This morning is kinda the beginning of Winter here in Tennessee, I reckon, since it got down to about 15 degrees last night, and Hoar Frost is laying heavy over the creek and the Sycamores, covering what grass remains. However, since this is the Mid-South, and not the North Pole or somewhere in Wisconsin, by Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day the Sun will be shining bright with 64 degree heat and lay-out weather… a very short Winter, huh? But, today, we celebrate this cold weather with the best remedy I know of… Uh huh… good weather for… CHILI!

I can trace my love for Chili back to a very definite location… a place that does not exist anymore, but which was an important refuge for the country music makers of the 50’s and 60’s. It was called Linebaugh’s and was a restaurant in downtown Nashville on Broadway, when the Opry was still at the Ryman, right across from Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, and just a door or two up from the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. Linebaugh’s kinda took the place of a Rescue Mission for pickers in those years before the big money took over country music.

When I arrived on the scene, moving to Nashville in 1962, hoping to keep from starving to death before I made it to the “big time” (wasn’t sure what the big time was, but I knew I wanted to get there), I survived the first year or so, thanks to Linebaugh’s. You could buy a big bowl of Chili, for 50 cents… eat that… then fill the bowl up with crackers and ketchup, and eat that while drinking a big glass of milk for another 20 cents. Man, you had a meal that would get you there… trouble is, when you got there (wherever there happened to be) you were generally so full of chili gas that people would just look at you and say, “Hmmm… been to Linebaugh’s again, huh?” To this day, chili does not taste right to me until I empty ‘bout half a bottle of ketchup in it. Let’s see now, where is the Classic Country Hot Salsa that gives it that special firey taste?

Stan Hitchcock

Classic Country Foods Hot Pepper Jelly
Classic Country Foods Mild Pepper Jelly
Cream Cheese

Take an 8-ounce block of cream cheese; it can even be the low or no-fat variety. Cut it into two equal portions and place them on a serving platter that has a slight rim. I like to space the blocks 3-4 inches apart. To prepare, spoon Classic Country Foods Red Hot Pepper Jelly over one cream cheese block and the Green Mild Pepper Jelly over the other.