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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

Something to Look Forward to

September 16, 2008

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. It's been a long stretch of days without much sun, and the rain came down in patches most of the weekend. It's that time of year again, the ol' switcheroo, when summer gives it on up to autumn and everything takes a step forward. Not long before the cold air hits, and that's what I'm looking forward to — cold weather, and everything that comes with it. Bonfires and hot chocolate and extra blankets and starry nights. Bring it on. Bring it all on, icicles and snow included.

I know it's healthy and all to live in the moment, and I do, for the most part, but I've always enjoyed having something to look forward to. It gives you something to think upon if you're waiting for dessert or a bus, and the string of all those good things kind of carries you through life. A crappy day is somehow made nicer when you have a dinner party to look forward to, and a root canal isn't such an ordeal if you can think about your upcoming trip to Yuma.

Seems, though, there are people who aren't as interested in where they're going as in where they've been. Not that this is a bad thing. They simply enjoy reminiscing and reliving experiences again and again by watching videos or looking at photos and telling the stories. Part of the purpose of going somewhere or doing something is so that, at some point, the experience can be shared. These people carry maps; these people have gear.

I'm all for the gear people and the scrapbooking memory-people. I'll even admit to a bit of envy. I'm just not one of them. I have a camera but I'd rather not risk the moment to look for it. The perfect shot rarely presents itself and I'm a clumsy woman. I enjoy taking photos, but where on Planet Earth would I find time to cut, paste, label and trim? I'd much rather be out doing something that might be photographed and scrapbooked. Like that 12-hour Tramping for the Hooters trampoline fundraiser for the nature center owl refuge I did in August with Mr. Sundberg. Or serving chili over at the Boy Scout camp one autumn. Or building snowmen. Riding the Ferris wheel at the Winter Carnival. Skating with the kids. Gathering rosebuds. All of which I look forward to.

This recipe comes from my mother. She made it often as I grew up and never wrote it down until recently, when I asked her how to make it.

Really Good Chili

2 46 oz cans tomato juice

1 24 oz can whole tomatoes or 1 quart jar of canned tomatoes

2 lbs hamburger, browned and fat/juice drained off

1 cup chopped onion

3 14-16 oz cans dark red kidney beans (drained & rinsed)

2-4 tablespoons chili powder (per taste)

Cooked Creamette macaroni

Brown & drain hamburger. Add chopped onion, drained kidney beans, tomato juice, and whole tomatoes & juice. Season to taste with chili powder. Simmer on low for several hours. Stir occasionally. Add cooked macaroni according to recipe on Creamette box (if family allows). Serve with crackers and home-made bread. Makes one kettle of chili.


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