space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Online Tools Show Banned Baiting and Feeding Areas
* Hunters Encouraged To Have Deer Tested For CWD
* Hunters Buying Licenses Can Make Donation To Boost Habitat Work
* Coleman Falls to Tough Iola-Scandinavia
* Oconto/Wausukee Meet ends at Sectional Semis

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

From My Window

Issue Date: November 8, 2018

Our Server Wore Camo

By Jane Thibodeau Martin,

This column is actually about chili; but it was too good a column title to pass up when the inspiration hit me.

We recently hosted a good friend and former co-worker from Tulsa for a four day visit. She has relatives in Minneapolis and has spent time in Wisconsin before too; but never for a longer, relaxed visit like we had. She knew us for 18 years in Oklahoma, and is a good observer, so she was absorbing what our new life is like, and seeing us in our native environment for the first time.

One of our outings was to a cheese factory, of course, and on our way back we decided to have lunch in one of the local establishments so common in rural Wisconsin, which I very fondly refer to as "dumpy bars." These are typically older wooden structures, maybe a little shabby on the outside and homey and friendly inside. We sat down at a table, surrounded by a few other people, mostly retirees or tradespeople on their lunch break. Their conversations, of course, centered on deer hunting.

Our outgoing waitress soon came to our table, dressed head to toe in camouflage clothing. It is totally possible she had been out hunting before she reported to work; or perhaps it is her preferred daily attire. At any rate, we soon had ample portions of good food at a great price. As she set my bowl of chili in front of me, our friend stared at it. "There's noodles in your chili!" she exclaimed. Well, of course, I explained to her. Most of the chili you get in this area will contain elbow macaroni. "Really?" she said, clearly perplexed.

Well I remember whispering conspiratorially with another Oklahoma co-worker who was a Wisconsin native. We were attending a chili cook-off fundraiser for charity at the facility we worked at. "Does your Mom put macaroni in your chili?" he asked. "OF COURSE!" I responded and we laughed together.

Oklahoma chili does not contain pasta, although chili is sometimes served on a bed of spaghetti. But this is considered a totally separate dish from chili. And in Texas, chili can't even contain beans, a staple in most chili recipes we use in Wisconsin.

Chili is a "new world" dish. Although many world cuisines feature chili flavored foods prominently, especially India and Thailand, these dishes originated with the chili peppers native to Central America and notably Mexico. These peppers may have been the very first cultivated plants in the new world, with archeologists dating the beginning of this gardening as far back as 6,000 years B.C. So the peppers did not make their way around the globe until voyagers began visiting the new world, and bringing the fiery plant seeds and dried peppers back to their homelands with them.

The original chili is a thick stew; food historians say the ancestral version is made up of onions, several types of hot peppers and meat " in the beginning beef and/or pork shoulder; along with a few other seasonings. This is the version that crossed into what is now the United States. The beginning of its wild popularity in the U.S. is claimed by the city of San Antonio, Texas. (Some Texans claim they invented chili; they did not. But they certainly made it popular in this country, and put their own spin on the dish ever since.)

Now there are dozens of versions of the dish we all call chili just within the United States. Part of the reason for that is that there are a wide variety of peppers " so if you use local pepper cultivars, the chili will vary based on what peppers you have access to. Most Texas chili is pretty close to the original " thick and with no added tomatoes; no beans and certainly no pasta. Across the U.S., there are versions featuring tomatoes and tomato juice; many containing beans. The chili I grew up on is more like a soup than a stew. I particularly loved a version made by Mrs. Christensen and Mrs. Mienuer at the tiny Peshtigo Garfield elementary school I attended. These two ladies tamed down the chili for small palettes; and served it alongside sliced cheddar cheese and freshly-baked wheat dinner rolls. (I am not sure I spelled Mrs. Mienuer's name right. Forgive me if I got it wrong. School lunches are often ridiculed, I loved their food.) Their version was in the Wisconsin style with small elbow macaroni and celery in it.

