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Toon News -- korkis' kartoon korner

Jim Korkis is an award winning teacher, a professional actor and magician, and a published author. He is an internationally recognized animation historian and Disney authority.

Larry's Toon Institute PaintbrushesWALT'S CHILI

From Walt's daughter, Diane: "Before he married mother, father had eaten in hash houses and lunch wagons for so many years in order to save money that he'd developed a hash house-lunch wagon appetite. He liked fried potatoes, hamburgers, western sandwiches, hotcakes, canned peas, hash, stew, roast beef sandwiches. He's not keen for steak--or any of the expensive cuts of meat. He doesn't go for vegetables, but he loves chicken livers or macaroni and cheese. He liked to eat at BIFF'S (a little coffee house on a nearby corner). He felt they did their potatoes 'right' there. 'They pan-fry them.' (Our housekeeper, Thelma, went and checked and said they were really hash-browned.) Father ate a big lunch at the studio and then would pick at his dinner. Mother would say, 'Why should Thelma and I plan a meal when all Walt really wants is a can of chili or a can of spaghetti?'"

When Walt had no visitors for lunch, he ate at his desk. His favorite meal was chili and beans. He would combine a can of Gebhardt's (which had much meat and few beans) with a can of Dennison's (which had less meat but more beans). The dish was preceded by a glass of V-8 juice and accompanied by soda crackers. If visitors came to lunch, they were ushered into Walt's conference room at noon. He served them an apertif of V-8 juice which surprised some of his international guests who expected something stronger. Walt's secretary often warned visitors that if Walt offered them a glass of "tomato juice" they had best accept it. There is no documentation about the consequences for refusing.

From the Disney Archives, here is Walt's own secret recipe for his special chili:

  • 2 pounds ground beef (coarse)
  • 2 whole onions (sliced)
  • 2 whole garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 pounds pink beans (dry)
  • 1/2 cups celery (chopped)
  • 1 teas. chili powder
  • 1 teas. paprika
  • 1 teas. dry mustard
  • 1 can solid pack tomatoes (large can)
  • salt to taste

Soak beans overnight in cold water. Drain. Add water to cover 2 inches over beans and simmer with onions until tender (about 4 hours). Meanwhile, prepare sauce by browning meat and minced garlic in oil. Add remaining items and simmer 1 hour. When beans are tender, add sauce and simmer 1/2 hour. Serves 6-8.

Walt often walked around with nuts and crackers in his jacket pockets so that he could have a snack if he felt hungry. If the old expression "You are what you eat" holds true,then the current Walt wannabes might want to explore the diet of a true animation genius.


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