To Boldly Go

I’m not afraid to admit that I have more issues than a magazine rack. Amongst the silliest is fear and amongst the most interesting are my love-hate relationships. But let’s start with fear.

It’s unfortunate but I find that I’m afraid of a great many things, spanning numerous topics and to varying degrees. And given the nature of my blog and why I’ve created it, it’s time I address – in no particular order, some of my lingering fears. Today’s fear of the day to be addressed is:

Pressure cookers.

I have this vision of using a pressure cooker incorrectly and in this vision one of many things could happen. One potential is, the lid goes ballistic at mach two while attempting to make a ‘simple’ dish, creating a hole future skylight opening in my roof as it’s making its way into the troposphere, while simultaneously activating the moving target indication radar system at Mayport Naval Base. I imagine being interrogated by all kinds of US and military intelligence about how and where I got the technology to build such a ‘device’. I mean, how embarrassing would it be to try to explain that I don’t understand the fundamentals of a pressure cooker? Then there’s the matter of dealing with my homeowners insurance agent trying to explain the damage to my roof, the trees, and the few unfortunate birds that happened to by flying just above my stove when the lid became airborne. I am not afraid to say it out loud. I’m afraid of these things.

The next vision I have involves me making several metric tons of bland, over cooked, inedible food. I hate wasting food and when I make a meal that sucks I eat it anyhow, wasting as little food as possible. And that in and of itself is enough to keep me from trying new recipes and appliances. If you only knew how many meals I’ve prepared that even the dog won’t eat, you’d understand well my trepidation. Now that I’m a vegan I cannot rely on the usual fixes for a bad meal – adding extra butter, meat and cheese.

Another vision is that after all my pitfalls I’d end up putting it up for sale on Craigslist with some creative subject line like, “estate sale, everything must go”, and hoping no one sees through my feeble deception. I fear that every person who comes to check out my barely used pressure cooker for sale will instinctively know that I’m a hopeless appliance nerd who can’t even figure out how to use the most basic and oldest known, modern cooking device. That’s a lot for one person to handle.

You can see how my fears have kept me from using this timeless kitchen aid. Surely though, if a thousand or more people on Amazon can figure it out I should be able to right? In the spirit of experiencing different and new things and seeking out other ways to accomplish familiar things, I decided to face up to my fears and buy a pressure cooker.

As mentioned, I’m pretty scared about all this. Not because of the fears mentioned above, except perhaps the bad meal argument. It’s because I’m afraid to fail; of making yet another dish that deals a blow to my culinary self-esteem. And now that I’ve gone public, the success or potential failure of my first endeavor will be amplified by a million. Nonetheless, I’m going to give it a try. I don’t have it yet because I’ just ordered it, but I am going to take a leap and try something in spite of my mortal fear of failure. So stay tuned for what I expect should be some very entertaining posts about my new gadget.

About my love-hate relationships, I will admit that I have many. One of which is tofu.

Prior to be becoming a vegan I used to turn my nose up at tofu. Let’s be honest here. Who in their right mind would ever consider tofu a food or include it in a meal? What is that stuff anyhow? It looks like something the North Korean remedial science team whipped up in the lab by accident, or it’s the result obtained from the same process that produced vulcanized rubber or plastic. It feels like some substance that was found growing deep inside the Earth, on a cool, damp cave wall. Tofu? Seriously?? Who would eat this stuff anyway? Only vegan-tree-hugger-hippie-people, that’s who. Not me! I’m a carnivore. I laugh in the face of tofu.

My, how times have changed.

While I will admit that I absolutely hate the thought of tofu, I love the idea that I may be able to make something I like with it. And since tofu is an essential part of most vegan and vegetarian dishes, I might as well just accept it, embrace it, deal with it, and learn to prepare it well. That’s what I’m going to do. No more turning my nose up at it. No more making that ‘blech’ sound when I think about eating it. When it inadvertently comes in a dish I order in a restaurant, no more poking it endlessly with my fork and contemplating it’s origins and how it came to be food. No. This weekend I’m going to make my first tofu dish.

I was at Native Sun not long ago and was Jones’n for a real breakfast, with eggs, bacon, toast – the works. I went to the deli and tried one of their vegan breakfast burritos which was much better than I expected. It consisted of tofu scrambled ‘eggs’ with various vegetables, vegan cheese and fake bacon bits. What made the burrito was the fake bacon bits. Those were surprisingly good. Together, all the flavors and texture and the fact that I could treat it like the food I used to eat made it just wonderful. I savored every bite of it and now my goal is to reproduce the same thing at home.

I can feel y’all turning your nose up at it and making that ‘blech’ sound, and I don’t blame you. That would have been me a year ago, so I understand.

Of course I knew what I was eating wasn’t real scrambled eggs and cheese. My goal isn’t to try to make vegan dishes that look, taste and have the exact same texture as it’s carnivore equivalent, but I am hoping for a very acceptable, tasty and satisfying substitute.

So this weekend I will be making scrambled eggs from tofu. I have all the ingredients for a fabulous breakfast burrito, and I am very optimistic that it’ll turn out just fine.

Regardless, this weekend will prove to be quite interesting, cooking wise.

If the scrambled eggs turn out well, the recipe will be forthcoming.  If you don’t see the recipe you’ll know my tofu experiment crashed and burned like the Northrop M2-F2.

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One Response to To Boldly Go

  1. BigWaveSurfer says:

    I too have tofu fear. Fortunately for me I’m not a vegetarian. 🙂

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