And now, a recipe

Last night, I promised Patsy dinner. I went to the store around 3PM to buy ingredients. Patsy had requested tofu, I knew five people were coming, and as I am leaving town in two days for a month, I didn’t want anything that would perish in the fridge. One of the guests was vegan. A challenge. So here’s what I bought:

  • One 3.34lb butternut squash
  • 2.47 pounds of Barlett pears (about five)
  • Olive oil
  • Curry
  • 3lbs of Tofu (organic, extra-firm)

Now I had to use all of the squash, all of the pears, and most of the Tofu. Everything else could keep for-ev-er (I know people who swear that Tofu lasts forever, but I still worry). After dropping things off at home, I went to class until 8:45PM. I started cooking at 8:55. Dinner was served by 9:30. Here’s what I did:

The first task was cutting that giant squash in half lengthwise. Everyone had their turn with various knives. Finally, Paul and I were able to use our brute strength to split that sucker. It went in the microwave, face down in a glass pan with a couple of inches of water covered in wax paper.  Fifteen minutes on high. While that happened, Paul cored the pears and cut them into small pieces. I started frying up 2lbs of tofu (cut into pieces that were about 4″ x 1″ x 1/2″) in an eyeball’s worth of olive oil, because I generally like my tofu a little crispy. When the tofu was about ready Patsy helped me transfer it to another plate and I used the same pan to cook the onions.

Oh, ingredients I already had at home:

  • Purple Onion
  • Three garlic cloves
  • Brown Sugar
  • Cumin

I sautéed the onions until they faded from purple to lavender. Then I added the garlic (minced), equal parts curry and sugar (two eyeball’s worth), less cumin than that. By now the squash was done in the microwave. I peeled off the skin, mushed it with a fork, and added it to the pan. I quickly threw in the pears and about half a cup of water.

Then I stirred and let it simmer until everything had some good flavor. Paul suggested I add a bit more curry and cumin to the whole shebang (he felt the pears were a little too sweet), so I did (a dash here and there, to taste). The pears were still al dente (I like the pear to be pear-like and not mush).

We used the tongs to put the tofu on the black plates and covered the thick strips with curry-butternut squash-pear-goodness. I had planned to make rice as well, but no time.

The food was eaten. Brad said it was delicious. Jessica thanked me for making her a vegan meal. Paul liked the way the apartment smelled. Curry filled my belly.

*An eyeball’s worth of something is an arbitrary measurement.