[Sca-cooks] Cincinnati Skyline Chili

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Sep 4 12:13:39 PDT 2012

After a relatively pleasant two weeks at Pennsic -- too hot and too humid for this San Francisco Bay Arean, but cooler and less humid than last year, at least -- and teaching four successful classes, i drove to Philadelphia to visit my daughter.

I had spent two weeks with my mother before the Balinese gamelan + Tesla coil + dancers performance in late July, a few days before leaving for Pennsic. She had been deteriorating due to Alzheimer's, but it was clear that something else was wrong. Her regular doctor was a complete incompetent and had not properly treated some continuing problems of 9 months standing. In fact, he hadn't examined her or given any tests. It turned out she had a very advanced case of cancer. The oncologist said she might last a year, but although my brother and i thought she would go sooner, we thought she'd last until around Xmas or New Years.

But within a day or so of arriving in Philly, i got a call from my brother that our mother had taken a turn for the worse. My daughter and i flew to San Diego and spent a week sitting by her deathbed. Now she is suffering no more and we flew back to Philly.

I figured i'd spend a week back in Philly, but ended up spending two -- my daughter was working but she kept planning things for us to do evenings and weekends -- and ate some amazing meals -- yeah, my daughter is a foodie, too. I'm finally on the way home and am currently in Laramie Wyoming in a hippish cafe with wifi. I'm taking it easy and relaxing out of the van periodically -- otherwise i'd be almost out of Utah by now.

On my way through Ohio 2 days ago i stopped in a Skyline for some of their American mash-up "chili". This particular food item has been a periodic topic on this list. The one i stopped in was outside Dayton. It was small and very plastic - Skyline Chili is now a not-quite-fast-food chain with well over 50 locations in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Florida. Darn near everything on the menu comes with their famous "chili" except dessert:

The ground meat was pleasantly seasoned with cinnamon and cloves or allspice (or so it seemed to me - it is, after all, their "secret recipe" - although there are recipes for analogs on the web).

You can have it in bowl,
you can have it in a bun,
you can have it over fries,
you can have it over a steamed potato (microwaved),
you can have it in a wrap,
you can have it over a hot dog,
you can have classic over spaghetti,
all in various permutations -- with or without cheese or beans or onions -- 

I had a 4-way: "Skyline chili" on spaghetti with kidney beans and a quite generous mound of very finely shredded cheddar cheese. The traditional 4-way is with raw onions, but i don't do raw onions -- they're one of the few foods that hurt my stomach (not upset - hurt), although if they've been soaked in ice water for a long while or marinated i'll be ok.

It was tasty and if i lived near an outlet, i'd probably drop in every once in a while, but i wouldn't be a regular. It is something very typically American, however, since it blends food items from several cultures.

Someone sometimes called Urtatim
from Laramie, Wyoming
just about to get back on I-80 West
and should be home early Thursday

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