More Southern Manners and Jail House Chili

Submitted by Christi



Did you know that being nice is good for you? Your niceness inspires others to be nice which benefits all of us! Here is an idea from Bottom Line:

Put 10 pennies in your left pocket. During the day, stop by, phone or e-mail people just to tell them how much you appreciate them or that you were thinking of them. Move one of the pennies from your left pocket to the right each time you do, and do not stop until your left pocket is empty.

I like that idea. I would allow pennies to be moved for opening a door for someone or for performing any small act of kindness. This would be nice for everyone no matter where you live or where you are from.

One of the kindest people I have ever known was Norvelle Turner. She helped raise my husband. She was his mother’s housekeeper and lived with her for 50 years before she died. She was famous for baking cakes for people she appreciated and dropping them by for no reason. She was always thinking of ways to make others happy. What a wonderful Southern lady she was. I’ll never forget her teaching me to make “Jail House Chili”. I think I’ll make it tonight in her honor. Thanks Norvelle.

Jail House Chili

This recipe is from A Cooks Tour of Shreveport from the Junior League of Shreveport, Louisiana, 1964. Norvelle’s version is quite a bit spicier than the original. The recipe here has the measurements that she used. She made her changes in pencil in the cookbook. She made this often and it is great for a cold winter’s day.

3 lb. diced lean beef or hamburger
1/4 cup liquid shortening (I use a couple of tablespoons – Christi)
1 quart water
8 tablespoons chili powder
5 teaspoons salt
8 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons marjoram
1 teaspoon red pepper (can use 1/2)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons paprika

To thicken:
3 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons corn meal
1 cup water

Heat oil in a large pot, add meat and sear over high heat, stir constantly until meat is gray but not brown. Add water and cover, cooking over low fire for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add remaining ingredients, except thinckening, and cook at a bubbling simmer for 30 minutes. Mix together thickening ingredients and add to chili. Cook about 5 more minutes and stir to prevent sticking. More water may be added for desired consistency. If meat is very fat, skim off fat before adding thickening. This is rather hot chili. For milder flavor, cut the chili powder and red pepper in half but add more paprika for color.

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3 Responses to “More Southern Manners and Jail House Chili”

  1. Sandhya Papineau Says:

    Hello,

    I accidentally stumbled on your blog while I was looking for another one, but I’m so glad I did.

    I think you’re just the most precious person ever. I’m so glad you’re out in the web world, spreading your brand of kindness and generosity. You’re really sweet, and I hope you can keep on doing this for much, much longer.

    Blessings from Canada!

  2. Christi Says:

    Thank you for your kind comment.

  3. Southern Chili Night Says:

    […] Today’s Lagniappe: Norvelle’s Jail House Chili I’ve posted this before, but it is worth posting again. Norvelle was my husband’s mother’s housekeeper who was like a second mom to him. She made this wonderful chili. This recipe is originally from A Cooks Tour of Shreveport from the Junior League of Shreveport, Louisiana, 1964. Norvelle‚Äôs version is quite a bit spicier than the original. The recipe here has the measurements that she used. She made her changes in pencil in the cookbook. Read more about Norvelle here. […]

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