Sarah Hale's "I can't believe it's not Turkey" Chili (nope, it's ham)

in #food4 years ago

Welcome back my fellow revolutionists!

This weekend I'd like to keep it real simple. Since the holidays are coming up, I thought to include some of the leftover ham as the star protein of this dish. Typically, most holiday hams are slow cooked in some type of sweet glaze, which makes them superior to any turkey process IMHO. In the turkey's defense, ham cheats with sugar. Now I try to stay away from or at least limit (as most of you know) sugar in any form but I figure, holidays, what the hell... let's sweeten it up!


This chili is so good because most of the work is already done with the glazed ham. You could just as easily do this with leftover turkey but the flavor will be lacking somewhat. I will say that the sugar is minimal here or just enough to balance out the savory spices. It's a perfect dish on a cold winter night or after a long day of skiing/snowboarding.

I'd like to dedicate this recipe to the "Godmother of Thanksgiving," Sarah Josepha Hale. Although rarely mentioned—if ever—as being the sole reason Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the US, this revolutionary had the persistence of a freight train, writing letters and publishing editorials tirelessly for 17 years before Abraham Lincoln was finally convinced to make it a national holiday. She was also a huge proponent of women being educated, a highly controversial subject at the time.

Since there is no real evidence of turkey being in the first Thanksgiving feast, this begs the question of why we celebrate holidays at all, as they appear to be simply marketing campaigns to buy and consume more things we don't need, propagated by historical figures or corporations with seemingly altruistic agendas. My only guess is the uniting factor behind a common gathering date. Knowing that others are eating the same thing on the same day perhaps makes it a "special" event.

If you're genuinely curious about Sarah Hale, I'd start here to learn more about this fascinating "Martha Stewart/Oprah" of her day. My favorite quote of hers proves her determination in making education essential for all women:

"In this age of innovation perhaps no experiment will have an influence more important on the character and happiness of our society than the granting to females the advantages of a systematic and thorough education."


1 15oz can - Pinto Beans (rinsed and drained)

1 15oz can - Black Beans (rinsed and drained)

1 lb - Glazed Ham (cubed)

1 tbsp - Chili Powder
1 tsp - Mustard
1 tbsp - Greek Yogurt (heaping)
2 tbsp - Hummus (heaping)
1 6 oz can - Tomato Paste

2 cups - Water

Extra Ingredients

Chipotle Powder
Turmeric Powder


1 - Add all the ingredients into a large pot on low heat
2 - Lightly sprinkle the extra ingredients on the top once it's all been mixed

3 - Cook for about 45 minutes to an hour stirring occasionally
4 - Enjoy!

Note: The trick to making all the flavors pop is to let it slow cook for at least an hour, otherwise you'll taste the tomato paste above all else. That's a good way to know when it's done; the tomato flavor is gone.

No matter what you celebrate, advocate or believe in, always question the root of that ideal. This is what separates us from cattle, blindly going where they're told to go without so much as a thought of the why. Trying to change the world by force can have a positive effect, such as all women should be educated. If on the other hand you also believe in any tradition loosely based on historical events and want everyone to follow suit, perhaps take a step back and realize that not everyone in the world needs what you're preaching. Not everyone needs a turkey or presents or a god or an institution. What we need are less preachers, less cattle and more doers, more revolutionists... more cooks!

My contribution to the revolutionist movement will be to turn the recipes I post on this blog into The Revolutionist Cookbook and eventually open a restaurant where only cryptocurrency is accepted. Where tipping won’t be necessary as everyone will be paid full salaries and where simple and healthy ingredients will meet delicious cuisine. Like open source code, all of my recipes will be available to the public in full detail and any improvements offered will be embraced and possibly added to the menu in their perfected form. Any donations to the cause are much appreciated either by up-vote or wallet of choice below.



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Love your restaurant concept @revolutionistcafe! This dish looks like the perfect comfort food for a cold winter's night!

Thank you @lizelle. I very much appreciate your kind words and hope that you can enjoy this dish as much as I do.

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