The Dabble

-food with a side of life-

Poorly Played, USPS and Veg Bean Chili

My picture is on thekitchn! Here it is.

I’m scorching mad though right now people…immensely disturbed by the USPS. I found out that my ma-in-law received the large photograph of Greg and I, from his brother’s wedding, bent in half EVEN THOUGH A GIANT STICKER READING “PHOTOGRAPH DO NOT BEND” was on it. I mean hmm, it arrived from the company to us safely, from Colorado to Minnesota and now, Minnesota to Indiana and someone screws up. Deep breaths, happy thoughts…too bad my happy thoughts include kicking the mail person in the crotch repeatedly with pointy cowboy boots. (Yeah, I have some…probably not considered cowboy boots but still pointy.)

Why do I blame our mail person you might wonder? Let me tell you a little something that happened last Friday. I scheduled this photograph to be picked up by our postal carrier that day. Greg came home early from work and handed me a little note from this person that wanted to know “where at the front door?” was my package supposed to be. Gee, let me think about this-HOW ABOUT MY FRONT DOOR?! THE ONE THAT ALLOWS ME IN AND OUT OF MY APARTMENT?! THE ONE YOU’VE PICKED THINGS UP FROM AT LEAST 5 TIMES BEFORE?! I waited to see if this person would come back and no, they did not that day. After thinking about writing a few not-so-nice comments on the note about this person’s intelligence, I decided against it since I have to live here and obtain my mail/future packages somehow. I decided to write “front door of my apartment : ).” The smiley face was intended to confuse this person (not hard to do): to be nice or to make him or her feel dumb (dumb it is).

Whomever it was picked it up Saturday. (I made it super-simple and placed it down at the entrance to the apartments- that is on the street level, where people can come and get it if they really wanted-a picture of Greg and I is pretty valuable or where it could easily be destroyed- our neighbor had a bunch of highschool kids running in and out of her apartment for some reason that day, which is one reason why I bought insurance.) I had the notion, Saturday morning, to make arrow signs that led this person to our apartment’s front door but I digressed.

Wednesday afternoon rolls around and I get word from my ma-in-law that she received it bent in half. (Both of us are rather baffled with the giant sticker on it that says not to do so.) I would venture to say that our pick-up person bent this photo in half, after seeing my note and that I had insurance (or something) because they were so perturbed about not understanding what a front door is. Again, public school has failed.

So that’s where I’m at right now. I filed a claim but I bet there will be a problem because they are the government run USPS and I’ve waged many a war with them…especially after the way they treated my mom when she worked in the keypunching area years ago. Government run areas don’t tend to perform very well…don’t get me started. I tried to file a complaint but after 20 minutes, realized that their system magically doesn’t work in that area. Hmm….this better be resolved. I don’t feel better yet. I need to punch something or get in a kickboxing session (there I go again with the images of me punching our USPS person). One more thing, do you think I’m going to get back the postage it took for it to get to us, the insurance and the postage it took to get it to my ma-in-law? I highly doubt it…I wish I could also get back the time wasted on this and a written apology.

I stated yesterday that I would provide my vegetarian bean chili recipe for Super Bowl parties and so here it is-tada! You can add meat but I didn’t miss it whatsoever. I basically went through my cabinet and found several types of beans-I used Great Northern and black beans but you can add any combination of canned beans (equal to 30 ounces), salsa and canned tomatoes. (I put a jar of my grandma’s salsa in the soup and highly recommend salsa in this dish.) Then, I went through my spice cabinet and decided what to add and it turned out quite tasty. I think the flavor combination could possibly be my favorite classic chili. Top with sour cream, guacamole, avocado, shredded cheese, cilantro, corn chips, tortilla chips/strips, you know the topping drill. Next time, I will add cornbread on the side. This is an easy recipe to leave things out and put things in so make it your own but “my own” is tasty so you can always rely on that. Unlike the postal service.

Veg Bean Chili
Veg Bean Chili

Veg Bean Chili
Serves 8 or more

2 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
½ large onion, diced (or ¼ onion and a chopped shallot)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
28 oz. crushed or diced tomatoes (with juice)
30 oz. of beans (a combination of what you like-black, garbanzo, kidney, pinto, Great Northern, cannellini, etc.), rinsed and drained
1 cup salsa
1 tsp tbsp chili powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
½ tsp cayenne pepper or 1 chopped chipotle in adobo or 1 can of diced jalapenos (or all 3 like me)
1 cup broth (vegetable or chicken)
Toppings- sour cream, guacamole, avocado, shredded cheese, cilantro, corn chips, tortilla chips/strips, etc.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onion (and optional shallot), carrot and celery, cook for 15 minutes (until softened). Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, Old Bay, cayenne pepper or chipotle in adobo or can of diced jalapenos (or 2 or all 3 for a lot of spice/heat) and salt/pepper for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beans for a few minutes and then add the tomatoes, salsa and broth. Simmer for 20 minutes after stirring well. *I had leftover green beans so I added those but they are not required. Serve with your toppings.

All dolled up
All dolled up

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