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Autumn has Arrived

 
 

OK, depending on when you get your Webb Weekly fall may start tomorrow, but you know that I mean.
  Kids are in school, we are beginning to see a hint of red and orange on the mountains, the temperatures are becoming bearable at night…Fall is here.
  Normally this would be the time that I would start to tell you all the things that I want to do this fall. Apple picking, corn maze, pumpkin patch…
  Truth is, for some reason I rarely get around to doing all the things I want to in the fall.
  OK, the real truth is that I’m easily distracted by indoor activities so I tend to stick to those.
  There is always a book waiting to be read, or a recipe waiting to be tried – so let’s talk about those.
  Since I don’t have enough space to cover everything that is in the hopper to read and cook this fall, let’s just go with one of each.
  First up – book to be read.
  Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors by Benjamin Wallace is being praised as, “Part Mad Max and part Monty Python.” That description in itself is more than a little intriguing. I mean who doesn’t love Monty Python? I have seen everything from The Flying Circus, to the Holy Grail to Life of Brian so many times I’m a little surprised that I don’t have a silly walk.
  I love a good comedy and throw in some action/adventure and I am pretty much set for a Saturday of reading. I am looking forward to this getting into this book.
  The book’s description reads as, “Life has been relatively normal for the people of New Hope since the apocalypse. To date the biggest problems have been super smart bears and finding a short stop for the town’s kickball team.
  “But, now an army of savage raiders is threatening their safety and they must turn to a wandering warrior to protect them. They need someone who can protect them. Someone who can fight. Someone who understands the ways of the wasteland.
  “Two such men have offered their services. One has been invited to stay and help. The other has been sent back into the post-apocalyptic world.
  “Did they choose the right man for the job?”
  Again, pretty intriguing and enough for me to pick up the book. I’ll let you know what I think when I finish! This is the first book in the series, and I am a little concerned that it will end in a cliffhanger. I am normally not a fan of those, but we will see. I’ll be sure to let you know, so that you have a heads up.
  Now we are going to need something to eat when we finish the book right?
  So I figure it this way. I am obviously going to be busy reading all day, so I want to keep the recipe fairly simple. A crock-pot recipe is even better because it can be cooking, while I am reading (two birds and whatnot.) So what says fall/easy/crock-pot better than chili?
  Chili is one of the only things I have ever made that has turned out badly, so I’ve been a little gun-shy to try again. But this recipe seems pretty simple with little room to screw it up, so I’ll give it one more try.
Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 pounds ground beef
• 2 stalks celery, chopped
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 green bell pepper, chopped
• 3 (14 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
• 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as RO*TEL)
• 1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
• 1 cup water
• 2 (1.25 ounce) packages chili seasoning (such as McCormick Mild Chili Seasoning Mix)
• 1 (14 ounce) can kidney beans, undrained
• 1 (14 ounce) can pinto beans, undrained
• salt and ground black pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon white vinegar, or more to taste
Directions:
  Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook ground beef until no longer pink.
  Stir celery, onion, and green bell pepper into ground beef and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes; pour stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes with green chiles, tomato sauce, and water and ground beef mixture into crock-pot. Break apart large chunks of stewed tomatoes. Stir in chili seasoning.
  Mix kidney beans and pinto beans into chili, season with salt and black pepper and cook on low for a couple of hours. Mix vinegar into chili.

  So there you go! This pretty much my perfect fall day. I’ll let you know how the book and the chili turn out.