Chili; with and without beans

I recall the graffiti of my youth, usually scratched into a park picnic table, where the young lovers publicly proclaimed their (((ahem))) life-long burning desire or lust or whatever emotion was felt that day by using the Spanglish word “con.”

Wilberforce -con- Wilhelmina or whatever the name of the couple.

The “con” always had those horizontal slashes in front and back of “con” thus the -con- shown.

Some near-paleolithic ritual in that part of California greatly influenced by the Chicano culture of the time… the culture that led to the Brown Beret movement of the mid- to late 1960s and early 1970s.

The FBI tried to infiltrate the Brown Berets as they successfully did the Black Panthers whose founding locale was over the nearby hills in Oakland, California. (apparently eventually successfully but I heard the Brown Beret infrastructure knew who the infiltrators were and that the Berets misled them, feeding them false information).

Even when the Black Panthers riled California’s ruling elites when they mustered in Sacramento in front of a state government building bearing weapons leading to a famous well-spread photo:

One warm spring day in 1967, two dozen young men and women – mostly from Oakland, clad in black leather jackets and black berets and carrying loaded pistols, shotguns and assault rifles – barged into the California State Assembly chamber in Sacramento and onto television screens and newspaper front pages around the world. Black people with guns!

When the TV news showed the group of Black Panthers lined up on the building’s concrete steps Dad, a very conservative guy from the Great Depression and WW2 era, declared it was about time those folks stood up for themselves and face those who want to rule over them and ALL the common folks of the USA. And he was a federal employee! Obviously not brainwashed well and not a minion of the ruling class nor corporate USA!

The old man always was a We, the People person. A person’s BEHAVIOR was what was important… not skin pigmentation levels… and that was LONG before political correctness appeared… but all that is another tale for a different blog   (notice how the “powered elites” site and erect their buildings so that you mere commoners are required to look upwards, ever upwards to psychologically convey awe and to remind you of your lowly position within society. The same is done by having the court room judge elevated above all others present. A psychological ploy that can be learned of via a Web search and a minimal amount of reading.)

Back to the “con” word and chili.

“Con” obvious stood for a pairing, a mingling, two separate units or entities combined into one.
So, using the minimal amount of feeble logicness within my aging decrepit brain “chili con carne” must be interpreted as “chili with meat” or, perhaps, “chili loves meat.”

Hmmmm… that last attempt at deciphering the lingo doesn’t make sense.

Further research is needed.

Hey! Let’s use Wikipedia!

Hooray!!!! Wikipedia save the blog entry yet again!

Chili con carne (often known simply as chili) is a spicy stew. The name of the dish derives from the Spanish chile con carne, “chili pepper with meat”. Traditional versions are made, minimally, from chili peppers, garlic, onions, and cumin, along with chopped or ground beef. Beans and tomatoes are frequently included.

Ah hah! Grab a handful of chili peppers, some chopped up dead cow, toss them in a pot and apply heat!!!

Oh, that graffiti. It did mean Wilberforce -and- Wilhelmina. He probably got her pregnant at 15 and they moved into the trailer park and spewed out another dozen spawn and lived a life of poverty upon the government dole and generally had a miserable life so let that be a lesson to you modern-day younguns; do not deface public property.

(chili no beans. “I (AgentSeven) created this work entirely by myself.”)

Chili con carne. Gotcha’.  How about those restaurants using the term “chili size” as a way of describing what is usually an open-faced hamburger with one half of the bun topped by a hamburger patty and the other half of the bun uncovered, naked, bare, exposed to all?

“Chili size” is in the Official Old Coot Opinion ™ a weird term that I never use in day-to-day talk and rarely used it when trucking and forced to eat the typical glop found in eating joins with room to park a semi-truck.

“Gimme’ an open faced burger, plain, with no condiments and a BIG pile of chili on top, please”

“You mean a chili-size, dontcha’ babe,” the waitress gurgled.

‘Whatever yah’ wanna’ call it. It IS edible here isn’t it?”

“Depends how hungry your are, babe.” “Gotcha. A cup of lousy coffee, too.” ‘That’s all we got. babe.”

There was a traditional special “bonding” between truck stop waitresses and truckers.

I wonder if the political correctness I detest with my utmost inner essence has harmed or destroyed that special bond that existed during my over-the-road years when one’s life was mostly lived within a truck and wherever it stopped. No need to rent a house, trailer, apartment or room; the semi-truck was one’s portable shanty.

Oh, so you know, that chili-burger, chili size or whatever term used was typically one of the “safe” selections that even the worst truck stop food factories could not make too toxic or inedible. That is likely due to the general safety of canned and frozen food products and not necessarily due to high-level sanitation habits within the kitchens of truck stops of that era.

And, to assist the general motoring public who often falsely believes the old husband’s tale of truckers knowing the best places to eat.

That is some-times true but the presence of BIG trucks can merely indicate adequate parking room for a rig with a 52-foot trailer attached.

This dish is said to take its name from the “hamburger size” ladle that legendary Los Angeles chili parlor proprietor Ptomaine Tommy used decades ago to spoon chili over the open-face burgers he served.

Well, that explanation of where the odd-to-me name for the dish can be found along with a nifty recipe by poking the “poke” spot—–> POKE.

To read an essay by “Nobody Knows More About Chili Than I Do” click on the essay title.


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