From My Pantry : Chili and homemade buns

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This week marks two important anniversaries for me. It has been 20 years since the Ice Storm of ’98 and 25 years of printing recipes each week in a newspaper-that’s 1300 columns-printed each week for you. I first began with the Standard Freeholder January 6, 1993, for about 16 years,then the Seaway News and finally The Local Seeker from October 29, 2010. I thank those of you who have shared your friendship and special recipes with me. You are what makes me keep writing. Gary and I never have a boring meal to look forward to. Like the Everready Battery Bunny I just keep on going! This week, I thought that it would be fun to re-do a recipe from the ice storm column. So yesterday I make my Aunt Ella’s Chili recipe which I had printed January 14, 1998 in the Standard Freeholder. My column written for January 7th, 1998 was blank in my recipe binder. Why? The reason being was that we had to hand deliver my column to the newspaper as we had no electricity or fax machine running at home. So I gave my one and only copy to the newspaper. They printed my column on their editorial page. We were 23 days without any electricity or running water at home. That was a real experience! Candlelight suppers somehow lost their romantic appeal over those many days! Yesterday, I made a batch of buns using my Kitchen aid mixer to mix and knead the dough. Along with the chili, we had a tasty supper. Both recipes are worth trying. Enjoy a great week! And thanks again for following my recipes each week. It is my pleasure to share them with you! Let’s go for another 25 years!


MY AUNT ELLA’S CHILI ( from January 1998 )


  • 3 or 4 large onions, diced
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 or 2 lb. of lean ground beef (Iused 2 lb. of Sharyn’s Pantry local lean ground beef.)
  • 6 cloves of fresh garlic chopped or 3 tsp. dried minced garlic
  • 5 tbsp. of Mexican chili powder (Try Sharyn’s Pantry spices for a real flavour difference!)
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 3 tbsp. dehydrated sweet green bell peppers (because I had no fresh, these work perfectly)
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 – 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups of hot water
  • 1- 19 oz. can of romano beans or kidney beans, drained and rinsed and drained again
  • a couple of tbsp. of sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes

METHOD: -Using a large heavy pot, like a large Le Creuset pot or a Dutch oven, saute the chopped onions in a couple of tbsp. of oil until they are translucent.
-Add the ground beef and cook until no pink remains. Stir in the garlic and cook for one minute longer.
-Add the remaining spices and dehydrated green bell pepper and cook for a minute longer.
-Now add the tomatoes, hot water and drained beans and sugar. Stir to mix well.
-Allow the chili to simmer, coveredon the lowest heat setting of your stove for 2 hours. Stir often. Remove the lid during the last 30 minutes of cooking to allow the chili to thicken up a bit.
-I served a bowl of this along with warm buns right out of the oven. YUM! Enjoy!



  • 1- 1/4 cups of warm water
  • 1/4 cup instant skim milk powder
  • 2 tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fancy molasses
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1- 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2- 1/2 cups Sharyn’s Pantry hi rise whole wheat flour
  • 1- 3/4 cups unbleached bread flour (From Sharyn’s Pantry- this flour is sold to bakeries so that is how great the quality of the flour is.)
  • 1- 1/2 tsp. instant yeast (Buy it bulk at Sharyn’s Pantry and save lots of money. Always buy and keep it refrigerated.)

METHOD: -Place all of the above ingredients in either your mixer bowl or in the pan of your bread machine in the order listed.
-If it’s your mixer, use the dough hook and allow the mixture to mix and knead until a ball forms. Continue allowing it to knead for about 5 minutes longer. I used about medium speed. Remove the dough hook and cover the bowl of dough with a tea towel. Then allow to dough to rise to double in size.
-If you are using your bread machine, set it on DOUGH cycle and let it do it’s thing.
-Either way, once risen, punch down and shape into buns. I made 16 buns, placing them on parchment lined baking sheets.
- Cover them with a tea towel and place in a warm spot in your kitchen away from any cold drafts. Allow them to rise to double in size. -Bake the buns in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for about 10 to 15 minutes, just until lightly browned. ENJOY!

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