Pssst! I'm gonna share my family's decades-old chili recipe. You're going to want to write this down.
Step one: Get in the car.
Step two: Drive to the nearest Skyline Chili.
Step three: Order a four-way with onions - that's Cincinnati-style chili over spaghetti with neon orange shredded cheddar and chopped onions - or possibly a cheese coney.
Step four: Consume with a Diet Pepsi (I'd rather a Diet Coke, but when in Skyline...) with a big blue straw and sop up the remaining chili puddle with oyster crackers.
I grew up in Northern Kentucky, right across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. It may not be right, but it's what we do. My mother also often made a substance she claimed was chili - an unlovely amalgam of ground beef, kidney beans, tomato paste, onions and chili powder. On occasion there were slices of American cheese. We...don't really talk about that.
There's clearly a better way - as evidenced by the blizzard of chili cook-off announcements stacking up in my inbox. School me on your ways and means in the poll and comments below, and for your trouble I'm sharing a little something from my personal cookbook collection.
As promised, Jim Backus' chili recipe from my 1966 copy of 'The Celebrity Cookbook' edited by Ms. Dinah Shore. You may know Mr. Backus from his star turns in Rebel Without a Cause, as Mr. Magoo or "The Millionaire" Mr. Howell on Gilligan's Island. I am entirely uncertain by what might be this morning-after "false hunger" his wife invokes. Care to share in the comments?