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Monday, December 13, 2004

Personal: A Cold Night in Texas 

The thermometer reads a crisp 39 degrees, which comes as a pleasant change of pace for this Texas boy. Now 39 might not be cold to some of you Yankees out there, but 99 ain't hot to me, so save your frosted breath.

Now there's a convenience factor to 80-degree temps in December, but it just feels wrong wearing shots and flip flops two weeks before Christmas. Besides, cold weather means that I get to eat some of my favorite dishes.

Sitting atop my cold-weather favorites list is chili. I make some kick-ass chili. No, it doesn't have beans, because that's how we do it in Texas. Once you put beans into that pot, you're officially making a stew. That doesn't mean it doesn't taste good; it just means you're not eating chili.

ANyway, as I'm moving this week and much of my kitchenware has already made the trip to my new apartment, chili isn't an option tonight. It wouldn't actiually be an option no matter, as chili requires a minimum of three to four hours before it's properly cooked, and I'm not waiting til 10:00 to eat. No, I went for the next best thing: Frito Pie.

So I made the trip down to the HEB for the ingredients. Two minutes later I'm in the express line with five items on the conveyor:

1 can Wolf Brand Hot chili (no beans)
1 jar Pace Picante Sauce
1 bag Frito-Lay fritos
2 two-liters Mountain Dew
Rule No. 1 with Frito Pie: don't skimp on the ingredients. You don't really save money and generic fritos taste like crap, as does Hormel chili. Pace picante sauce actually kind of sucks, but as long as you're using it as a condiment and not a dip you're good.

SO I'm in line and waiting to check out when the guy in front of me notices my items.

Man: Yo man, now that's a meal right there.
Me: Hell yeah.
Man: That's a man's meal, brotha. That's how you do it.
Me Hell yeah.
Man: You got everything you need right there.
Me: Hell yeah. It's perfect with the cold weather.
Man: Now that's what I was about to say. That's a cold weather meal.
A cold-weather meal indeed. My man in front of me in line knew. That wasn't all he knew. "You don't need to cuddle with anyone after that meal," he told me. "In fact, you probably don't want to." Like the chili, thatisn't really an option either, but thanks for bringing it up, bro. Between that and the Heineken quart (I mean c'mon... just because it's cold doesn't mean we have to drink Yankee beer) he was purchasing, his approval of my cold-weather meal loses a few points.

No matter, because I don't need approval. All I need is some tasty Frito Pie and a microwave to heat it in. Open the patio door to let some of that crisp fresh air in and set the TV to the Titans-Chiefs game, and it's the kind of relaxing night I need. Cold weather, football and Frito Pie... all I need now is 17 fantasy points from Drew Bennett and tonight will be perfect.


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