Titty Soup

I am going to share some personal things with you right now.  Not about anything horrible or that will make you feel extremely emotional (God willing), but personal nonetheless.  So if you’re NOT interested in reading about BOOBIES then this would be a great point to turn off your computer and go engage in some wholesome activity.  Like thinking about the Pioneer Woman and why she’s so obnoxiously obsequious.

Yesterday on Facebook, I posted a status that I was making titty soup for a friend.  People were curious.  What in the hell is titty soup? 

To tell you that story, we have to go back in time a little bit to when I was 14 and Nick Johnson, who was both unattractive and a total bastard pranced up to my desk, lifted his Hypercolor shirt to his chin, and said “I have bigger boobs than you!”  He ran back to his group of sniggering friends, and I silently cried on the inside, both because he was sort of right, and also because why were his nipples such a freakish shade of purple?  Were they not getting enough oxygen?  Was this a medical emergency?

Fast forward to when I turned 17, and for the first time in my life had some sort of vague rack-like situation going on underneath my shirt.  I was a VERY late bloomer, and weirdly tall, and captain of the debate team.  In general, things were not stacked in my immediate favor.  I had a boyfriend at the time who was Mr. Bodybuilder himself, and kind of an ass, because that was how I liked them.  We were watching that sitcom where the middle aged guy talks to a puppet in his basement while he drinks.  “Unhappily Ever After” was the title, according to Google.  And one of the characters was played by actress Nikki Cox.  Her boobs are the size of that new planet they just discovered that could sustain life.  My boyfriend took one look at her obscene endowments and said, and I quote, “Whoa.”  I cried.

February 11, 2000, when I was just 18 years old and living in the dorms at CSU, I got my own set of Whoa.  A few years later, I got rid of the boyfriend too, which was fortuitous because he got really fat (for a firefighter) shortly after we broke up.  And obviously what’s the point of dating a firefighter if they don’t look like Ryan Reynolds naked?  Oh…that they’re saving people and are nice to kids and care about helping their fellow man? Pshh.  I was 21 and wanted to see ABS.

For many years, I was the only person I knew who had gone after-market on the boobs.  They weren’t huge, they were very well done, and I could just stop thinking about them all together.  That was a HUGE blessing after spending so much time thinking about them and hating them for the last, oh, four years (thanks, 9th grade boys).

Also, when I turned 21, I’m pretty sure they paid for a lot of my drinks just by existing inside my shirts. 

And they *painfully* fed a beautiful baby boy without complications except for the fact that he couldn’t stop trying to rip my knicknacks off with his crazy baby gums.

In the past few years, though, it seems like more and more people are hopping on the breastwagon. I’m always supportive, provided it’s to satisfy yourself and not because you are needy/crazy/feel unlovable. 

Then, last year, someone very close to me went through an ordeal where she lost both of her ta-tas to cancer.  She got to keep her life.  Fair trade.  As a consolation prize, the doctors gave her new boobies.  It’s only fair, right?

After I brought her home from the hospital and dosed her (and maybe myself) with good drugs, I made her titty soup.

Titty soup is just chicken soup, but made with extra love.  I roast whole, organic chickens, turn them into stock with fresh vegetables and herbs, and then dice up the chicken into the broth with more fresh vegetables, noodles/rice, and seasonings.  There’s not much to it. But it feels good to support people in a way that I didn’t feel supported when I went through the same thing as a kid.  I ate dorm food and skipped classes for two weeks.

So if you ever look down at your nellies and think, “f*ck this noise, I hate them, I’m fixing them.”  Well, call me and I’ll make you some soup.  And if you ever look down at them and think “you know what?  I’m fine with these.  I love them and don’t want to change them.”  I’ll make you soup too, just because you’re obviously a genius of self-esteem and you deserve it.

Solidarity girls.  Solidarity.  Nobody gets to judge you because you make a decision about your own body, regardless of what that decision is.  And you get to hold your head high and your jugs higher because they’re YOURS and you run with gangs and do what you want.

All I know is you mofos better be prepared to make ME some titty soup when I get these bad boys redone.  After all, they’re basically senior citizens at this point, and eventually will dissolve or explode or something.

Rickshaw Flava

 

Is it still racism if it’s a really positive stereotype?  Or is that just stereotyping? And, while I’m at it, why is stereotyping in a positive way wrong, provided you allow room for individuals in your thought process?  Isn’t that just a natural way to group people so that your brain doesn’t have to tediously sort each and every human into its own category?  Food for thought.

Because whenever I think about Indians, I always feel like they’re a very peaceful people.  Probably something to do with the fact that they treat cows as sacred animals, and that about 40% of Indians are vegetarians, and that George W. Bush never declared war on them, despite the fact that they’re obviously brown.  Clearly an oversight on his part.

In Fort Collins, I was friends with the son of one of the Indian restauranteurs.  He was a nice kid who was sort of non-traditional in that he a) only dated white Hooters girls, b) sold cocaine, and c) was actually Pakistani, even though the restaurant was Indian.

Maybe that’s a bad example.  The Indian restaurant up the street from our old apartment in Lone Tree is co-owned by this beautiful, chubby Indian woman who once told Chris that I was “very bootiful,” and I’m pretty sure that she’s actually Indian.  See?  Peaceful.  And with excellent taste.

And Indian food? SO tasty.  In a huge variety of its many incarnations.  So let’s celebrate Indian takeout and the culture of the peaceful, spice-loving Indian people with a vegetarian version of the national dish! Of Britain!

What?  Oh, an explanation.  Chicken Tikka Masala is one of the most popular Indian takeout meals, despite the fact that it has absolutely no real Indian roots.  So much so that it was voted by British citizens to be the national dish.  Its only competition was bangers and mash or fish and chips, so it’s not hard to see how it managed to eke out a victory.

