Chili. Who doesn’t have a favorite family recipe or a newly discovered one to share?

There are vegetarian recipes, those with ground turkey, chuck roast or any number of combinations of beans, seasonings and so on. There are competitions, serious ones, devoted to nothing but chili.

Chili is also a favorite at church fellowship dinners, as it was for the following recipe, which comes from my sister-in-law in Florida. She didn’t remember if the recipe won the competition at her church, but she did remember how much she enjoyed it.

After tasting multiple recipes, it was the slight sweetness of this one that won over her palate. In sending the recipe, Lou Klaiber noted that the flavor of her chili is enhanced if cooked the day before and left in the refrigerator overnight. She says to reheat and remove the bay leaves before serving.

It does require a large slow cooker and if you’re looking to serve a crowd, this is the recipe.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at