Fall, Glorious Fall! In spite of the severe drought upon our Virginia farm land we still manage to have a wonderful show of fall colors. The wind swirls the leaves down, down, down, upon my well worn paths along Beaver Dam Creek. I am traveling home, wet, tired and cold from a hard day’s work chasing the Sly Ones. I am ready for a good night’s sleep.
This time of year, as the evenings bring on the foreboding signs of our winter to come, Mr. and Mrs. Red Fox are at it again. They love to chow down on the best free range, gourmet laying hens, at Fields of Athenry Farm! Those chicken predators really know a good deal when they find one – stealing, from where the good stuff lies, right across from their den. Okay, so I have it in for the foxes –but yes, I know, the raccoons, possums, mink and chicken hawks are to blame too. That list of chicken predators wears me out just thinking of the running I do to keep them all away. All in the name of my born and bred duties as the Small but Mighty Cairn Terrier – SUSHI!
On my little farm the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live,I am ready to curl up, tired and worn, paws up on my favorite couch ( which by the way I never hop onto until Mr. B is sound asleep and snoring away – this is my cue that the coast is clear, then I dream of my morning to come! )
In the kitchen of the big white farm house Mrs. B is up bright and early.
Before the sun has even started to rise she is hustling and bustling, opening a cabinet here and a cabinet there. I watch curiously as she puts a little of this and a little of that in the huge pots that sit on top of the gas stoves. It’s a school morning and much needs to get done before the girls wake up and start their day. I lay diligently at my master’s feet in hopes of any morsels that might fall my way.
MMMM. MMMMM. MMMM. Oh, those smells. I’d know them anywhere. My taste buds are starting to tingle. My tongue is starting to drool. It is kind of an embarrassing dog thing –drooling. I try my best to lick my lips and show I am not too anxious, but oh, oh, oh, that lamb sausage gets me every time! I want to hug myself and float right up to the pot and snatch some of the good stuff right out of Mrs. B’s lamb chili!
Mrs. B continues to sprinkle a little of this and a little of that into the large pots. I know her stirring is bound to bring me a splash of something good, right to the very floor where I lay my obedient head.
Sure enough, Mrs. B starts to stir the big pots mixing her special blend of seasonings to get her concoction just right. As she stirs away, she yelps in mock surprise as she drops a little lamb sausage right in front of my very nose! I just love it when she “treats” me! Quickly I snatch up every morsel and lick the floor clean.
Why do I love this lamb sausage so much? Well, if you promise not to tell on me about sleeping on the couch I will share the infamous FOA Lamb Chili recipe with you. Then when you taste it you will know why I crave it. I do expect some kind of payback. When you come to visit the farm bring Big Doggie Bones. I love the lamb neck bones best … just FYI.
Or, a simple pat on the head. Or a good belly scritch will do. Mrs. B never gives out recipes, so please do not snitch me out. Lamb Chili – well it is a Fields of Athenry to die for staple on the farm.
Forgive me, but Mrs. B cooks everything up in large batches – that is how she keeps dinners on hand to feed so many on the farm at any given time.
So you take it from here, as I am doing the best that a Small but Mighty Cairn Terrier can do when my born and bred duties are to hunt foxes –NOT COOK DINNERS. Mrs. B’s secret Lamb chili recipe can be found below
Fields of Athenry Lamb Chili
- 10 lbs. Fields of Athenry Farm: Lamb Sausage Loose
- 1 Bag of Chick Peas (cook according to instructions on back of bag – you need to soak overnight )
- 2 Bags Red Kidney Beans (cook according to instructions on back of bag – you need to soak overnight )
- 2 Jars Pimento
- 1 Jar Capers
- 1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
- 100 cracks fresh Black Pepper(out of your pepper mill)
- 8 cans Organic Stewed Tomatoes (easy to find at Natural Mercantile – Hamilton, or For Goodness Sake – Leesburg)
- 2 Tablespoons Cumin Seed
- 2 Tablespoon Paprika (remember if you are arthritic – paprika is a night shade plant – bad for arthritis – so you may want to substitute this – Yepper, I have learned a lot in this kitchen laying obediently at my masters feet)
- 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder (Night Shade)
- 1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (Night Shade)
- ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (Night Shade)
- 1–2 Medium Onions diced
- sauté before you throw into pot with everything else
- 6 diced Green Peppers
- 6 diced Red Peppers
Cooking Instrutions (and a few parting words from me):
- In a separate pan, sauté the onions.
- In a big pot, start slowly cooking up loose lamb sausage, drain off most of juice, leaving some for flavor (about a ¼ of lamb sausage
- When the lamb sausage is slightly browned and still moist (not over cooked – lamb is lean – you do not want to over brown! Juices run clear – it is ready – if not sure, call my master (703-926-8444) do not tell her who gave you the number! Or no more recipes! Really – trust me – she loves talking more than e-mails!)
- After draining, add all the other ingredients and let simmer for a few hours on very low –until all the savory flavors blend. Let the big pot cool down and then chill in the refrigerator overnight. When you get to it, in the next day or two – portion out into containers to freeze for future meals, this way all the flavors settle in to great mouth watering Fields of Athenry Farm Lamb Chili!
Well, that’s a wrap for me – totally busted I know – we are talking CIA-material-muddy-waters-big-trouble-I-am-in –may have to take safe haven in a motel in Memphis …
So until next time – I really may have to try out a Fox Hole when Mrs. B finds out I am giving out family recipes … But they are so Way Good!
Do unto others as they would do unto you is my motto – so do not tell on me!
Love , Sushi