Saturday, April 29, 2006

Yummy yummy tofu (etc.)

Hah! I've learned so much about cooking tofu since becoming a vegetarian--it can be tricky stuff. Yesterday, I made some great tofu burrito filling--just crumbled extra-firm tofu, sauteed with tomato paste and spices. That was a very-fun project, and it has inspired me. I've been cooking all day today, mostly baking breads. My nature writing class went out to Big City Bread for lunch today, and the restaurant was very quaint and the food delicious. Grilled vegetable wrap, including eggplant, zucchini, portabellas, red peppers, spinach, feta, and tzatziki sauce. Yum! But the thing that really got to me at the restaurant today was the bread selection--never, except in a Parisian boulangerie have I seen more wonderful things. So I immediately came home and made whole wheat oatmeal bread. Later tonight, I made cherry-walnut banana bread from the Fatfree Vegan Blog, of which I am a frequenter. One thing I've always wanted to do is bring the taste of French bread to the U.S.--something that has never, that I am aware, been successfully done. French bread in the U.S. tastes not even remotely like the French bread in *gasp* France--even at such gourmet locations as Panera Bread and the Atlanta Bread Company. Somehow, I have to learn the secret to making authentic French bread. I start with handcrafting and kneading my own loaves--I know that makes a difference. One day, I will produce a baguette reminiscent of French breakfasts (and lunches, and dinners, and all in between...) and that may very well be the happiest day of my life.

It was so cool out today! The wind was very strong and chilling--I had to break out the long sleeves again. It was overcast most of the day but never rained, so on the whole today was my favorite kind of day. I remember watching storms approach when I was a kid--playing outside in the summertime, when suddenly you notice the sky growing dark and a wind coming in (usually from the east, sweeping off the ocean). Breathing in that pre-thunderstorm air is always envigorating, as if you are inhaling the very electricity and excitement of the storm itself. Those electrons brush your nerve endings and then... The storm is inside you, in all its grace and wonder. That's what today reminded me of--sitting at the table outside Big City Bread, the tiny white lights in the trees overhead were the brightest visible light source. The leaves rustled in the wind and let go of their branches, and suddenly we would look down to find our salads replenished with new leaves. I held my coffee mug tightly between the palms of my hands as the chill bumps formed up my arms to the opening of my three-quarter sleeves. But the rain never came. Not today.

It would have been a glorious day for a run, and indeed I planned on it, but this afternoon I came down with a headache/stomachache/sore throat. So I decided not to push my body too far. Perhaps this weather will linger into tomorrow.

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