This flu is taking forever to go away. Two steps forward and one step back.
I’m trying to figure out how to get the elves to come and cook Christmas Eve dinner at my house. I’ll make the pies. They can do the rest, including the clean-up.
Fortunately, my girls are great cooks. Unfortunately, they eat completely different things. Younger daughter has been a vegetarian since she was 7 and a couple months ago decided to be vegan. (What can you possibly eat that doesn’t have butter or cheese or eggs in it? Why would you want to?) Not that she proselytizes about it. She hardly mentions it. She just doesn’t eat the food. So she will be making vegan dishes which are surprisingly tasty.
Older one is a real San Francisco foodie and the kind of person who likes to figure out all the ingredients in a dish at a restaurant as she is eating it. She is also an omnivore. When she was traveling a few years ago, she had to try the most unusual food in each country. Did you know roasted guinea pig (Cuy al Horno) is a common delicacy in Peru? I wouldn’t have tried it.
Speaking of eating anything, son and wife are traveling around Asia on an extended honeymoon. Here is an excerpt about stinky tofu from their travel blog while visiting Taipei:
“I love all the street vendors here. Almost everything looks soo yummy. And most of the stuff we’ve tried has been awesome. I’m even starting to get used to the smell of all the stinky tofu vendors. Before I leave Taiwan, I’m determined to try some. For those of you who have never visited China, H.K., Taiwan, or Indonesia, I explain stinky tofu. It’s basically tofu that smells like death. There as many recipes for stinky tofu as there are stinky tofu vendors, but basically, they make first make a brine. The brine is made from pouring milk and or pure soy milk in a bucket, adding some meat, dried fish, dried shrimp, spices, and/or lye (there are numerous possibilities, but basically it has to be a bunch of stuff that gets stinky and nasty as easily as possible) and then leaving the brine outside for a week to months until rots and then rots some more. Then, they remove all the maggots and add bricks of very firm tofu and let it sit for a while to further ferment. Basically, the object seems to be to make it as stinky as possible. And I’m not just talking about simple stink. We’re talking about stink you can’t escape for blocks. Stink that stains your clothes, stains your brain. Stink that makes corpses smell like roses. Literally the foulest stuff I have ever smelled in my life. And people eat it. People love it. The stinkier the better. Now, I’m one of those people who is challenged by the weirdest, funkiest, grossest, most abstract food out there (one reason I loved living in Japan so much), so obviously I’m determined to eat and maybe even enjoy stinky tofu.”
If he tried it, he didn’t post about it. Not that I really want to hear about it. Just reading about the preparation is enough to turn me against tofu.
The other day I went to Joan’s to make truffles and while they were cooling, we had tea and I took some pictures around her house. Ken Dierck’s cat is in front of some of Joan’s tiles in the first picture and the second is one of Ken’s test (!) tiles.