Now we have a fridge which works, we can buy perishable food and leave it in there until it goes off. I don’t do this often – in fact I’m very good at eating everything in sight – but there is one item which always seems to remain inside the fridge. My fiancé got all excited when he saw these strange blocks on the top shelf – he thought it was a posh treat from Marks and Spencer’s and got a nasty surprise when he realised it was tofu. I think he may have had a bad experience with it in the past (I was most probably involved, but may have erased it from memory). He looked haunted when I said I was going to “get back into tofu”.
I go through spurts of buying this wobbly wet mass, convinced I will make some incredible protein enriched macrobiotic meal. I’ve considered scrambled tofu, tofu stir fry, tofu mayonnaise, sesame tofu – and yet something in me just can’t get the damn thing out of the fridge. I picked it up the other day and then decided I couldn’t do anything with it until I bought some kitchen role to absorb the juices. It’s been in there for so long now the use by date is approaching. Tofu is a survivor though. What other food endures drunken fridge rummaging? What other food sits politely waiting to be seen, without a waft of defeat? There’s a reason this stuff has survived through the ages, and the fact it does last a long time is perfect for procrastinators and tofu-doubters – but also contributes to weeks of tofu guilt. I feel I must get through this tofu wall and make something.
I think you have to understand a food before you can make something taste good. What is tofu he asks me? And it’s a good question because even though I know it is bean curd (that already sounds pretty grim) I don’t really know what bean curd is. So I looked it up. Bean curd is made from soy milk (which comes from pressing soy beans). The soy milk is then curdled using acid (lemon / lime /vinegar whatever) and then the curdled soy milk – curd- is pressed into blocks. And those blocks are then left on the top shelf of my fridge for a further three weeks until: the Tofu Day of Reckoning.
This day has now arrived and I have kitchen role. And a willing guinea pig who has requested tofu curry (he thinks this is the best option as he is imagining he can hide from the whole experience with chili – but I will fight for the tofu’s right). Today I’m going to make tofu work for me. Why not? It is low in fat, it is high in protein and it is calling for me. I can picture it, like a monk waiting for sunrise. Mocking me among all the other irresistible simple meals in my mind – I hear you Tofu. I hear you.