Chili is one of the few foods that actually tastes better the second day. It freezes well, can be made very inexpensively, and is perfect for a cold day with its rib-sticking heat. Making chili is also considered a manly pursuit, like grilling, so a lot of men put great pride in their particular version. (I know there are a lot of great male cooks out there who make all kinds of food, but I hear more men talking about their chili than any other dish.)

The go-to version I use is soup-like the first day but thickens up with re-heating, and has no garlic in it. My daughter of the heart makes an awesome pumpkin chili. I really didn't think I'd like it; but it is chunky and stew-like and absolutely delicious. My big city daughter specializes in cilantro-lime chili; one with a tangy bright taste that I love so much I make it nearly as much as my own "go-to" version. And when I am expecting a big crowd I sometimes make a chicken chili, heavy on oven-roasted chicken and big chunks of many kinds of peppers with no beans. Chili is forgiving of the limits of outdoor cooking and is a staple for tailgating, deer camp and camping. It can be made over an open fire or baked in a dutch oven buried in a bed of coals. And it can be stretched to feed a crowd by adding tortilla chips; using it to top a bed of spaghetti; or serving it over corn bread, a favorite in Oklahoma. It is a staple ingredient is other foods as a seasoning or topping, like chili dogs. Boy Scouts have a minimalist "camp food" dish featuring canned chili heated up over a fire and spooned into an opened single-serving bag of corn chips, topped with some processed or shredded cheese " "walking chili." Perfect fuel for a starving Scout.

It's just really hard to screw up chili. So when your camo-attired waitress brings that bowl, even if it has macaroni in it, you know you are in for a good meal. Not sure I have convinced Lisa of that, but I know I'm right on this one. And I send my thanks to our friends south of the border for one of the best dishes ever.

You can reach me for commentary, alternative viewpoints or ideas at this e-mail address: Janiethibmartin@gmail.com.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
11-08-2018Obituaries
Richard W. Alfredson, Sr.

11-08-2018Obituaries
Steven R. Butterfield

11-08-2018Obituaries
Fay E. Carlsen

11-08-2018Obituaries
Kathleen A. Kilpela

11-08-2018Obituaries
Gertrude L. Pillath

11-08-2018Obituaries
Evert J. Ramstrum

11-08-2018Obituaries
Marvel A.Elbe

11-08-2018Obituaries
Carol A. Schlesner

11-08-2018Obituaries
Viola E. Anderson

11-08-2018Obituaries
Bernard C. Barker

11-08-2018Obituaries
Florence L. Brofka

11-08-2018Obituaries
Gregory Carlson

11-08-2018Obituaries
Lorraine A. Kahle

11-08-2018Obituaries
Jerry L. Kell

11-08-2018Obituaries
John S. Kowalczyk Jr.

11-08-2018Obituaries
Louis F. McClain

11-08-2018Obituaries
Ruby D. Nelson

11-08-2018Obituaries
Richard B. Peterson

11-08-2018Obituaries
Jeanette C. Robison

11-08-2018Obituaries
Margaret Shaffer

11-08-2018Obituaries
Germaine D. Simonson

11-08-2018Obituaries
Lorrayne Surprise

11-08-2018Obituaries
Richard J. Tickler

11-08-2018Obituaries
Phebe White

11-08-2018Obituaries
Waleria Wojcik

11-08-2018Sports
Online Tools Show Banned Baiting and Feeding Areas

11-08-2018Sports
Hunters Encouraged To Have Deer Tested For CWD

11-08-2018
Thunder Roll to Win in 2018-19 Season Opener

11-08-2018Sports
Hunters Buying Licenses Can Make Donation To Boost Habitat Work

11-08-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

11-08-2018Perspectives
From our readers

11-08-2018Perspectives
From My Window

11-08-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Church Pie/Bake Sale Nov. 21

