2) Recreate a meal from your childhood.
I asked my sisters what they remember eating growing up. The list got pretty funny and gave me some ideas for later in the month.
However, my best friend in elementary school was Debbie Lee. Her family moved to our small town and opened a western Chinese restaurant. They lived on the other side of the apple orchard from me and I slept over at her place a lot. Every morning her Grandmother, who they called ‘Po Po’ and did all the cooking at home, would smile at me and ask if I wanted a ‘fried egg sandwich?’ I always said yes. I would sit at one end of a huge table filled with dishes her grandmother made for her parents, her twin brother and older sister. I had no idea what was in the bowls her family picked from in a truly communal sense, all the while speaking Mandarin. I never asked and they never offered but I was certainly curious. I was always satisfied with the sandwich which I even ate if I was there for dinner.
I picked up some square white (chia) bread from Cob’s -in Australia this is the Baker’s Delight chain. I pressed the water out of a block of firm tofu and took two slices off it. Coated it in bragg’s then ener-g starch cause it’s what I had on hand and lots of nutritional yeast and black pepper, then flipped it in the cast iron skillet. I could have added kala namak for more of a sulfur taste but the bragg’s and nutritional yeast already added enough umami. Toasted the bread, added veganaise, yellow mustard and cashew cheese I’d made from Vegan Secret Supper. Her Grandmother would have fried the bread in the pan but I adapted it to my own taste. Fried food doesn’t digest well with me. Regardless of that, this took me back to that table being an outsider looking in.
The summer transitioning from elementary school to Jr high her family moved to the coast. I was devastated and scared going in to a new school without my best friend. It took a long time till I found people I could connect to. Debbie and I kept in touch and I went down to visit her a bunch but over time we drifted. She started hanging out at football games and I was going to punk shows. If I was on Facebook we could have reconnected a long time ago I’m sure. When I do see her again I’m going to find out what was on that table.