j o h n r a u x

Traditions often hinge on transitions.

It only takes a hint of cold to spark the fall color change. Even now the “flyover country” ignites with unforeseen beauty as curiosity shrouds the midwestern secrets of tradition, culture, and season.

In the midwest, if you don’t like the weather, just wait. Change is in the air and you can generally feel it. I started this weekend at the art openings in the Crossroads of Kansas City. (Sam Billen’s album release/James Barrr’s modified found paintings) The 50 degree drop called for an upgrade to apex insulated gloves for my bike ride downtown and into the weekends adventures.

Some of my comrades at BNIM took over 4 of 7 lanes of Grand Ave to temporarily add bike lanes, public art, trees, and usable public space to help re-imagine the urban landscape(betterblockkc)
At the same time, in the Stockyard district, the world series of BBQ was taking place at the American Royal. It was a sea of smokers, RVs, and culinary delight! 
In response to the smoked meat clouds hovering over the city, I prepared a vegan chili that I call “Jackie Chan” (and made tacos) before heading towards Chilifest in Lupus, MO.

!Jackie Chan!
2 cans green Jackfruit.
1 small white or red onion.
2 cloves of garlic
2 tomatoes
4 thai chilis
2 red fresnos
4 habaneros
1 cup of sweet corn
2 tablespoons of cumin
1 tablespoon of chili powder
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 cup of black beans
1 cup of Mexican chili beans
Saute the Jackfruit with the onions, garlic, and peppers. Add the cumin, chili powder, and brown sugar and caramelize the mixture before adding the rest of the ingredients. Add water, salt, tomato paste, srirache, to taste and desired proportion. 
 Garnish with fresh cilantro. 
Prepare to be kicked in the face and then the ace.
The Kansas City carpool train to Lupus almost exceeded its population! 
At the dead end of a forgotten highway on the Missouri River, the Lupus Chili festival reappears at the cusp of autumn each year to inspire with the tastes and sounds of Americana. Camping during the first frost transforms the cookfire into campfire, friends into family, and nature into home. Rural people watching balanced with homemade habanero wine and the temptation to get lost on the Katy trail/Lewis&Clark trail make this place magical (with a twist of mischievous). 
After passing my limit on the homemade pie, I retreated to the fire for poetic ghost stories, s’mores with ghirardelli chocolate squares, and a quickened test drive of a new tent(NFace Pheonix2- singlewall awesomeness).
Camping by the river can certainly make for “chilly” mornings but offers an exchange of super comfortable decomposing bamboo (similar to pine needle duff) to sleep on while leaving very little footprint. The morning dew in its crystalline form gave a crunch to my march to see a spectacular sunrise and the ghostly evaporating river. I sat on a log and contemplated the summer now gone with the full anticipation of the season to come.
  • 30 October 2012

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