Golden Tofu with Baby Bok Choy and Scape Confetti

It's that time again, when the scape hits gardens and farmer's markets all around New England. We didn't have a chance to plant garlic last fall, but fortunately some friends of friends sent over a bunch of lovely large scapes. I decided to adapt one of Kay Scarlett's recipes from the gorgeous book "Family Food" (part of the adorable Laurel Glen paperback series, with huge pictures of each dish). Here it is:

4-5 garlic scapes, blended fine in a food processor
2 T. vegetable oil
4 blocks of firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 pound baby bok choy, cut into thirds
1 thumb ginger, also blended fine
2 T. oyster sauce
2 T. soy sauce
2 t. sugar
handful cilantro, loosely chopped

I don't have a wok so I had to improvise. Heat the oil until very hot in a large saucepan. Keep the tofu moving until it seems sealed off on all sides. Then turn the heat down and continue to gently stir and turn until it starts to get golden. This took me about 20 minutes. If you have a smaller pan, do this in batches.

Meanwhile, stir together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, processed ginger and sugar.

When the tofu looks nice and golden, turn up the heat again and stir in the sauce. If needed, add a little water to stretch out the sauce. Let it bubble and coat all the tofu pieces. Next, add the bok choy and processed scapes.

Cover the pot to let the bok choy cook a bit. (Add a touch water to steam fry if the sauce is just about gone.) Stir together and serve with cilantro garnish.

Serves 4--recommend brown rice on the side. I'm submitting this garlic scapes recipe to Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Kalyn's Kitchen.

Coco-nutty: 5 Bowl Salad

Funny story. I went to a potluck and my fellow diner took a big spoonful of what he thought was potato salad. But I could tell that wasn't a potato in mayo... it was a PIECE OF PINEAPPLE in something creamy. I ate the whole thing for him, dissecting the recipe as I went. Then I went online and found that it's usually called "5 cup salad." Since I'm more into guesstimating, I'm going to call this "5 bowl salad." It's a little desserty, a little kitsch-y. I'm submitting it to the A Fruit a Month--Coconut blog event, hosted this month by Tasty Palettes.

Aim for about a cup of each:
  • pineapple chunks
  • mandarin oranges
  • coconut flakes
  • sour cream (or use yogurt instead)
  • mini marshmallows

optional: chopped pecans


Mix together gently but thoroughly.

That's it! You're done. Consider refrigerating for a few hours or more to let the yummy coconut really permeate the other ingredients. Needless to say, I recommend this as a good potluck dish. (If you want to make larger amounts, just keep the ratios 1:1:1:1:1, with as many or as few pecans as you like.)

Buddhist about Bugs

As a child I was taught not to kill things (bugs, I'm thinking) unless they are actively biting you. A beetle or an ant or even a wasp should be gently captured (possibly in a special glass jar kept with a piece of card expressly for this purpose) and taken outside to freedom. However, a flea or a tick or a mosquito or blackfly... or an evil deerfly... can be terminated with extreme prejudice. Probably because when you notice one of these creatures it is already biting you. (I also save spiders even though I am not a huge fan.) I am especially good at saving ants. They're the only bug I'm not afraid to pick up with my bare hands, unless they are upwards of half an inch long. Maybe it's some kind of Arthur Dent thing--a hapless fly or ant could be an ancient relative... Also I'd rather release something whole into the wild than have to clean up its icky carcass.

Moving on, here are 2 weeks-worth of Beef Jerky Time playlists.

June 18, 2008

June 25, 2008

Tasty Swedish pop

A lot of the music I like lately is from Sweden. Therefore this edition of Beef Jerky Time is devoted to a brief survey of the genre. Here's the playlist (6/11/08--just 5 day's after Sweden's National Day...):

Myspace is My Jukebox

However you may feel about Myspace as a personal networking site, it is definitely an awesome place to find all kinds of music from all kinds of bands. Artists are putting up a lot of tracks, not necessarily to download, but to play. More and more I use myspace as my personal customized radio station. It is an opt out technology--if you click on a band's homepage, the music WILL start playing for you unless you do something to stop it. And me, I just can't stop it.

Here's Beef Jerky Time playlist from 6*4*08, larded with links:

Strolling of the Heifers, Year 7

Whetstone farm heifers

I will once again be attending the parade and events for Brattleboro's own Strolling of the Heifers this weekend (always first Saturday in June). For some photos of past parades, including Strolling of the Heifers 2006, check out my "Parades" set on Flickr.

Here's playlist from Beef Jerky Time 6/4/08:
  • Gypsy Dave: Bert Jansch
  • The Last Time: Gnarls Barkley
  • Ocean Breathes Salty: Modest Mouse
  • In My Nerves: ADULT
  • Fancy Dancer: The Commodores
  • Good Things: James Pants
  • Machita (La Nueva Ola): Superaquello
  • Beanbag Chair: Yo La Tengo
  • Kicks in the Schoolyard: The Rosebuds
  • Married Young (The Glass remix): Robbers on High Street
  • The Henney Buggy Band: Sufjan Stevens
  • The Littlest Birds: The Be Good Tanyas
  • Midnight Moonlight: Old & In the Way
  • Adrenaline: Emma Pollock
  • After It All: Cat Power