Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hot Dog!! Who's making the chili?

Telephone conversation:
"Hello, we're having a Hot Dog Sale for our church Youth Group this Saturday.  Would you like to order some hot dogs?"

"Who's making the chili?"

"Mary Justice".

"OK, I'll order 10".

We learned quickly that the name Mary Justice always boosted the number of hot dogs sold for our church fundraisers.  She was famous for her chili in our small, rural, Boone County town in southern West Virginia. Years later when I made the chili for fundraisers, I quickly learned that it was always more profitable to say, "I'm making the chili, but it's Mary Justice's recipe!"   

My Mother-in-Law, Mary Justice

My mother-in-law, Mary Justice, was a fantastic cook.  She always said that she was happiest when the whole family was at her house, she made each person's favorite food, and everyone ate as much as he or she could hold! She also often cooked for others in the neighborhood.  She often joked that even "stray" dogs that came to her house got fat!

She had many specialties, and one of them was her Hot Dog Chili.  I was at her home many times when she made her famous chili for a fundraiser, and I have helped her brown the 20 pounds of hamburger that her original recipe required, as well as chop the vegetables.  As is true of many great cooks, she often didn't measure ingredients, and this was somewhat true of the chili. Once when she was making the chili, my good friend Nancy A. and I decided to measure and write down the amount of each ingredient that she used.  Of course this was for 20 pounds of hamburger, which is enough chili for about 500 hot dogs!  I further divided the recipe for home use. This chili freezes really well, so I usually make a large batch and freeze it in freezer containers for quick, delicious meals.

Mary Justice's Chili


5 lb hamburger
4 - 12 oz cans and 1 - 6 oz can tomato sauce  (total 54 oz)
16 oz tomato paste
1/4 bag of a 3 lb bag of onions, chopped (about 1-1/2 medium onions)
1 green bell pepper (chopped)
1/3 cup hot peppers (fresh or canned, chopped)
2 oz chili powder (8 level tablespoons)
salt to taste
1/4 box Light Brown Sugar (about 2/3 cup)

Brown the hamburger, and add salt to taste.  Add browned hamburger to a large pot with the other ingredients and stir.  Add water as needed and simmer several hours.  

Ms. Nancy's Note:  The chili actually tastes better if it is allowed to "stick" a little in the pot (slightly browned, but not burned).  

FYI:  At our house, 1/2 of the above recipe makes enough chili for approximately 5 meals.

West Virginia Style Hot Dog with Chili, Cole slaw, mustard & ketchup
Chopped Onion - Optional

Hot Dog and Fries - Great Combination!!

No comments :

Post a Comment