My second former mother-in-law taught me to make this and I've been making variations on the theme for 39 years. Everyone loves this, kids, grouchy husbands, finicky eaters, vegetarians, vegans, college kids, carnivores, but especially the cook. This is another Summertime and the Livin' is Easy recipe.
ground beef or turkey, browned and drain off the fat on paper towels, so you live longer
coarsely grated cheese of your choice, myself I prefer Monterey Jack or sharp Cheddar
green, yellow, red, and orange bell peppers, chopped
coarsely grated carrots
pinto beans and/or dark red kidney beans
iceberg lettuce, shredded
baby spinach leaves, chopped
several bags of corn chips that are different (recently, I tried utz® all natural Multigrain Tortillas, which are gluten free with no preservatives and no trans fat)
black or green olives, obviously pitted and sliced
All of the above should be placed in nice bowls, clustered in the center of a large table. I put out serving spoons, but mostly they are unused. After all that chopping, it's up to the cook whether to use paper plates or real ones. However, the paper plates should be sturdy. Gather your hungry people. Before the fun begins, pause briefly and say, "Thank you for this Glorious Mess, amen." Because even if you don't usually say grace before meals, I believe the cook should always be thanked in advance. And don't we all have some glorious mess going on in our daily lives that could use a little amen?
The fun part: everyone assembles their own pile of ingredients, usually starting with slightly crushing the chips of your choice into bite-size pieces. The goal is fun eating, colorful, messy eating. Supply various salad dressings, hot sauces, ketchup, and salsa. Use forks, chopsticks, your fingers. Laugh and have plenty of napkins on hand. Hope you enjoy!