Don’t put chili in a Ziploc bag. Ever.

We made chili last weekend and, since it was so exciting, we invited everyone in my husband’s immediate family over. They’re all British and weren’t super-excited about the menu but we promised tea by the rivers afterwards so we were forgiven. They all came over at once, except for Pete, my husband’s brother. He was busy working and couldn’t make it.

We had the infamous chili and it was a success in spite of the fact that it was vegetarian. No one complained and everyone ate it and we declared it a success. With tea and cookies afterwards, we mellowed out on the couches, ready for some juicy conversation. I was right into it when I spotted my husband cursing away in the kitchen.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“I’m going to send Pete some chili but I don’t want to use one of our containers. No one ever returns the things and I’m sick of it. I’m going to put it in a ziploc bag.”

I started to tell him that I didn’t think that was such a great idea but he had that gleam in that he gets when he works out, so I shut up.

Sure enough, two second later, he had scooped up some of the chili and dumped it into the bag. Now, say what you will about chili as a food but it is not and never will be a culinary feast for the eyes. However, introducing it into a plastic bag does nothing to help things. The bag that my husband held was a mess. The brown, heterogenous goop inside it was liberally splattered with brown and white lumps that were indecipherable and looked like anything but food. I doubt even Sherlock would have ever identified it as chili.

My hubby, however, didn’t seem to see a problem. He zipped the bag, delivered it and came back triumphant, ready for a cup of tea to celebrate.

“Did you leave him a note?” I asked.

“No need.”

Oh dear.

Not ten minutes later, we got a call from Pete. “Our neighbours hate us,” he told me over the phone. “They’ve started picking up their dog feces and leaving them on our doorstep in a bag. And that dog isn’t doing so well. I hate to tell you what his droppings look like.”

“Good news,” I told my husband, “Pete got our chili.”