Today we are having one of my favorite meals. I love it not only for its deliciousness, but because of the memories it encourages to the front of my brain while it cooks all day.
When the kids were young we spent a whole lot of time with our favorite family in the neighborhood. We'd go for walks at least three mornings a week, always ending with some play time at one of our houses. We'd take field trips to various parks and other places of interest. We'd have great big craft days, where we'd play music, do crafty things, and enjoy being together. Many times we'd be surprised by our husbands getting home from work when we were all still outside playing. So, we decided to make Thursday Family Dinner Night. For years, we had dinner together every Thursday night, each week rotating the home where we would eat. We would gather as soon as school was out, and hang out all through the dinner hour. Eight kids and chaos was the norm. It was one of the happiest times of my life. (I have to say "was" because our friends moved away to Ohio four years ago. We still talk and have a rare visit, but it will never be the same.)
I had never even heard of white chili when my friend told me she was making some for her husband's office pitch-in. She talked about it frequently, for years, before I finally asked her to make it for one of our Thursday dinners. I had some, and I was hooked. Oh my word, that is some good eats. Perfect for a cool fall day, and easy to make with leftover cooked chicken. I simply throw everything into the crock-pot and think of our friends all day long.
If you would like to make your own Happy Memories White Chili, here's the recipe we use (amounts are approximate, feel free to tweak):
30 oz. chicken broth
1 large jar Great Northern beans
3 tsp. garlic
3 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dry oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
5oz. evaporated milk
1/2 medium onion
1 lb. bag frozen corn
2 cups SHREDDED cooked chicken - The shredding takes the most time, but it is worth it!
Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
Cover, cook on low 8-10 hours, or high 4-5 hours.
During those hours, take in the aroma and think warm happy thoughts.
To serve, we sprinkle cheese on top and have tortilla chips for dipping.
While we eat, we almost always strike up a "do you remember" conversation about all of the fun things we did with our favorite neighbors.
Do you have a favorite meal that brings back wonderful memories? I'd love to hear about it!
Have a lovely day!