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It’s Chili Time on the Isle of Style and in Geezerville

Here in that spiritual state of mind called “Geezerville,” our frugal gourmets were delighted by the Alameda Post news that the charitable Kiwanis Chili Cookoff with its eclectic chili brews and Western motif has resumed after a long hiatus.

Alameda Post - a bowl of chili

Texas-Style Meatless Chili

Most Geezerville residents are thrifty by necessity, so chili, albeit without expensive meat, often graces our communal tables. As several Geezerville residents hail from Texas, where traditional chili is all beef, onions, and peppers without tomatoes or beans, we often share this hearty meatless chili recipe.

Alameda Post - a bowl of red pepper, chili, and tomato

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups celery, chopped
  • 3 large red bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 cups Cremini mushroom, quartered
  • 1 14-ounce can of corn
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • In a large soup pot, add the vegetable oil over medium heat, then add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin powder, paprika, and oregano.
  • Cover the pot and sweat the onion for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover pot and add the chopped vegetables, mushrooms, corn, and broth. Season, then bring to a gentle boil.
  • Simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.
  • Add butter and let sit for 30 minutes.
  • Stir, then serve topped with cheese, sour cream, or avocado.

Meatless Cincinnati-Style Chili

Since many Geezerville residents are by their elderly nature old cranks, complainers, and contrarians, they will frequently gripe that they prefer the soupy Cincinnati-style chili over Texas or California-style brews. Geezerville’s old fogies like their Cincinnati-style chili served over spaghetti.

Alameda Post - eggplants

  • 1 14-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 12-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 3 yellow onions, grated
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup diced cooked eggplant
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • In a stockpot, combine the tomato sauce, tomato paste, onions, chili powder, cocoa powder, sugar, kosher salt, cinnamon, cumin, garlic salt, allspice, pepper, cayenne, cloves, bay leaves, carrots, olives, and eggplant.
  • Add broth and mix until combined.
  • Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for approximately 2 hours.
  • Stir in the vinegar and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  • If chili is too soupy, simmer until reduced to taste.
  • Serve over spaghetti, or in a burger or hot dog. Sprinkle liberally with  shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Alameda Fats Isle of Style Chili

As in any diverse community, Geezerville has residents that can afford extravagances like beef, so our communal chili suppers always offer a traditional California-style hearty chili for omnivores.

Alameda Post - kidney beans

  • 1/4 cup best quality olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds choice or prime-grade ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 14-ounce cans kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • In a Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion and garlic. Sweat onions until translucent.
  • Add ground beef, breaking up with a fork, until no  longer pink.
  • Add chili powder, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, cumin powder, tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth. Bring to a simmer, don’t boil.
  • After 15 minutes, add kidney beans and simmer for additional 30 minutes.
  • Add butter. Let set, uncovered, for 1 hour.
  • Stir and serve.

Alameda Post - the poster for the Kiwanis Club 22nd Chili Cookoff

To enjoy the chili offerings of some of Alameda’s bravest and most diverse chefs, attend the Kiwanis Chili Cookoff on Saturday, January 27, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., at the Albert H. Dewitt Officers Club, 641 W Red Line Avenue.

Gil Michaels once ate jackrabbit and rattlesnake chili at [email protected]. His writing is collected at

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