11-08-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Red Hats Nov. 8

11-08-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive is Nov. 27th

11-08-2018Community - Wausaukee
Holiday Harmony at Marinette Center Dec. 8

11-08-2018Community - Crivitz
Town of Lake Gets Loan

11-08-2018Community - Crivitz
Blood Drive at Crivitz Nov. 9th

11-08-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Man Wins $150,000 in Lottery

11-08-2018Community - Crivitz
Seth Alfaro to Speak in Crivitz

11-08-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board To Meet Tues., Nov 13

11-08-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman To Finalize Some Referendum Project Plans

11-08-2018Community - Coleman
Pound Christmas Parade Dec. 8th

11-08-2018Community - Coleman
Golden Agers List Card Club Winners

11-08-2018Front Page
Officers Honored

11-08-2018Front Page
Incumbents Returned To Posts In Marinette County

11-08-2018Front Page
Budgets Top Agenda For Peshtigo Council Nov. 7

11-08-2018Front Page
Riverside Cemetery Board To Consider Rules Change

11-08-2018Front Page
Holiday Tour of Homes Set for Nov. 30, Dec. 1

11-01-2018Front Page
PHS To Honor Area Veterans Nov. 9th

11-01-2018Front Page
Marinette County Taxes Are Down Slightly Again

11-01-2018Front Page
Oconto To Consider Requests For ATV/Snowmobile Routes

11-01-2018Front Page
City, School Officials Share Ideas For Traffic Safety At High School

11-01-2018Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Fire Commission Hears 2019 Equipment Requests

11-01-2018Sports
Coleman Falls to Tough Iola-Scandinavia

11-01-2018Sports
Oconto/Wausukee Meet ends at Sectional Semis

11-01-2018Sports
Woller, Hansen Lead Area Runners at State

11-01-2018Sports
Six Teams & Individuals Win State Cross Country Championships

11-01-2018Community - Coleman
Beaver Church Booyah Lunch, Raffle Nov. 4th

11-01-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Lioness Big 1 in 10 Raffle Nov. 10

11-01-2018Community - Coleman
Craft Show at Coleman Nov. 17

11-01-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman School Pre-K Screening

11-01-2018Community - Crivitz
$150,000 Lottery Ticket in Crivitz

11-01-2018Community - Crivitz
Fall Harvest Unity Dinner is Nov. 4th

11-01-2018Community - Crivitz
ALA Marinette County Collect Member Dues

11-01-2018Community - Crivitz
Thanksgiving Dinner at Northwood's Church

11-01-2018Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post 66 Vets Day Dinner Nov. 3rd

11-01-2018Community - Wausaukee
Hunters Supper at St. Augustine Nov. 17

11-01-2018Community - Wausaukee
Bake Sale Nov. 17 at Wausaukee Church

11-01-2018Community - Wausaukee
Blood Drive  November 26th Wausaukee School

11-01-2018Perspectives
From My Window

11-01-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

11-01-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

11-01-2018Obituaries
Janice Wankowski

11-01-2018Obituaries
Ann Hassman

11-01-2018Obituaries
Richard J. Anglehart

11-01-2018Obituaries
Allan E. Anglemyer

11-01-2018Obituaries
Clarence Dionne, Jr.

11-01-2018Obituaries
Marjorie C. Hanson

11-01-2018Obituaries
Michael U. Jonas

11-01-2018Obituaries
Barbara L. Macht

11-01-2018Obituaries
Clara L. Mathias

11-01-2018Obituaries
John F. Miller

11-01-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth A. Mullins

11-01-2018Obituaries
Eric R. Niemi

11-01-2018Obituaries
Olga L. Schneider

11-01-2018Obituaries
Jerold Wendt

11-01-2018Obituaries
Patricia M. Wiandt

11-01-2018Obituaries
David A. Zeitler

10-25-2018Obituaries
Connie B. Ball

10-25-2018Obituaries
Linda M. Barrette

10-25-2018Obituaries
Wallace J. Beaudry

10-25-2018Obituaries
Chris L. Champagne

10-25-2018Obituaries
Michael Cronick Sr.

