Tofu is inexpensive, filling, nutritious, and … often tastes terrible. It doesn’t have to. I promise. Time and temperature are two simple tricks that can turn your tofu frown upside down.
One of our staple meals for busy weeknights is a tofu and veggie stir fry over brown rice. We cook and eat a lot of tofu and we’ve cooked and eaten a lot of bad tofu but over the years we eventually found a simple way to make it taste great in three simple steps.
We had a rare Saturday where we had very little scheduled. We weren’t entertaining. We weren’t crashing someone’s house to be entertained. We had no houseguests. No expectations. The only official thing on the docket was a make-up field hockey game late in the afternoon. Otherwise we were free to make like Whitman or Thoreau, men who valued the virtue of loafing, and spend a Saturday doing very little.
You can probably guess how this goes.
It was a challenge for Michelle to turn off her puritan work ethic. The sweetness of doing nothing does not come naturally. The clutter in the basement, or under the cabinet in the bathroom, or that one drawer in the kitchen, was a siren song…
The main summer season CSA is winding down to its final weeks and while we made it through the dense thicket of zucchini, we now find ourselves awash in many different varieties of squash. We’ve roasted most of that squash into submission but it still persists.
What to do? How to get the kids to eat it?
Make cookies, of course.
Cecilia lost her last baby tooth this week. One more childhood ritual done. One step closer to manic teenager. Maybe because it’s rather innocuous, not scheduled, and not typically celebrated with a Hallmark card, it caught us all a little off-guard. Or maybe it was just the end of a long Tuesday and the wine wasn’t open yet. Either way, it was a bit emotional.
Cecilia wrote a long and sweet good-bye letter. Fidget Windwand (the nom de plume of our tooth fairy) wrote a poetic response. We’re at the awkward stage where we are not totally sure is she is playing us, hanging on (for the cash), or genuinely believes.
I’m sure we’ll have plenty of years in the near future where nothing will be cool and astonishing and being a child is for babies. I’m happy to wait on that. For this last night, we were all believers.
For me, I’ve come to believe, that writing is a craft. You need to practice and you need to learn. If you want to write, by far the most important and useful writing advice you’ll ever get is to write (followed closely by reading, a lot).
Don’t talk about it. Don’t wish for it. Put your butt in the seat and do it.
One of Ally’s after school program teachers pulled me aside at pickup recently and told me how nice and helpful Ally is with her friends. I smiled and nodded. That’s always nice to hear as a parent. But she persisted. This wasn’t a one-off thing or making conversation while we waited. She really wanted me to know that Ally genuinely looked out for and cared about her friends. More warm glow…but gotta get home and make dinner.
That comment actually sunk in three days later as we labored over more reading. Ally is now starting to run up against some concepts that are hard or more difficult than kindergarten. She gets frustrated. Sometimes I get…frustrated.
Maybe I could learn something from Ally. The reading will come. Base 10 understanding will come. The capital of West Virginia…well, you can always Google that. What matters more in the long run is whether we care about and think about other people, or if the only thoughts in our heads are about ourselves. That’s hard to teach but thankfully Ally seems to have that covered.
When you tell people you are going to do an overnight 200-mile relay race that involves traveling in a van with 6 other people for 36 hours, getting little sleep, running at 2 am, all while paying for the privilege, you are going to get one of two reactions: some will get a recognizable gleam in their eye and ask if there are still any open spots in the van. The others will openly question your sanity. One of the many joys of belonging to a local running club is that I saw much more of the former than the latter.