a few years ago my husband and i started a fall tradition.
in our little village there is a corn maze, Farmer J’s (World Record) Corn Maze, that is just a few minutes from our house. and it is not just any little ol’ corn maze. it is like reserve 3 plus hours at least. and do not wear high heeled boots, bring a flashlight and layer for those chilly after sunset hours kind of corn maze.
we start off the night with a pot of warm chili. the drinks vary. we have had warm apple cider and spiced apple cider. we have had our Stanley filled with vodka, and our coffee travel mugs filled with red wine. i know… i am embarrassed a little (not really).
“Ohhh, we really should have hot chocolate in this.” as my cousin says so sincerely, sipping vodka from a Stanley thermos cup.
we head out an hour or two before sunset. and we have learned a flashlight is a must for seeing in the dark, especially the map. it is amazing how difficult a corn maze becomes in the dark.
some of us are really good at finding the markers, like my husband. he is a walking gps. some are horrible at it, like me, no sense of direction. walking around in circles for 45 minutes (cross training!) trying to find number 7 and getting us totally lost. then only to give up, and he has to take over to get us back on track.
last year he kindly suggested i go left at a fork (not even looking at the map), insinuating i was going in the wrong direction. the nerve. i tell ya. i said it looks like i go right. he said ok. yup, we walked in a complete circle.
but that only adds to the fun.
sometimes we walk out of the corn maze proud, holding up our punched card, exclaiming, “Yes! We found all the markers.” victory dance varies.
and sometimes we walk out with markers not punched out.
maybe do to the involvement of alcoholic beverages.
or maybe it was the warm pot of chili calling us back to the house. in our defense you do log a few miles. i gps’d it. so ya get hungry.
as the years past our group became smaller. now we are back to just my husband and me. life happens.
but we still go. and we will continue to go as long as there is a corn maze for us to explore.
Corn Mazin’ Chili
- 1 lb ground turkey
- olive oil
- 3 small potatoes, diced
- 1 red medium onion, diced
- 1/2 cup of frozen corn
- 3/4 cup red, orange and/or yellow peppers diced
- 1 jalapeno seeds removed, diced
- 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes or 1 and 1/2 cups of tomatoes, diced
- 1 15 oz can of black beans
- 1 16 oz can of kidney beans
- 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 big dashes of cumin
- couple dashes of chili powder
- 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, additional to taste
Drizzle olive oil in a pan. Over medium heat cook the garlic, potatoes and onions. Add salt, pepper and oregano. Cook until the onions are almost translucent.
Add the ground turkey, cumin and chili powder. Cook until turkey is browned. Add the peppers and jalapeno. Cook until they are softened.
Add the remaining ingredients (corn, diced tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, tomato sauce). Stir and simmer on low for 30-40 minutes.
Serve with all or any of the following: tortilla chips, sour cream, chopped chives, shredded sharp cheddar, sour cream… you get the drift… corn bread…
p.s. this recipe is one of many versions of our chili. we honestly vary it all the time. lately we are going “healthy,” so switched to ground turkey for now. and of course this recipe can be made in a crockpot.
this year’s theme: Under the Sea.
is the Little Mermaid song stuck in your head now? sorry.
f (and e)