Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Coming to Terms with My Inner Sissy-boy

I have always been a "meat and potato" man. I love a good steak in particular; one that has been cooked medium well with just the right amount of pink in the middle. I can still remember the best steak I ever ate was on my senior high school class trip in 1987. We had traveled up to St. Louis, and on the second night there, we took a river boat cruise down the Mighty Mississippi that included an elaborate dinner. I don't know who prepared the meat, but it was grilled to perfection and melted in my mouth. Some, almost 20 years later, when I am hungry, I have one of those trance like moments were I am thinking about that one steak.

I am also a big, big fan of the good pork Bar-b-que. I like the shredded sandwich style, but my favorite is the grilled ribs smothered in some sweet red sauce. I recently discovered that Costco, world renown for their chocolate dipped ice cream bars rolled in roasted almonds, has some fantastic ribs. I will admit they are a tad pricey, but well worth it on some special occasion when you need a good dinner.

In spite of my deep love for fine meats, in the last couple of years or so, I have taken a strange turn in my epicurean interests; a turn I believed I would never had made: I have acquired a fondness for tofu. Yes, it wigs me out to just to think about it, too. Tofu is what those nancy boy "metro-sexuals" eat. You know, those scrawny stick like guys who look as if they have just been liberated from a concentration camp. I bet that little shave headed twirp Moby eats tofu while he is writing his leftist, Bush bashing music.

Tofu is apparently made from soybean curds. How does anyone "curd" a soybean? Before tofu was even invented, who was the person who told his buddy, "you see those soy beans over there? I think I'm gonna go curd them and stir fry them with some vegetables."?

I have been conditioned to be wary of any food product made from soybeans. I am sure most people reading this remembers the running joke in their junior high schools of how the hamburgers served in the cafeteria were made from soybeans. I lived in a rural enough town that on Monday mornings, the local AM radio station would run down the school lunch menu for the upcoming week right in between announcing the farm reports and listing the community center activities. Without fail, on at least one day out of the five we had the infamous hamburgers that we always called "soybean" burgers.

I innocently stumbled into my tofu fixation. My oldest boy has a food allergy with regular milk, so a doctor recommended soy milk. Just the sound of it gags a maggot; so I thought.

The soy milk we buy for him says it is vanilla flavored. Being an exceptionally curious individual, I put aside my revulsion to anything soy, poured a glass and took a sip. I was pleasantly surprised. The taste was ok, but I really dug on the creamy sensation of the overall liquid. The soy milk is for my kid, so I would have to sneak a drink now and then when no one was looking. Eventually, I became so hooked on it, I now prefer to pour it on my cereal, rather than regular milk. The one major problem with soy milk is that if it is left out, it reverts back to its original tofu state. Once I accidentally left a quart of it in the trunk of the car. When I found it, I had a giant, vanilla flavored block of tofu. In this instance, I wasn't as curious.

Then, I had the unique experience of eating at P.F. Chang's, one of America's finest chainstyle Chinese restaurants. Their food is outstandingly tasty. The serving portions are pretty big, so when you visit P.F. Chang's, you must go in a large group. That way, several people can order a variety of food and everyone can share in getting a bite. There is one particular dish they have called Coconut Curry Vegetables. My wife ordered this on one of our visits with some friends. Because plain ole vegetable dishes do not interest me, I didn't necessarily care to have any when the platter made it around the table to where I was sitting. I don't mind the vegetables, but I want the dominate food to be some sort of meat. I would prefer Coconut Curry Chicken, for example. Well, little did I realize that Coconut Curry Vegetables is made with tofu. My wife got me to try a bite and I became instantly addicted.

The menu reads, crispy silken tofu. That basically means it is fried in some batter stuff. Being a southern man, I like food fried in batter stuff. Okra, fish, cornbread dough, and now, tofu. I want to learn how to duplicate the crispy silken texture, but the couple of attempts my wife and I have made at home have been a let down.

