told her you were coming today.”  WTF?!

So the surprise was ruined.  I called my Mom back, and she said even though she knew I was coming, she was so grateful for the help!  And that’s all that matters, right?

I ended up getting gas and then hitting up McDonald’s for breakfast.  My mouth was about to say “I’ll have the Sausage McMuffin with Egg and a Hash Brown!”  But I quickly caught myself and got the oatmeal – 290 calories – done.   The apples were actually really tart which I liked because the oatmeal was on the border of being too sweet for me.

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When I got to church my Mom and another woman had already started chopping veggies.  We were making enough chili for 300 PEOPLE which, if you don’t know, is a lot of chili!  First thing I smelled when I walked in?  Fricken onions!

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And guess who’s job it was to chop the rest of the onions?  That would be me.  I must really love my Momma to cut all those onions!

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I did two bowls of onions like the one above – and that was just for the garnish on TOP of the chili!

Momma was working her ass off – checking her timeline, making sure we had the right ingredients for each chili.  We did a traditional chili, a meat only chili (no beans!) and a vegetarian chili.

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She needed a little help though reaching the back pots of chili though!

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After a while we were getting hungry, so my Mom sent me across the street to the deli to pick up some sandwiches.  Tony and I recently watched an episode of Dinners and Drive-ins where they went to a bunch of Jewish deli’s – Tony and I always drool at the pastrami and corned beef!

So when I saw “corn beef” on the menu, I knew that’s the sandwich I was going to have.

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I had to laugh because it isn’t “corn beef” it’s “corned beef” but whatevs.  But then I heard these words: “sorry, we are out of corn beef.”  Waaaaaa.  So I got the Roast beef.  Tony thought I should have gotten the Italian, but the roast beef was good.  I ate half at lunch and then the other half mid-afternoon.

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They got all the canned goods at Aldi – my Mom says they are so cheap, and they get the no tax discount because they are a non-profit.

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And Ultra Foods gave them a discount on the ground beef.  Since it was 80/20, we browned it, then drained the fat before adding it to the chili.

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While I was chopping up onions, I asked my Mom “how much chili powder do you use in your chili?”  She said “I don’t use chili powder.”  Um, what?  Nope, turns out my Mom’s secret weapon is . . .still a secret!!   Whatever it is, it’s a perfect balance of seasonings and just enough heat.

Just when I thought I was done chopping onions?  “Hey Biz, can you slice up some red onion for the garnish for the salads?”  I think I cut a lifetime supply of onions yesterday!

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I also helped cook – making sure the beef was browning and the veggies weren’t overcooking.  I love this circa 1950’s apron – I had two aprons to bring with me, and I walked off without them!

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Can I just say that even though this church stove is old, I loved cooking on a 10 burner gas stove again!  I hate my electric stove.

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Hannah had texted me earlier in the day to ask how things were going.  I told her that Aunt Jennifer had ruined the surprise and she said she was sorry.  Later in the afternoon I was cutting up corn bread when I heard my Mom say “Hannah!”  Yep, she felt bad about my surprise being ruined so she surprised me and drove to church after she got off of work.  #love

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Three generations of chili makers!!  It was so nice to see her and she ended being a big help making sure we had a clean stock of chili bowls.  I hope they made a lot of money – it was $10 for an adult and $5 for kids – one guy paid $250 for a ticket!

What better way to spend a Friday – cooking up a storm and hanging out with family – it was a great day!  And my Mom really appreciated the help.  So that keeps me as the #1 child and of course, Hannah is the #1 grandchild.  Duh.

While its in the 50s today, its rainy and overcast.  I have cans of pumpkin in my pantry calling my name!  I may need to make some scones for the week.

Question of the Day:  Do you top your chili with fresh white onions?  If you do, I’ll still like you, but just wondering. Open-mouthed smile

Have a great weekend – see you Monday!


38 thoughts on “Surprise, Surprise!

  1. You’re late today!! I was wondering where you were. I never put onions on my chili, I use cheese, sour cream and a few crushed up tortilla chips. J uses onion and cheese and chips( she hates sour cream). I always use a packet of that stuff( I use mcormick) in my chili and I add more chili powder, cumin oregano( those are the main ingredients of chili seasoning mix, it also has some masa for thickening). I get my ancho chili powder at The Spice House or Penzey’s. Before I moved back to Cali, I cooked for a senior dining program in a church kitchen. They had 2 regular ovens, but another program where I cooked had a nice professional oven. That was nice. I could have never made chili for them, they would have freaked out. They only wanted meat and potatoes. Very sweet of you to go help your mama!!

    • Yep, late again today Randi! That’s what happens when you don’t go to bed until 1:00 am the night before! 😀 And it’s funny you mention the tortilla chips – we were watching on America’s Test Kitchens today that they put in tortilla chips to thicken it up – such a great idea!!

  2. Oh and I always use 3 cans of beans in one batch. Black, kidney and chili( the ones with the sauce). I only use ground turkey too( since I don’t eat beef). I’ve won awards for my chili!!

  3. Sounds like the perfect day……..making chili with your mom and I am sure she appreciated the help. Bet that chili was extra delicious too! I like onions IN my chili but not ON it. I like a little cheese sprinkled on and crackers too, oh…chili to me does not include noodles either. What???? That’s the way it is liked up here in WI. I am from Chicago so noodles aren’t included, not unless that has changed too since we left. have a good rest of the day.

    • It was fun Louise – I saw some people put the equivalent of like 1/3 of a cup of raw onions on their chili – ew!

