— FC, where’s your long-awaited annual recap? Is it going to be posted on the website?
Anyway, some stuff:
An article on tofu in the NY Times by Julia Moskin – fascinating stuff, some of which I never knew or thought about:
But since the opening of En Japanese Brasserie in the West Village in October, New Yorkers have been able to savor tofu that is made throughout the dinner service, coming out of the kitchen every 90 minutes. The fresh tofu is undeniably plain yet addictively cloudlike, drizzled with a delicate, clear soy sauce; the large, soft curds fall apart lightly and melt on your tongue.
“New Yorkers have learned to appreciate so many Japanese specialties, but tofu is still misunderstood, I think,” said Reika Yo, an owner. “It is not a substitute for meat, but has its own stature.” [….]
Megu in TriBeCa imports tofu made by Kawashima, an artisan in Karatsu whose product is famous throughout Japan; it costs $15 a serving. But a dollar on Mott Street will buy you a container of still-warm, custardy tofu doused in sugar syrup, to eat on the street as a snack or dessert. And at the new location of Spicy and Tasty in Flushing, Queens, you can order a plate of “stinky tofu,” a long-fermented Taiwanese specialty that is to plain tofu as Roquefort is to Velveeta.
Tofu, in fact, is made in almost exactly the same way as cheese, but with puréed sweet soybeans instead of cow, sheep or goat milk as its raw material. Because of its ability to produce so many different forms of nourishment, the soybean has long been called “the cow of China,” and tofu was first developed there by Buddhist monks, about 2,000 years ago. The process begins with dried yellow soybeans, called daizu; the fresh, green, immature pods of the same bean are what we know as edamame. [….]
Grace Young, a Chinese-American food writer, says that tofu is one of the most highly honored foods in Chinese culture because of its very plainness.
“Ingredients with texture but not taste are revered in China, and except for tofu, they are the most expensive ones you can buy there — like birds’ nests, shark’s fin and silver tree fungus.” Chinese names for tofu that indicate its high status translate as “meat without bones” and “meat from the fields.”
In Korea and China tofu is often served not as a substitute for meat, but alongside it, with a small amount of meat flavoring enriching the silken tofu, which adds its incomparable body and mouth feel. One such dish, ma-po tofu, from Chengdu, has become one of the most popular Sichuanese dishes in China and in the various Chinatowns of New York, said Ms. Young, whose most recent book is “The Breath of a Wok” (Simon & Schuster).
“It’s often translated as home-style tofu, because it has this rather unusual name, meaning pox-scarred grandmother’s tofu,” she said. “Tofu is a yang” — cool — “food in the Chinese way of thinking, so having it with meat and garlic and chilies, which are all yin” — warm — “makes it a good dish to the Chinese cook.” [….]
Really educational stuff.
“Annie” comic strip has been interesting lately. Annie’s reunited with Daddy Warbucks and Amelia Santiago, and they get mired in this odd storyline where this guy is trying to evict a bunch of singing ranchers from their ranch because he’s convinced that he’s a Queen of the Lizards to bring the Martians to Earth. Umm. Ok, it’s so weird it has actually been the best “Annie” in a long while since these new writer and artist worked on the comic strip. Still waiting for the missing old favorite characters acting like their amusing selves…
Channel 4, WNBC, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the pairing of the longtime newsanchors Chuck Scarborough and Sue Simmons. As Daily News notes, they’ve lasted longer than most marriages (even – unfortunately for Hollywood watchers – Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston). Crazy, kooky pair (well, half the time Sue’s the crazy one, but Chuck needs the levity and they ultimately balance each other out). Channel 4’s website has a link to some old pictures from back in the day for those two. Such a rarity with the current state of tv anchors splitting up or dropped or traded to different channels (so it goes with NYC’s competitive local news). Heck, kudos to NBC for bothering to celebrate (the network that get so sentimental; they milk every anniversary and farewell, sure, but that’s a nice thing, really – I like that warmth on NBC when it shows up). Happy Anniversary, Chuck and Sue!
Have a good weekend!