So, I'm reading the next chapters in the Varieties and cooking at the same time. I reach into the cabinet and get all the "chili stuff" out of the cabinet; red beans, black beans, tomato paste, tomatoes, little green chilis. An entire constellation of canned goods. I'm still reading. I begin to open the cans and dump them into the pot with the ground beef. The tomato paste doesn't come out with out a spoon and I stir it in. Then I look at the can -- it's canned pumpkin. Huh.
I add a can of tomato paste and taste it -- I can't taste the pumpkin. Maybe THIS is how I get the kids to eat more veggies. I stir in more spices and put the pot on high to come to a boil. I'm still reading. I forget about the pot until I hear it bubbling -- I've scorched it. I now have scorched pumpkin chili.
I decant the chili into another pot making sure I don't get the burnt bits. The chili now tastes decidedly "smoky." I've now added MORE spices, including some curry powder because I've run out of everthing else.
We are having curried pumpkin chili for dinner. I wonder if anyone will notice the difference?
The conclusion: William James has inspired me to new heights in cooking.