My War with Tofu

Mango Curry with Steamed Rice

Mango Curry with Steamed Rice

Yesterday, I was ready to dive in to lunch. I made it Sunday and since curry always tastes better the next day, I didn’t eat a full serving. Instead, I tasted to make sure it was seasoned well and then packed up six lunch-sized containers. I stacked them in the fridge with high hopes for a tasty experience throughout the week. Give me a good recipe and I can cook anything. I’m not a culinary expert. I am an expert direction follower. And I had followed the directions.

Before I go further, I should mention that I’m vegan. See previous post as to why, here. Thus, there is tofu in this recipe.

Also, this was my third attempt at cooking tofu. My first two attempts were, in short, epic failures.

Attempt #1, I made Tofu Chili (recipe here). I drained the extra firm tofu on paper towels, crumbled it up, and sautéed as instructed. Cooked it in the chili for an hour. Chili tasted great once I picked all the tofu out.

Attempt #2, I made Tofu and Potato Hash Browns (recipe here). Again, I drained and blotted the tofu, cut it up, and sautéed it with the potatoes. Ended up eating the potatoes and leaving the tofu behind. Far, far behind.

Attempt #3, My daughter, who is more “in the know” than me said, “You need a tofu press Mom!”

Need to sear something? Cast iron is my tool of choice.

Got one. Pressed the tofu. Which was kinda fun. Sliced it. Then I was instructed to sear it. Used my cast iron pan for that.

Flipping my little tofu briquettes in my perfectly seasoned cast iron pan went smoothly. No sticking. Just a nice sizzle.

Then I put them into the Mango Curry. Recipe from Thug Kitchen. THE. BEST. EVER. COOKBOOK (Thug Kitchen Cookbook).

The finished product smelled divine! It passed the initial taste test too. But honestly, I did not eat a piece of the tofu just yet. Mostly because I thought the tofu would taste better if it had a chance to soak overnight in the curry sauce.

So back to diving in to my lunch. Did I finally achieve a tofu triumph? Was I on my way to winning the war? How exactly did the tofu taste?

Yeah, well, you know those pink school erasers?

Just in case you forgot what one looks like. Now you know what one tastes like.

Score as of today: TOFU 3, ME 0

Any tofu cooking tips are more than welcome in the comments below.

My Turn: The Force Awakens, or How to Clone a Story

You’ve all seen it right? Maybe a couple times by now? Know the dialogue by heart? Even if you haven’t seen it, you’ve heard all about it. Read reviews. Glimpsed the Facebook chat and Twitter feeds.

What? You live on Tristan da Cunha you say?Well, if you haven’t seen it, turn back!!! Spoilers abound. I’ve waited a couple months to post this, and frankly, I can’t wait a moment longer.

My review: I hated it. I loved it. I hated it some more. I hated myself for hating it. I hated myself for loving it. It disappointed on so many levels, but then there were occasional bright and shiny moments that made me feel very, very happy.

It made me pop in the DVDs and rewatch the first three (no not those other three, I pretend they never happened).

TOP FOUR FIVE EIGHT, ok TEN REASONS I HATED IT, but I’ll stick with FIVE for now…

1. Desert Planet. All those Imagineers at Disney and all they can come up with is another desert planet for the primary setting? Tatooine meet Jakku, Jakku meet Tatooine. What? You’re the same planet and we just don’t know it yet? Well, that explains everything.

Hero on harsh desert planet

Hero on harsh desert planet

Heroine on harsh desert planet.

Heroine on harsh desert planet.







2. Death Star 1, 2, and yep, there’s another one. Really? Years of advancement in space weaponry and what do we get? A Supermassive Black Hole devouring everything in sight like a giant space PacMan? A genetically-engineered army of creatures that feed on both technology and flesh? An insidious space vapor that once inhaled makes the brain compliant to all Empire commands? No. We get a third Death Star. With the same weaknesses. Obviously The Empire has a short memory.

3. The Angsty, Misunderstood, AngryTeen with Parent Issues and a Big Light Saber.  Kylo Ren isn’t a villain. He’s a thug who throws a tantrum when he doesn’t get his way. Does he cooly dispatch dissenters with the wave of a hand? No, he whines about them and then orders others to do the job for him. Does he fight his father in an epic battle to prove his superiority? Why, no. He might as well have murdered him in his sleep. Boo. Just boo. I would’ve rather seen a Disney Villain take down Han Solo. Yeah I’ve joined the hatin’ on Ren bandwagon. BTW, he should’ve taken his helmet off for the first time on the catwalk with dad. BBTW, why does every death star have to have a catwalk over a vast abyss?

4. Oh Where Oh Where Did the Chemistry Go?

Maybe if Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher had gone out for a candle-lit dinner a couple times before filming they wouldn’t have seemed like a couple of dead fish in a sack. Han and Chewie still had that ease you love to see when two people “get” each other, but it was no wonder Han and Leia weren’t together any more (even before you-know-what happens to Han). When Leia says, “As much as we fought, I hated it when you left,” she might as well have been saying, “Don’t you have somewhere else you have to be?” And no, age didn’t kill the chemistry. If you think you can’t be old and hot at the same time then you must’ve missed Katherine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier in Love Among the Ruins, or Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin in It’s Complicated.

5. Who’s in Charge Now?


The Empire? Well how did that happen? Wasn’t the Empire defeated in Return of the Jedi?  Maybe a little backstory to set the political stage would’ve been helpful. ‘Cause if the Empire’s in charge, what’s The FIrst Order trying to accomplish, and if they’re not in charge, why is The Resistance called The Resistance?

So with all these flaws, why does this movie have a place in my heart? Well, that’s a subject for another post, but one reason is:

Doesn-t everyone have one?

Doesn-t everyone have one?


Burned Out from Summer Off?

Skeletal hands
A normal summer is me recovering from the hectic pace of 60 hour college semester work weeks. The only time when I get to put the word normal back into my life. Like, normally doing laundry once a week. Normally sleeping eight hours a night. Normally seeing my friends and family on a regular basis. Summer = three months of soul rejuvenation before the nine months of crazy takes over.

Only this summer, was not normal. This was the dreaded every third summer. This was the summer the faculty at my employer changed their Learning Management System (LMS). Again.

Yes, I’ve taught online for nine years and this will be the third LMS we’ve used.

Nothing to it. Take everything from the old system: syllabi, course structures, presentations, 100s of files, links, videos, quizzes, assignments, rubrics, announcements, discussions, e-mail history, grade books, blah blah blah, and copy it all into the new system. Voila!

But. No.

In the real world, systems don’t always play nice and there are plenty of surprises along the way. Two hundred hours, seven live classes and two archived for Spring, I hold my breath and hope everything works as planned Monday morning.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m good with change. Often a change leader, sometimes a go with the flow gal, rarely a complainer. But when 2016 rolls around . . . I really don’t want to link back to this post.

Photo by Phil Date

This is a personal weblog. Opinions expressed here are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.