I am not a Boston native. Born and raised in Virginia, schooled in Pennsylvania, and up to Massachusetts after my Master's degree. I always loved Boston, so it my clear frontrunner upon graduation.
First of all, it is fun. There are so many young people, and while it's pretty transient, I've already made some forever friends. Also, you aren't far from anything. You've got beautiful beaches on the cape, the white mountains just a few hours north, and you can easily get out of dodge. You have incredibly smart and driven people here. That makes for a super dynamic city culture. But all that said, three years into living here, and I can tell I take things for granted. What used to be a really fun part of the city to walk through just became a part of my commute. The incredibly passionate Boston sports fans became loud and sometimes obnoxious. The idea of snowy winters quickly lost it's vigor, and suddenly I longed for a change… wanting to make another big move, or perhaps return "home".
The problem was that I hadn't been in Boston, for what seemed like ages. The summer was spent on the cape, working on the weekends, or at another wedding. The fall has been jam packed with more travel, more races, more weddings, and the next thing I knew, I hadn't been in the city in m-o-n-t-h-s. Fortunately for my career, relationships, and overall stability, I spent this weekend here. And I remembered all of the wonderful things that I love about it. I went on a run near the finish line of the Boston marathon and remembered how special that was. I got brunch with some ladies I haven't seen since spring time, and by the way, it was fantastic. I grabbed cocktails with a group of friends that just makes me laugh so hard. I wandered the streets with my manfriend, watched a football game at a Penn State bar and got dinner at one of our favorite Irish bars. I fell back in love with the city in 48 hours. It felt -again- like home.
Sometimes, all it takes is a good coffee date. Sometimes, it's the way the sun sets on the skyline. Sometimes, it's coming home to your cozy apartment or seeing a familiar face unexpectedly. For me, it's all of those things that make Boston home… so just to solidify that, I made chili.
Slow Cooker Chicken Chili
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb ground chicken
2 (10.75 oz) cans low tomato soup
2 (15 oz) cans white kidney beans, drained
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 can crushed canned tomatoes
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 pinch ground allspice salt to taste
1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add chicken to brown. Drain any liquid.
2. Coat the inside of a slow cooker with cooking spray, and add in all ingredients. Use spices to taste (this amount just worked for me!).
3. Cover, and cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Serve with sour cream, chips, etc.