Friday, September 26, 2008

An Ode to Bessie

I never knew my great-grandmother, Bessie. My mom has good memories of her and I wish I could have known her. It would have been fun to visit her house because she would often have bowls of Hershey's Kisses set out; can you imagine how pretty that must have looked? Bessie made good food. Comforting food. She made the best toast, and would let my mom have coffee at a young age - of course it was mostly milk.

A few months ago I bought a fantastic piece of cookery: a Le Creuset French Oven in cobalt blue. Since I tend to be in a habit of naming inanimate objects, I was trying to come up with a good name for my new pot. All I could think of was "Bessie". I think it is fitting to name it after my great-grandmother. It is used to make comfort foods like stews, soups, cassoulets, and pot roast; it is beautiful, classy and meant to last a lifetime - much like the memories that my mom has of her grandmother.

Since purchasing the pot I have used it to make many wonderful meals. My favorite is Beef Bourguignon which is a traditional French beef stew made with red wine. Another favorite dish is chili. I found this recipe in InStyle magazine of all places. It is fast, easy and healthy. I thought the ingredients sounded a little odd together, but this stuff is really good! It is kind of a sweet chili, but you can always add more spice if you want more of a kick. After making it a few times I have modified it a little and came up with this:

Healthy Chili

1 lb. lean ground beef (I use ground angus beef)
2 Tbsp. chili spice
3/4 C. water
1 20 oz. can vegetarian baked beans
1 15 oz. can petit diced tomatoes
1 15 oz. can kidney beans
1 15 oz. marinara sauce

Sauté meat in pan until brown. Drain excess juices. Add water and chili spice; simmer 5-1o minutes. Mix remaining ingredients in separate saucepan; add sautéed meat, and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.

Every time I use my pot I think of Bessie, and if she were still here today I hope I would make her proud.


Zil said...

This brought a tear to my eye. Bessie would be very proud of you and your little family.

Kelly said...

Oh, I am glad! I was so inspired to do this post! I wish Bessie could read it.

heather said...

What a great pot!

Naming things is a fun habit. I don't name things but I am quite nostalgic and I do attach fond memories to items, much like you in remembering your great-grandmother in connection to your cookware.