Shaken, Not Stirred

Tofu: tasteless bean milk pressed into blocks.

Have you ever tried to milk a soybean? It’s extremely difficult. Soybeans are rather teensy and have exceptionally minuscule teats for their body mass. They also tend to object to the whole milking process and, having no head, securing them for any length of time is often problematic. I had an entire herd of soybeans rampage in my kitchen just the other night, knocking over the salt cellar and causing the cat to skitter from the room. If you are patient, however, you can manage to milk enough soybeans to make a block of tofu.

It’s lovely when cooked in Japanese restaurants. My kitchen does not resemble such a place in any way and my last attempt at edible tofu yielded a solid round of disgust from the family and the discovery that the Hover Pig (our dog Ginger) loved the stuff.
If I could reincarnate Ginger, I would. She would be the failsafe. You see, lurking in our refrigerator at this very moment is a batch of cubed tofu suspended in sauce.

Lendie, my charming vegan chat companion and record-setting tofu gobbler, was absolutely brimming with handy ideas.

“Aut, did you press the brick?” she asked. She knows me by my screen name, 'Autrice'.

“Did I do what to it?”

“Press it. Auty, you’ve got to press it to get the water out.”
Why in the bloody hell would someone make a product that arrives packaged in liquid that you must spend an hour pressing out? Is it so difficult to make freeze-dried tofu? Pardon me a moment. I have to grab two plates and a New York City phone book and let the whole contraption sit for an hour.

“Aut, at least an hour. More is better.”
Why didn’t someone tell me this before I had all the other food prepped?

“And, I’d marinate it, since you’re not used to it.”

Used to it? Do I want to get used to it? I only bought it because Gorgeous Chick and her boyfriend, the Sex God, were standing in the Healthy Section discussing how lovely it would be to have tofu and sprouts with their Delightful Children.


“After you’ve covered it in a marinade, for God’s sake, gently shake the bowl like you’re panhandling for gold. Don’t stir it.”


“You’ll have mush.”
I think that it’s fairly obvious to even the most casual observer that tofu is in fact nothing but mush. In my case, it is $3 worth of extra firm mush.

I pressed it for an hour and ten minutes. I dried it off. I cut it into cubes. I covered it with Teriyaki sauce, chicken broth, onion powder and black pepper. I even went so far as to nibble a piece of it after only ten minutes in its bath (and I have to admit, it didn’t taste all that bad raw.)
I don’t know what to do with it at this point. Perhaps I’ll fry it.

Lendie, bereft of any genuine protein in her diet, passed out hours ago and forgot to send me a recipe. At least she had the opportunity to enjoy that cup of cleansing tea beforehand.

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