Today is the one year anniversary of Deb’sPotsBlog! When I started blogging (it’s a verb, how weird!), my intention was to integrate my passions for clay and for food, as well as my interests in writing and photography. I thought I would share my new site with friends and family as a way to keep…well…a log…of my explorations in the studio and the kitchen.
My timing might have seemed, to some, very strange. We were preparing to demolish our deteriorating kitchen and to be without the main floor of our house for the winter. Little did we know that the project would become a nightmare long before it would fulfill anything resembling our dreams.
If you’ve been following the blog, you know that we discovered the house was literally collapsing. The amelioration and reconstruction required substantially more time, money, expertise and disruption than we ever could have imagined.
I never lost touch with the fact that our problems were first world problems. True tragedy has been part of my life; the stresses, concerns, discomforts and inconveniences of even a difficult construction project remain, for me, in a different experiential category. But…it was not an easy seven months! It may seem strange, but blogging provided a substantial “port in the storm.”
Let me describe the scene. It is the dead of winter, three feet of snow. We have no heat or hot water and when we do have power, fuses blow every time I use more than one “appliance” at a time. I am working in a makeshift “kitchen” in our basement. I can keep close touch with the construction going on above me because there is no floor upstairs and the basement ceiling is partly demolished, too. There are heavy wires hanging down around the room, and debris frequently falls to the floor as the guys work over my head.
I have a microwave, a toaster oven and a hotplate. I’ve set up a little photography area with a light because there is almost no natural light in the basement. As I work, I get absorbed in creating the illusion of grace and sanity in the midst of drilling, sawing, and hammering. But in my absorption, I walk into the wires, and yell “fuck, fuck fuck!!!” as I am repeatedly smacked in the head with the realization that, yes, I am in a construction zone.
After the guys have gone home for the day, I sit upstairs, edit my photos, and write my post. I feel a sense of structure and order. The food looks yummy. The recipes will work in a real kitchen. Foodgawker and Tastespotting accept my photos. My Instagram followers “like” them. And each week, as I produce a new post, we get closer to finishing the project.
Before, during, and after:
We’ve been in the new kitchen for a couple of months now. I will go on record here and say it was worth it. But I hope never to do it again.
Cooking and blogging in the new space is pure joy. It is, in fact, a dream of a kitchen. So, to celebrate the blog’s anniversary, and the end of renovation, I am sharing something that I really couldn’t make in that makeshift kitchen. To get sticky and crispy, this tofu needs to be spread out on a big baking sheet. You will love this healthy, vibrant combination of flavors.
Glazed Tofu Bowl with Tahini Lime Sauce
Use organic ingredients if possible. Local is always nice, too. This is naturally vegan and gluten free.
1 block extra or super firm tofu
1 tbs. cornstarch
1 tbs. soy sauce
1 tbs. honey
1 tsp. sriracha or other hot sauce (adjust to your taste)
1 tbs. sesame seeds-black, white or a mixture
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a sheet pan with parchment.
Press the tofu according to the instructions here. Cut into medium dice.
Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl that is big enough to hold all the tofu comfortably. Add the tofu to the bowl and very gently roll the pieces around in the sludgy mixture.
Arrange the tofu pieces on the baking sheet so that they are in a single layer and not touching. Bake for 25 minutes; moving them around once about halfway through.
Tahini Lime Sauce
1/2 cup tahini
2 tbs. honey
1 tsp. sriracha
juice of 1/2 lime
minced fresh lavender (optional)
Mix ingredients. Thin with water if you like it thinner. This keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days if you want to make it ahead.
There are many, many yummy, seasonal foods that work well with this sauce and tofu. Here are a list of possibilities to start you off. You might also look at this post, and this post, and this post for other ideas.
Lightly steamed broccoli
Steamed or roasted sweet potato
Red or green cabbage
Orange or Grapefruit Slices
There a two ways to approach the building of these bowls. One is to create a single, big bowl and everyone gets to help themselves. You may either place the sauce in a single bowl in the middle of the arrangement, or make several smaller containers of sauce.
The other way to to construct individual bowls for each person and a cup or tiny bowl of sauce goes with each. Or, you may drizzle the sauce onto each portion.
Try it both ways and let me know what you like best. Or, create a new combination and let me know about it!
Don’t forget to Follow the blog so you won’t miss a post!