Lessons and Tofu

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's day. I sure did, even with hubby out of town. I learned two things: First, tofu tastes like nothing, but feels kind of like meat when you eat it. Second, there are somethings I should simply embrace and not feel guilt for.

I don't know if anyone out there eats tofu. I've never eaten it, but I do really enjoy making sushi, and I read on a website that tofu is a good ingredient to add. I decided to brave the 'Uh-oh, there's another one of those tofu-eating dolphin huggers' looks at the grocery store and selected some extra firm from the tofu section.

Now it seems to me that with tofu, you either love it or hate it. I admit, when I pulled it from the package, it didn't look that appetizing. Despite my interest in experimenting I waffled a bit, not wanting to ruin perfectly good sushi with the bland grey food product. My 9 year old son and I conferred (he's a sushi aficionado, believe it or not) and we decided to chop some up and put it in a salad as a test run. The verdict--tofu has no taste. Zero, zip, nothing. But it 'felt' like we were eating chicken, which was kind of cool. Weird, but cool. In any event, both of us were glad we confined it to the salad rather than letting it merge with the nori and rice.

After our tofu experiment we went ahead and made sushi (sans tofu) and then I set the kids loose on the bright outdoors. I was looking forward to getting some writing done, seeing as I'd done absolutely nothing and the day was creeping into the south end of late afternoon. It was warm out and with all the huge dumps of snow, perfect weather to build a snow fort.

My two sons came to the door only moments after I bundled them up, asking me to come build with them. As I stood in the doorway, I could feel my WIP staring holes in my back. I really needed to work on it. With all my appointments and field trips in the previous day, I'd had no time for it then either. But as any mom knows, the guilt of the "Please, Mom?" has nothing on an unfinished story, so I suited up and started piling snow.

It was such a great time, and so fun to be working on a project with my boys--something they were excited about. As I looked down at my wet gloves and snow-filled boots, I realized that I should never let the guilt of not writing get in the way of my life. There will always be an unfinished manuscript, but only a set amount of "Please, Mom?" left before my two little monsters are all growed up.

So, get out there and have some fun. Go for a walk, laugh, build a snow fort. The work will always be there, but life will move on, with or without us.

13 comments:

Becca said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for posting this. Whatever your career, there will always be things that are more important. What's more, little breaks, or even long vacations, are rejuvenating for everyone, so why do writers beat the crap out of themselves for indulging??

So preach on! Power to the people! Time to get back to the Playstation...

Angela said...

LOL! Thanks Becca! Go, Playstation!!

courtney said...

Ooh, tofu has so much potential! But it needs to be given flavour. One thing you can do with it is cut it into squares (I think you need the firmer tofu to do this) and fry it and then dip it in sweet and sour dipping sauce. And then some people like it made into mock-tuna salads (or chick peas for that matter!). Tofu is a suitable egg replacement as well! Scrambled tofu... oh the possibilities are endless! But it's not for everyone. I don't eat it much, hee.

& This was a lovely entry.

The work will always be there, but life will move on, with or without us.

That should be on a poster and prominently displayed everywhere, in my humble opinion.

Angela said...

Yes one thing I did like was how the tofu picked up the flavour of the salad dressing. I haven't given up on it yet! I think it would taste really good in a soup, or a stirfry. I'm planning on stirfrying this week, so I'll give it a try then and see how it goes.

I didn't know that the softer toufs could duplicate as eggs---now that's an interesting possibility...thanks!

Rachel said...

Great advice and a great fort! I agree with you on the tofu thing. My teen daughter is newly vegetarian and eats the tofu chicken nuggets. The texture is very meat-like, but there is zero flavor.

Susan Sandmore said...

Wow, look at that fort! Looks like a great time was had by all!

Kate said...

I have to admit I've never tried tofu. Just the look of it puts me off.
Great advice about forgetting work occasionally. They grow up so fast!

Angela said...

Thanks--we worked hard on it. Usually we don't get this much snow all at once, so we can't make such a huge fort, but this year, all our snow has come at once.

Ardyth said...

Hahahahaha. I've been vegetarian since I was twelve and I love tofu. Generally it's best fried first before used in spring rolls and sushi, although I've seen some resturants use it raw and thinly sliced.

I recomend pressing the tofu (wrap it in a towel and put it between two plates and stack some pots on top) before frying it to get some of the water out. ;) If you then dip the tofu in flour and fry it at high heat in soy oil, it'll brown nicely. Soy sause and seasame oil are both nice ways to flavor it.

If you press and freeze it, it'll take on a different texture and really soak up marnade extra well after its thawed. We tend to use shreaded frozen-then-thawed tofu when making enchaladas.

I have a whole cookbook of western style tofu recepees as well which use it for egg or meat replacement. My favorite is the peanut butter cookies. %-) Mmm. And even better, you can eat as much uncooked dough as you want without fear of samanila poisoning. :D

--The DO

Angela said...

Hey Dreaded One! I know I shouldn't give up on Tofu yet. Thanks for the tips!

CJRay said...

I've come to the conclusion, that I need a vacation! Oh, tofu is best when cooked with something that has juices to it. It will take on whatever flavor you cook it with. I prefer the "Boca" stuff instead. Boca Burgers, Boca Meat (I put it in chili, and spaghetti, no one knows!)
Anyhoo! Great post, as usual!

XOXO CJ

Donna said...

I use tofu in a creamsicle shake that I make. The thing is, I had no idea how to tell when it went bad because I didn't use an entire block at once. Hell, I couldn't tell when it was good let alone when it was bad. So I ate from the same block for a month and a half. Yeah, it's good for 2 to 3 days after it's opened. Hey, it wasn't growing anything and it didn't have any kind of odd smell. How was I supposed to know? But at least now I know why my stomach wasn't pretty during that time. Plus, you're supposed to change it's water if you don't use the whole block. Apparently it has goldfish tendencies.

Angela said...

Oh my gosh, Donna--you are braver than I, putting tofu in a milkshake. Glad you mentioned the shelf life angle, too--I was wonder how one would tell that it was going bad, if it would go moldy or what. Yikes!

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