10-25-2018Obituaries
Gerald F. Degrand

10-25-2018Obituaries
James Duer

10-25-2018Obituaries
Gary R. Effenberger

10-25-2018Obituaries
Dean Grant

10-25-2018Obituaries
Linda M. O'Leary

10-25-2018Obituaries
Kenneth W. Race

10-25-2018Obituaries
Robert L. Reeser, Jr.

10-25-2018Obituaries
Randy L. Shehow

10-25-2018Obituaries
Leatha A. Sokolowski

10-25-2018Obituaries
Evelyn S. VanHese

10-25-2018Obituaries
Sterling H. Zickuhr

10-25-2018Sports
Oct. 31 Deadline To Purchase Sturgeon Spearing Licenses

10-25-2018Sports
Area Runners Head To State Meet in Wisconsin Rapids

10-25-2018Sports
Rangers/Blue Devils Advance to"Sectional Semis

10-25-2018Sports
Tough Opening Round For Area Teams; Coleman is Sole Survivor

10-25-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

10-25-2018Perspectives
From our readers

10-25-2018Perspectives
From My Window

10-25-2018Community - Wausaukee
Crivitz, Wausaukee Lions Give Awards

10-25-2018Community - Wausaukee
Christy Fisher Speaks to Wausaukee Students

10-25-2018Community - Wausaukee
Middle Inlet Recycling Center Opened Oct. 6

10-25-2018Community - Crivitz
American Legion Auxiliary Meet

10-25-2018Community - Crivitz
Woman's Club Gives Donation

10-25-2018Community - Crivitz
Seth Alfaro to Speak in Crivitz

10-25-2018Community - Crivitz
Fall Harvest Unity Dinner is Nov. 4th

10-25-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Students Tour Washington D.C. Sites

10-25-2018Community - Coleman
Senior Club To Meet Nov. 5th

10-25-2018Community - Coleman
Heart and Pat Benatar Tribute at Equity Hall

10-25-2018Community - Coleman
Concealed Carry Class Nov. 13

10-25-2018Front Page
Free Burgers

10-25-2018Front Page
Proposed Marinete County Tax Levy Is Down Slightly

10-25-2018Front Page
Propose Peshtigo City Tax Equal To Last Year

10-25-2018Front Page
Town Of Peshtigo Hear Zoning Request

10-25-2018Front Page
Peshtigo School Budget Meeting Set For Oct. 29

10-18-2018Obituaries
Joseph Bikowski

10-18-2018Obituaries
Kurt Burge

10-18-2018Obituaries
Agnes Campbell

10-18-2018Obituaries
Byford A. Carter

10-18-2018Obituaries
Sandra Dubovenko

10-18-2018Obituaries
Lorraine M. Ehlert

10-18-2018Obituaries
Roger C. Eklund

10-18-2018Obituaries
Kathryn A. Firgens

10-18-2018Obituaries
Terry Flannery

10-18-2018Obituaries
Jamie Glish

10-18-2018Obituaries
Dean Grant

10-18-2018Obituaries
Mary P. Gribbons

10-18-2018Obituaries
Mildred R. Haulotte

10-18-2018Obituaries
Donald Hirsch

10-18-2018Obituaries
Harold K. Johnson

10-18-2018Obituaries
Wayne F. Louis

10-18-2018Obituaries
Daniel O. Lynch

10-18-2018Obituaries
Ida F. Maske

10-18-2018Obituaries
Linda E. Nicklaus

10-18-2018Obituaries
Matthew A. Neshek

10-18-2018Obituaries
Judith A. Piel  

10-18-2018Obituaries
Robert A. Portlock


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Should President Trump send the military to our southern borders to prevent illegals from coming in?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2018
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites