balmofgilead: (Default)
ah-HA! Success at cooking tofu on the stovetop is mine at last. The things that seem to make the difference are:

-HOT pan
-cast iron* pan (thank you kind neighbor-lady for cleaning out your basement and giving us your awesome old one)

-water has been pressed out of tofu adequately

For a long time I've just been eating tofu cold or warmed in the microwave, 'cause I don't mind it that way, but I feel much happier being able to pan-fry it. It was embarrassing being a vegetarian who can't cook pan-fry tofu--for some reason it never worked well for me. It took three tries in a row, but I think I've got it down now: it didn't fall apart in the pan and it didn't stick to the pan at all or absorb much oil. Actually, I probably could have gotten away with using even less oil than the 1/8" or so that I used.

It feels like a waste waiting for a cast iron pan to heat up all the way and not cook a bunch of stuff. I did 18 oz of tofu this time, but I think if I do it again I'll cook two packages at once and then stick it in the fridge. Cold pan-fried tofu is better than cold uncooked tofu.

*stainless steel and aluminum get a huge thumbs-down for this, and I have a congenital inability to cook anything successfully in Teflon (I inherited that from my mom, it seems)
balmofgilead: (Default)
A recent Stuffing Incident confirmed that I am indeed a vegetarian at heart. It's not because it's cheaper, healthier, or better for the environment, though those are all mighty good reasons that I bring up frequently. I can't really say it's for animal rights reasons either--lord knows how many chicken embryos my lab partner and I killed last spring in the name of science education.

It's because at least 50% of the time I can't stand eating flesh.

I'm not grossed out easily. I stuck my hand up inside our (raw) turkey on Thursday, I watched my housemate Tom open oysters last week, and I clean up poop and vomit at work. But there's just no way to sanitize/purify/dissociate flesh enough that I can eat it consistently. The waste products--bones, tendons, random chewy ligaments--are incredibly disturbing to me. They're not the same as grapefruit seeds or potato peels or the rinds of cantaloupe.

(That's why I don't generally encourage other people to be vegetarians, or grudge them for eating meat [though I do defend vegetarianism]. It's easy for me to stay away. I get the impression it's nothing like that for most people. )

Today I'm going through this phase where I want to shave my head or crop my hair close to my head. It has nothing to do with making an external statement. It's part of this desire to streamline and simplify myself, almost to strip expression. [Curly hair is disorderly in a way--it's never the same twice, it's not symmetrical, it doesn't stay the same from morning til night and it can't be restored by brushing. ]


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