Ages ago (ok, march 2003) I asked my mom for her recipe, 'cause I'd never really watched her make it (if we ignore the incident with the tequila). Here's what we sent, and what I'm planning to work with:
I never really used a recipe
cumin (very important)
tomatoes and/or tomato sauce,or tomatoes with green
you could use one of those chili seasoning packages
your father liked to start with Mannings frozen chili
block and add to it.
Oddly, she doesn't mention the tequila. It leaves me wondering if I /need/ to use low-grade stuff (she used Black Death), or if I can use some of the higher-grade stuff we have on hand. Or whether I should bother at all. I should reply and ask what purpose it served... I'll go do that.