spirit flows thru -- Alison Rittger's spiritual reflections on finding the holy in the daily
PicturePumpkin chili ala Alison
At my new space, 100 Grand Ave., a restaurant isn't one of the perks. This is good because I am under some filial pressure to take responsibility for what I eat. It helps to have a kitchen bigger and better equipped than the miniature at Hotel Lake Merritt. Having kitchen amenities didn't matter there as most residents are relieved to be off kitchen duty. Here, my kitchen is conducive to staying involved in self-care. It has a washer-dryer, microwave, stove, refrigerator, garbage disposal. Few excuses for falling down on the job.

 Moreover, being successful in the kitchen has become kind of a big deal for me, particularly as it involves delving into Thug Kitchen, a vegan cookbook, gifted to me by my first born son. I am one among many whom it is his mission to convert to a vegan diet. (Parenthetically, I take some credit for the passion this son and the younger two bring to feeding themselves and those they care about. As a parent, I proved a kitchen disappointment, setting such an egregious example that over the years all three were driven to excellence as payback.) And my oldest son was married for a time to a culinary school graduate. Clearly the skill and passion for all things kitchen rubbed off.

Fed by his love for animals, he seriously converted to vegan cooking quite a while ago. I could follow his exploits as he posted them with pictures on Facebook. Maybe he feels really comfortable in Thug Kitchen because he is profanity-compatible. And scarcely an instruction in the book, from the first page to the last, lacks a !#^%%#^ing descriptor. Even the front cover advises readers to “eat like you give a $&^%@*!”

My first foray into Thug Kitchen was page 97, Pumpkin Chili. To organize myself, I used the camera on my phone to capture the ingredients. Leaving myself lots of time and going to a Trader Joe in Berkeley less congested than the tiny jammed TJ on Lakeshore in Oakland, I could consult the picture of listed ingredients as I searched out garlic, a kind of onion but smaller that you have to mince yourself. I skipped the jalapenos as I don’t really know what they look like. I forgot the *$@$#%@#! cumin, which was a required ingredient. And because pumpkin puree is seasonal, I settled for pumpkin soup, planning to add it without additional broth or water. Once I began to make the recipe, careful not to skip a #^$%#@^-ing step, I saw I was short on chili powder and had to substitute chipotle chili. I realized this made me a total *$@#$!@$, but so be it.

To shorten a long string of expletives, I succeeded in creating a Pumpkin Chili to be proud of, and it was a cause of mutual rejoicing when I texted my vegan son with the good news. He was proud of me, texting back: “Keep up the good work, holmes, and be sure to post to Facebook.”  What the $@%!, I don’t plan to do that.

Guy Rittger
4/1/2015 06:13:02 am

!#@$!@$ awesome! Gonna dial me up some of that chili this weekend, now that the $#$#$! minestrone is almost gone. Keep the faith, Maitre.

4/1/2015 07:17:52 am

@$#&/ fantastic Ma

4/1/2015 02:21:09 pm

Darling and descriptive #¥¥£?}*++@// such fun to read, picture and hear! Xoxolp

Stan Hartzell
4/28/2015 03:07:55 am

Oh Alison I don't consider myself a prude but I'm not a fan of foul language and I feel like a hypocrite BUT I have Thug Kitchen and I absolutely love it - the receipes and I have chuckled with some of the language.

Comments are closed.