      And I think Cincinnati is home of the chili mac – not sure though, but its tasty!

  4. Although I love onions and go through a three pound bag of them rather quickly, I do not put them on top of my chili unless the chili is on top of a hot dog. 🙂

  5. Hey cuz! Top my chili with cheese! So jealous of the fun you must have had….would have loved to help…don’t cook a lot but that’s because I only know how the cook for my old bagel shop…in other words…tons!!!!

  6. That looks like such a fun day! I would gladly take a day off work to chop veggies for chili 🙂 And yes, of course, you must still be the favorite 😉 I think you have it locked now. I always put onions in chili and sometimes on top with a bit of sour cream. It’s chili weather today so I think I know what to make for supper 🙂 Have a nice weekend-

    • I know, I hate the way my day job gets in the way of cooking! I actually couldn’t “see” the onions after it cooked down, so I did bring some home to try – who knows, maybe I’ll like it?! 😀 Enjoy your weekend too!

  7. What a great day, so awesome of Hannah to surprise you both! Great day today to be Bizzy in the kitchen, I am making your simple crusty bread!

    • I know – the whole day was fun!! Yippee – perfect day today to make the simple crusty bread – I will warn you that once you start making it, you’ll make it every weekend!

  8. We are having a totally awesome 80s party tonight with friends and a chili cookoff!!! Onions-bring it! But keep your stinky bananas 😉

  9. You all look great! I only use onions on top of chili if I’m having a chili dog. How sweet for Hannah to show up!

  10. Chili for 300 people!!!! Rockstars. I laughed about the onions – what a great daughter you are 🙂

  11. So sweet,no wonder you are the favorite! I don’t like onions on my chili, I love oyster crackers on top! That’s a hella lot of chili you made! Have a great weekend!

  12. I can’t believe you had to chop all of those onions – true love for sure!!!
    I love the fact that you and your mom and your daughter are all so close – I don’t have that with my mom but plan to with my boys!!! Looks like y’all had a fun time making lots of chili!!!

  13. The question about the onions made me smile. Although I do like onions on top of my chili I will not go to the trouble just for me. If they were there I would have them. Looks like a fun day despite the onions. Sorry you missed out on the corned beef.

  14. Gah, this post just made me so hungry!!!!!! How cute is your mom stirring the back pots!? I love the 10 burner stove too. When we moved in this house it had this shitty glass top electric stove and the main burner was broken. We waited until some big sale (Presidents Day or Black Friday or something) and got an LG gas stove. Best decisions evvvverrrrrr. It cost $50 to change it to gas b/c the house already had a gas fireplace. Easy peasy.
    And no, I don’t chop my chili with raw onions. That’s a bit too strong for me! I would prefer teeny cooked onions IN the chili.

    • Love that you left a comment Christina!! Yep, one of these days I’ll get a gas stove back. I remember the shitty one you got with the house you bought. Have a great weekend!

  15. Mr. BizMoto (Tony)

    Again once the world figures out that I am worthy and make me their Sovereign King, I will make onions illegal……oh yeah and topless Tuesdays.

  16. Alright, my big secret is that I use Pat and Gina Neely’s chili recipe and no, there are no chopped onions on top. But I’m not kidding you when I say that it is seriously THE. BEST. CHILI. (with beans) that I’ve ever had!

  17. Great that you got to spend the day with your mom cooking. I love Hannah’s surprise! Of course you two are your mom’s favorite! 😉

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Biz! 🙂

  18. Aw, so sweet of you Biz. Not just helping, but cutting all those onions! I mean, I love onions, but chopping onions – no one loves that. And no way, no fresh onions on my chili! I like the taste of them cooked in the chili but don’t dig raw onions too much. Den puts huge chunks of onions in his salads and it makes my eyes water to try to eat them – lol. And yay hannah for surprising YOU! 🙂

  19. You are such a good daughter. I like onions, sorry. And I want to know your mom’s secret chili powder substitute. Will she really not tell YOU?

  20. I think the universe is trying to tell you something with all those onions – they’re good, for real! 🙂

    Love all the mother-daughter surprising going on. You guys are so sweet to each other.

  21. Does your camera smell like onions now? I love a good meat only chili! Yum!
    I just like crushed tortilla chips on top of my chili, and maybe some cheese.

  22. Btw, I’ve been ordering “egg whites” at McDonalds. Just the whites are 1.00. I got 2, and put a slice of my own 2% American cheese over the top. Ive even brought them home and put them in my own low-carb tortilla. I cant eat the oatmeal there, way too high in carbs for me, makes my BS skyrocket.

  23. Biz what a great day and for such a good cause. You did what you love most: hanging out with your family and cook, how could it get any better than that?

    I don’t often make chili but I always add onions but I like onions anyway. I don’t add fresh onions on top of the chili though.

  24. I love that you wanted to surprise your Mom but instead Hannah surprised you! I like to surprise people, but I hate being the one who is surprised. I’ve always told MAK that if he throws me a surprise party, he’ll turn into a human pinata because I will beat his ass! 😉

    I’ll take all the fucking onions, please! I love chili just about any way I can get it; I actually hate chili with beans, but I will eat it! Yes, I know I am weird, to eat beans even though I don’t like them. I actually made Cincinnati chili for supper on Sunday night and my son gobbled it up. I couldn’t believe it! Maybe it was because I told him it was homemade meat sauce for spaghetti? 🙂

  25. I top my chili with cheese, onions (white or green) and sour cream and I usually eat it chili mac style (over elbow macaroni).

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