Today my son texted me from work to ask if I was cooking lunch. He sounded hungry and I immediately had these irrational pictures in my mind of Biafra. So even though I had a session at the doctor’s this morning and I don’t usually cook when I do, I wracked my brain for something quick and easy to make for lunch. No, he’s not starving to death, is an adult, and has never been truly hungry but if my child, your child, any child is hungry, it makes me crazy.
It was particularly difficult for me in Africa and Bangladesh where so many children are hungry. I carried bags of rice, fruit and vegetables in the car and used to jump out at corners where homeless children were standing to distribute what I could. I also snatched children off the streets in front of my house in Senegal, the absolute worse country for child abuse and starvation, brought them into the garden and fed them. The children were one of the reasons that I left Senegal early, retired to France, leaving my husband to finish out his career. I couldn’t stand to look anymore.
Here in the affluent U.S., we have an educational program entitled “No Child Left Behind”, which I thought endeavored to ensure that every American child received a basic education but the program, in reality, just lowers the bar and pushes half educated children through high school, ill-prepared to succeed in the job market and life. But they’re not hungry. That is, unless they have strange, crazy parents who are untouched by hunger that is not their own. But that’s another rant.
Yes, this is a food blog but I felt like saying it.
Quick and Easy Lamb Chili
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 ground lamb
1 tbsp Penseys hot chili powder
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes and chillies
2 cans cannellini beans, drained
2 cups tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Barely wilt the onion and garlic in the olive oil, then add the ground lamb and brown until all the pick is gone. Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander and stir for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with the grated cheese and saltines.