For as long as I can remember, sometime in December my family would pack into the car and drive for an hour or so to the to cut down a Christmas tree (it was part of a Forest Warden program that aimed to help thin out the trees), er, well actually, several. For a number of years, we would get a big tree for the living room (and when I say big, I mean big, the Christmas tree corner in the house has an 18 foot high ceiling, so many years we would get a 10-15 foot tree) and then each of us kids would get a smaller tree for our bedrooms. This was an all day venture and in later years, we often brought friends along to participate, and every year mom packed a thermos of hot chocolate and a big pot of chili that sat in the trunk swathed in towels to keep it hot until we were ready to eat. To this day chili remains a favourite cold weather food of mine. This recipe is quite a bit different from the chili I grew up eating, lacking the pork and beans of yesteryear, but no less delicious. 

Butternut Squash Chili

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

7 cups cubed butternut squash (this was about half of a medium sized squash)

1 tablespoon chili powder (this may vary depending on how hot your chili poweder is and how spicy you want your chili)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground coriander

diced canned tomatoes

5 cups cooked chili beans

1 zucchini, diced

2 cups frozen, or fresh, corn kernels

Saute onion and garlic in a pot until golden. Add squash and spices and cook for a few more minutes, until spices are fragrant. Add tomatoes, and beans (you may want to add some additional water at this point, I added about 1/2 cup) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until squash is tender. Add in zucchini and corn and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until all vegetables are cooked. Remove from heat and serve.

-K

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