Gotta love it...or hate it! I don't remember hearing anyone say, "It's not my favorite, but it's ok..." No, either you crave Skyline or you curl your nose and say, "It doesn't even taste like chili!"
Some of my favorite childhood memories involve Skyline. We would often (like really often) travel to Cincinnati to visit family, and few things were more fun than heading to Skyline with my aunts, uncles, and cousins. I have some of the coolest aunts, uncles, and cousins, so it was a win-win. :-) Fun times, to say the least!
Anyway, a few years ago Skyline came to Lima and we developed a tight relationship...lol. Tuesday night was kid's night, and it was great to be able to walk in and pay for two adult meals and have all four kids eat free. Not only that, they had a craft table and they would entertain our kids for about 30 minutes, which gave us a free babysitter. :-)
Time moved on, and the boys outgrew the kid's meals (it was getting a little embarassing to ask for two...haha), so they started ordering like big guys. Really big guys. Keep in mind that a large 3-way is over $7 and if we let them purchase a drink and maybe an extra coney, we're talking a $50 meal real quick for a family of six.
Previously, I had purchased canned and frozen Skyline chili to use in Skyline Dip (just add a foundation of cream cheese, a layer of chili, and a cheddar cheese topping - warm in the oven, and dip with tortilla chips), but they weren't cost effective to pull off a meal at home. One day I noticed that Meijer was featuring these on an endcap:
At under $1.40 per packet, I figured it was worth a shot, so I grabbed two. Once the scent of Skyline (of Cincinnati chili) began to permeate the house, I knew it was $ well-spent. Even if it tasted gross, the smell was pure bliss!
Since then, we've made several batches of chili at home. Last Saturday Greg did a double batch in the crock pot. It simmered most of the day, and we have eaten probably 8 meals (x 6 ppl) off of 8 qts. We like to use it on spagetti noodles, fries, hot dogs, and baked potatoes.
I know there are all kinds of copycat recipes out there, but I'm not a 15 ingredient type of cook, and I love it that this packet only requires ground beef (not browned), tomato paste, and water. If you make it, stick to the instructions on the packet or you won't have true Cincinnati chili. Also, we've found that eating it a day or two after cooking gives a better consistency. Usually the smell gets us and we just use bowls to help with the juices for the first day. Also, get yourself a fine grater and a brick of cheddar cheese to achieve an authentic taste!
Yeah, we still go to Skyline sometimes. After all these years, they're like family. :-)