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.