Gelatinous wallpaper paste.

Can you guess what I’m pushing around the frying pan?

Yup. Tofu.

Ugh.

When my mother had three vegetarian children, that’s when I was introduced to the substance that is going to save the world. My mom is a damn good cook. But wallpaper paste is always gonna be wallpaper paste. I craved her regular venison stew, even though she put weird things in it like ginger.

My mom grew up in Hawaii, which romantic as it sounds, is not all luaus and ukuleles if you’re the daughter of a black velvet painter. I stretch not the truth.

She talks about eating her pet rabbits. But she also knows how to cook fish — delish. But mom is not here to help me make this stuff into food.

My goal is to appease my family members who are still trying to save the world by eating soybean products rather than cows (660 gallons of water required to make a hamburger, my son recently informed me) and still have a meal that does not shut down conversation.

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Yum?

I melted some bacon grease in my cast iron skillet. I was really gonna try to make this stuff edible, even if it meant pushing the limits of ‘the whole point of it.’

I rolled the cubes of congealed soybean turd curd in a blend of garlic, hot pepper flakes, dried herbes de province…and I tried a separate bowl with just plain hot sauce. After the cubed taupe tofu had sizzled what seemed an appropriate amount of time, I tasted a bit of each.

The first bite was okay. Interesting.

The second bite was okay too. Less interesting.

The third bite, I was full.

Hey, this really is good for the planet. For Planet Maile anyway. I’m going to finally lose those 20 pounds.

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This whole article is just an excuse to post this picture.

And I gotta support my world-saving kid whose attitude says it all:

“… yeah tofu is actually good now that I’m a vegetarian.”