I also came across a curry vegetable dish at Pei Wei, a scaled down version of P.F. Chang's. It is more fast foodish, but the dishes are still superb. Upon my first visit after they opened in Santa Clarita, I immediately ordered the curry vegetable dish with tofu. It wasn't crispy silken tofu, but the way it was prepared brought a new dimension to my adventures with eating tofu. The over all dish is a tad spicier than I particularly like, but the tofu is cooked differently and rather than being fried in batter stuff, it is thinly sliced and laid on top of the curry vegetables. Apart from the honey seared chicken, it is the only other thing I eat when we go out to Pei Wei.

Needless to say, I find myself embarking down new roads as I get older. I am not sure what that means. I certainly am not giving up steak and becoming one of those pasty white veggan weirdos. Believe me, if I had a choice in a top sirloin and a dish of tofu, the tofu is out the door. Moreover, I refuse to eat Tofurkey at Thanksgiving. You know, that fake turkey dish made out of tofu. I think they even have turkey shaped molds to give the tofu that "Thanksgiving Turkey" look. Just add some brownish food coloring, and who would know the difference, right? Believe me, I ain't become that sissified yet.


Blogger Pecadillo said...


The first step is admitting it... now just eleven more to go.

Have you gone to Chipotle yet? That'll take the tofu taste right out of your mouth.

6:14 PM, September 14, 2005  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Wow, I am so honored to have you leave a comment.
The Chipotle visit is on the schedule. Maybe this weekend. Keep in mind that you are young, single and childless. For some reason, when a woman wants to go out and eat dinner with her husband, she doesn't like fastfood style burritos. Go figure. It is a mystery to me as well. Believe me, though, I plan to do it.


8:17 AM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger Pecadillo said...

I just don't understand women.

I don't know what your after-Church-ritual is but I've found that to be the best time to go to Chipotle because it's only a few minutes away. It's gonna knock your socks off, dude.


1:58 PM, September 15, 2005  
Blogger centuri0n said...

Fred: tofu?

And you call yourself a baptist?

tofu? I have to lose 15 lbs by Christmas, and my wife says that the only way to get from here to there is tofu for protein instead of meat. I told her I'd rather die.

tofu? You can't make chili out of tofu.

2:16 PM, September 16, 2005  
Blogger Pecadillo said...


Listen to your friend Centuri0n, he's a cool guy, he's trying to help you.

5:35 PM, September 16, 2005  
Blogger SteveJ said...

A while back, I stumbled across a soy ice cream-like product called Tofutti. I'm hooked. The vanilla almond bark is exceptional. If eating Tofutti is wrong, I don't want to be right.

7:37 AM, September 18, 2005  
Blogger NeverAlone said...

Hey, all you guys who like soy products--beware.
There's a reason why those vegetarian boys seem a bit strange. Soy imitates estrogen.
Just thought you might want to know.
Maybe you can go to one of those mega-churches to start the next 11 steps to give it up.
We lived next to a vegan family for years. I asked the woman what they had for Thanksgiving, and with a sentimental reverence she said, "Traditional lentil loaf." Makes your mouth water, doesn't it?

1:07 AM, July 20, 2006  
Blogger theGracegirl said...

First, I must say that Chipotle is at the top of my list of things to try. It's just far enough away, though, that I'm going to have to wait to be in the area to try it.

I recommended Baja Fresh's Burrito Ultimo to one guy and he wasn't impressed, which didn't impress me. I just don't understand men.

The guy next door started drinking soy milk (he's a very organic type of person), and I told his mom about the estrogen factor. She talked to him about it and he told her, "I'm just getting in touch with my feminine side." That gave me shudders. That's a man I don't want to understand.

1:14 AM, July 20, 2006  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I personally would like to see a reputable study on the claim soy milk is like drinking straight estorgen. My boys have been drinking it all there lives (3 plus years) and the way they always want to wrestle, bounce off walls and hurl themselves from high places seems to indicate that their tetestrone is working normally.


6:16 AM, July 20, 2006  
Blogger Pierre Saikaley said...

@Cent ...you can make chili out of texturized vegetable protein.

Fred, SILK is my favorite brand too.

so when are you gonna start drinking smoothies made with brussel sprouts and mixed fruit? :-)

6:05 AM, October 22, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I'm not planning on that anytime soon.

7:53 AM, October 22, 2011  

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