Little Miss Muffet, part 1

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We had this discussion at work last week about what type of planners we are. One coworker said she doesn’t plan anything, another preferred everything planned, while I agree plans don’t work. Ever. Every time I try, something thwarts it. Now, I like to have a general idea of what’s going on and what could arise- if possible- but otherwise, I don’t make strict plans. Easier to deal with the amucks that way.

Had a bunch of things I wanted to accomplish today! First off, HAVE TO make myself some soymilk. That bag ‘o beans are old and have to be used. Plus, I just feel like it. Had somewhat of a wherewithal to look up recipes and how-to’s yesterday. I use to make it a really long time ago, so I have a vague idea. I went through several recipes and chose RasaMalaysia’s as her’s was the simplest, quickest one. With other’s, there was way to much back and forth between pan and blender and boiling water and, yea. Going for the quickest. So, for me, this is how ‘quick’ and ‘plans’ go:

1. Soak beans over night. (Crap, I maybe shouldn’t have soaked the whole 1.5 pounds of beans, regardless of the recipe. Might be a bit much!)

2. Run to Walgreens first thing this morning for cheesecloth.

3. Run to Target for cheesecloth (crap I need a dehydrator for my tea garden….)

4. Buy coffee filters instead. Who doesn’t sell cheesecloth anymore!? (everyone. or is that no one?)

5. Run back home, proceed. Remove skins. (which do NOT float to the top as stated. Picking those out took forever) Rinse, blend with 7 Qts of water into a pulp. Boil.

6. Watch a few episodes of Twin Peaks while waiting for the mix to boil……make dill dip and bread for lunch…….make donuts just because….wait and wait and wait…..Why is it taking so long to boil 8 quarts!

7. Oh it’s doing something! I learned that the skin layer is called yuba. Further investigation brought me back to Rasa, who had a Korean recipe using yuba as something of a wonton, and rolling a mix of yams and other stuff inside the skins. Sounded really good, but I didn’t skim off enough, and they didn’t come out quite so pretty. Today is an experiment, though.

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8. OMG, three hours later and it’s boiling! Turn down the heat, and simmer for 45 minutes more (Twin Peaks….)

9. Strain the pulp from the mix……Um, why is nothing straining?

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and there’s kinda a lot of mix to strain…….

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10. Raid material closet. Recover scrap muslin.

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(I found some!)

11. Grab another pot, hand wash muslin. Throw in dryer for a couple minutes. (dries really quick)

12. Lint roll to get, well, lint, off  and make suitable for food use.

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13. Dare I hope? Yes! It’s straining! But you have to help it along and squeeze- pulp is very hot! OW!

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14. The pulp is called okara. Rasa and others say to throw it out, but actually it’s edible and highly nutritious! I found a recipe for ‘crab’ cakes. Dinner! Here is how much okara I got from 1.5 pounds of beans.

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15. Um, there’s a lot of milk. Booger #2 is not a fan. And I don’t want it to spoil.

16. Let’s make tofu with the leftovers!

17. I remembered that I didn’t like how the tofu tasted when vinegar was used. My tofu recipe does not account for saving some of the milk, so I had to guess how much lemon juice to add. I kept adding more, in 1/4 cup amounts, until it did what it was supposed to.

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18. The yellow liquidy part is the whey, the white chunky parts is then the curds, or, tofu!

Save the whey! It actually is a good detergent and worked wonderfully cleaning all the equipment. Aside from this NOT being a quick process as anticipated, it was the messiest thing I’ve done in the kitchen. The soymilk and bean residue is grainy and gets everywhere, and will cement if you leave it. I tried rinsing my blender with just my fingers and some water with no luck. Poured in some whey, and everything fell right off. It is lemon juice, after all.

19. Yea, the plan was just for soymilk, not tofu. (plans don’t work) However, I had cut my scrap muslin into two pieces, and the piece leftover from straining the pulp was the perfect size to line a colander to strain the tofu from the whey. I decided to worry about the mold later.

20. It is now 4:30pm. I started this whole endeavor at 10am-ish. On with our non-crab cakes for dinner! I followed the variations from the first comment: I didn’t have any pepper or celery, and don’t like that added in anyway. Threw in every spice that sounded like a good idea: lots of garlic, paprika, thyme, parsley, cayenne. My onions were red by the time I added them to the okara. And I used the panko, as that’s all I’ve got on hand.

21. What? These don’t look like patties? Huh.

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I have no luck when it comes to fake patties. I’ve tried the garbanzo bean recipe. Same with this, they are dry and crumble apart when you breathe on them. Somehow dropping the pan halfway inside the oven did not help in the slightest. Tasted a section (before the one pan fell) and it was horrible. What happened to the spices I poured in?

I poured some olive oil over the tops of the patties, added a ton of pepper and salt, and threw them back in the oven- except for pan number two, which decided to fall. Don’t ask me how or why. It was on the shelf!

Plan B. Scrambled non-crab non-cake something.

It was not good. All that panko. So, threw it out.

22. Plan A/Plan B for dinner. Native American tacos. Yay!

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I know, all that oil. Healthy vegetarians everywhere are gasping. Not in keeping with the healthy theme of my day. I was even barefoot and in a skirt and feeling pretty domestic and in-tune and organic.

However, I am so overdue for my yearly dose of Indian Tacos. I’ve been craving them quiete strongly once again. These in no way compete with Tocabe’s, and weren’t as good or as big as the from-scratch ones I made awhile back, but it was in a box and quick and right there and hit the spot.

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vs. Tocabe’s:

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Which are the size of a dinner plate with a whole lot more options than I had today. Mine were still good, but I would love for some Native American restaurants to start popping up. Every other culture is represented, why not their’s? I know the history of fry bread and it’s not-so-great impact on them, but it’d be great to see them at least making money off it now.

23. I should make some pudding with a bit of that milk. I discovered chia seeds last week while bored on the train and browsing through Pinterest for quick foods to make for breakfast. There was a recipe for a chia seed pudding calling for milk, peanut butter, chia, and bananas. Came out really good! But I remembered there also being a simple one with just milk and honey and chia. This one is soymilk, chia, and maple syrup. Can’t wait for breakfast!

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(Yep, there on the left is also all that’s left of the soymilk. After only a few hours post-made.)

24. Oh! I just threw a tofu container into recycling. Fished it out, washed it, drilled some holes, and washed it again. I think it would have worked had I had it set immediately. By the time I got the tofu in it, the tofu was pretty much already strained and had molded to the colander. The bottom, at least. The top is in small pieces. Even so, came out really good!

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25. Finally left the kitchen at 7pm today! Dishes can wait till tomorrow.

 

This was not what I had planned, and took ten times longer than promised. Okara crab cakes waere a disaster. Should’ve made more milk, it seems. Is this going to be a repeat endeavor?

Yes. Going to tweak several things, like boiling water before blending the soybeans into a pulp. Look how much one bag of soybeans yielded. I need to do some further hunting for okara recipes. Found some for bread and brownies. I’ve still got lots of leftover to play with the rest of this week. Maybe I’ll invest in an actual soymilk maker. But they’re expensive, and would be yet another appliance I don’t have room for. I like the messy, old fashioned way, anyway!

 

 

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