Tasty Texas Tribute To Jackie Cain

September 22nd, 2014 § 0 comments

One frosty winter night in Montcalir, N.J., many years ago, HG/BSK (and family) joined their friends, the great jazz duo Jackie Cain and Roy Kral (plus their daughter, Dana) for ice skating on the frozen pond in the center of town. BSK and Roy were graceful skaters, HG was a klutz. Everyone else displayed moderate skills. Lots of laughs as appetites were sharpened under the starry suburban skies. Apres skate, the group gathered around the Cain/Kral dining table for a perfect winter dish–steaming bowls of Texas chile. The hungry folk topped their bowls with grated cheddar cheese and chopped raw onion. The fiery heat of the chile peppers was tamped down with some dollops of sour cream. Jackie confessed that the secret of the chili (best HG had ever tasted) was the use of Wick Fowler 2-Alarm Chili Mix. It was the only packaged mix that Jackie ever allowed in her home. The mix included numerous packages–chile powder, sage, super-hot cayenne pepper, masa flour, oregano, paprika, garlic, salt. These ingredients were added to two pounds of browned ground beef, a can of Ro-Tel (or canned tomatoes) and two cans of water. A half hour (or a bit more) of simmering and you had a noble Texas treat. According to chili history, Wick Fowler in 1967, won the first world chili cook-off. The event was held in Terlingua, Texas, and the Chili Mix company was born soon after. Roy Kral died in 2002. Jackie died last week in the Montclair home where we first tasted her (and Wick Fowler’s) chili. So, here in New Mexico, HG/BSK (and granddaughter Beautiful Sofia R.) paid tribute to HG/BSK’s dear friend and lovely artist of song: Jackie and Roy cd’s were on the Bose. Wick Fowler’s 2-Alarm Chile was on the table. A bittersweet occasion as rollicking times were recalled and toasts were drunk to Jackie. Happily, her voice filled the room with its essence of champagne bubbles (SJ’s memory) and eternal spring.

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