Daisy comes out of school with her South American recorder round her neck (quite fitting for tonight’s recipe!). I’d forgotten she’d taken it to school. It’s attached by a piece of red wool and she plays the same two notes loudly on the way home. Ollie and I trail behind. It’s like following the Pied Piper of Hamelin.
At home I suggest they make Valentine’s cards. All the art equipment comes out, but I draw the line at paint and glitter. Tom can spot a piece of glitter a mile off, and he’s not keen on the stuff. For a calm man, glitter can make him surprisingly angry. I think it’s because it inevitably ends up on his face without him realising.
I’m hoping to get some gold out of Daisy as to whom her valentine might be. They work industriously for twenty minutes on their cards, (before the fighting starts). They have made them for their true-loves: Daisy’s is for the cat, Ollie’s is for me.
While I make dinner, Ollie watches Disney’s version of Tarzan. It’s not long before there’s a upset. Tarzan has killed a leopard, (rightly so, he was fighting for his life), but Ollie’s bottom lip has started to tremble and by the time Phil Collins kicks in with his maudlin lyrics, Ollie is sobbing uncontrollably.
We pause the film and I suggest he comes to help me cook (with one of yesterday’s jam tarts as a bribe). I say he can add the chocolate to the chilli (see pic above), and all hell breaks loose because Daisy doesn’t see why he should be allowed to do such a prestigious cooking job. They compromise: Daisy puts the chocolate in and Ollie crumbles a stock cube. There isn’t actually a stock cube in the recipe, but Ollie loves to crumble them then lick his fingers, and I can’t see what harm it can do to the recipe.
Turns out later it was good that they saw the chocolate going in:
“Of course you like this meal, it’s got CHOCOLATE in!”
Of all the many chilli recipes, this is our favourite. It is from a wonderful recipe book: Less Meat, More Veg by Rachel de Thample and the name of the recipe comes from Green & Black’s Maya Gold chocolate which contains spices and a hint of orange. If you can’t get hold of it, use dark chocolate and finely grate some orange into the chilli.
The chocolate gives the chilli a lovely silkiness, and as it contains lots of beans and not much meat, it would be easy to omit the meat and make it veggie.
But best of all, there’s enough for two nights’ dinners, so a night off the cooking tomorrow…..
Licked the platter clean!