I decided to take the basic idea for a spin, but to vegefy it by taking out the chicken and adding in roasted butternut squash and marinated, baked tofu in its stead.  Fantastic, it turns out.

This is going to look, again, like a lot of steps.  But if you have a food processor or a decent blender it really takes very little time and effort, and not too many dishes to wash.  I’ll break it down into two big “steps” so that the ingredients don’t all muddle together.

Step 1:

Ingredients
-1 package extra firm tofu
-1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed into .5″ pieces
-2 T olive oil
-3 chiles (I had Thai chiles leftover, so I used those, but you can use whatever you prefer)
-2 limes, juiced
-1 t paprika
-1 t ground cumin
-.5 t ground coriander
-.25 t ground cinnamon
-2 shallots, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
-.5 C greek yogurt or vegan coconut yogurt

Method
-Drain your tofu and place on a paper toweled plate, under a light weight for an hour to drain out much of the liquid.  Dice into 1″ cubes

Before baking

-Preheat oven to 400 F
-In a blender, combine all of the rest of the ingredients until they form a smooth paste

Roasted squash

-Toss with cubed tofu, spread on lined baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden in color.
-Meanwhile, in the same oven, roast the cubed squash with a little bit of olive oil until tender

Step 2:

After baking

Ingredients
-1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
-1 T tomato paste (use the stuff in the tube to avoid waste)
-.25 C cilantro, stemmed
-1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
-.5 lime, juiced
-1 t cumin
-.5 t coriander
-1 t garam masala
-1 t sugar
-2 T olive oil
-1 medium onion, diced
-10 curry leaves (omit if you can’t find them, but they add a wonderful nutty quality)
-3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
-.5 bag frozen peas
-.5 C heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk

Method
-Heat oil in a wok over medium high heat until hot but not smoking.  Add curry leaves, onions, and carrots and saute until just tender and fragrant.

This will make your house smell gorgeous.  The curry leaves are the key.

-In the same blender, blend together the tomatoes, paste, cilantro, ginger, lime juice, spices and sugar

Spice paste

-When the veggies are just tender, add in the tomato mixture and simmer over medium low heat for about 10 minutes.  During the last two minutes of cooking, add frozen peas and continue to simmer until warmed through.  Add salt to taste.

Before cream.  Tasty, but not very smooth.

-Turn down to low heat and stir in cream.  Taste for salt once more.

Mmmm.  Creamy.  Pick out the curry leaves if you wish.

-Stir in the tofu and squash at the end to finish it up.

Serve over basmati rice (I added some turmeric to the rice for fragrance, color, and flavor.  And to prevent myself from pouring sweetened condensed milk on the leftovers like a giant fatty).  Naan wouldn’t go amiss, either.

Peaceful snack

This curry is everything you want out of good Indian takeout.  It’s got the traditional curry flavors, a bit of spice, and lots of comforting, warm flavors.  If you simply can’t abide by tofu, just use a combination of pumpkin and butternut.  Or use chicken. Whatever you decide to do can’t really be wrong with such a winning, effortless pairing of complex flavors.

I’m pretty sure that the Brits would think you were a genius for preparing this food, and Indians probably wouldn’t even laugh at you too hard for calling it Indian food.  That’s how good it is.  And it takes well under an hour to prepare, even with the rice.

And it’s peaceful.  Like Indian people.  Or not.  Because they’re all individuals.  Individuals who are really nice to cows.

Easy Egg Rolls for Hungover White People

I’m about to make a bold statement.  Are you ready?

There is no reason on earth why you shouldn’t be able to eat egg rolls whenever you please, even if it’s 2 o’clock in the morning, and you’re sitting in your underwear playing Skyrim and can’t find your wallet or your cell phone because they fell between the cracks in the couch and have fused into one-ness with half-chewed Cheetos, pennies, and life-sized balls of dog fur.

And, furthermore, there is no reason why those egg rolls have to be those Godawful LingLing ones that you get at Costco and that smell like a cross between stale cabbage and nutsack.

This entry in the series of “Asian Takeout for White People” is the basic vegetable egg roll.

With just a little bit of advanced preparation, you can be knocking out restaurant quality egg rolls, freezing them, and frying them to order for yourself whenever the whim hits you.  The cost to make them is about 35 cents per egg roll, which is also significantly cheaper than either takeout or LingLing, and they taste so much better.  Plus, you know what’s in them, so there aren’t any nasty surprises (“Oh BARF!  What the fuck are these little pink nuggets?  Shrimps?? WHAT???”)

These are HELLA cheater egg rolls, too, so there isn’t even much work involved, an, in a pinch, these can be made solely from ingredients that you can find at your local supermarket.  No, I’m not lying to you.  The variations are pretty endless, but this is a good “basic” model that will stand up to the taste buds of even the most discriminating takeout connoisseur.

Ingredients:
1 small package bean threads*

Scant 1/4 C dried black fungus, shredded preferably**
1 bag “coleslaw mix” from the grocery store, or 3 C freshly, finely shredded cabbage and carrots
2 T dark soy sauce
1/2 t black pepper, freshly ground
1/2 T rice vinegar
1 t sugar
1 T vegetable oil
1/4 t fresh ginger, finely minced or microplaned
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
1 package of egg roll skins
1 egg, beaten (egg wash)
Oil for frying/frying rig

*Bean threads are just very fine, clear noodles made from mung beans.  They’re cheap, don’t require cooking (just soaking), and are sometimes called “vermicelli” in the store.
**Black fungus sounds disgusting, but they’re really these lovely, chewy, omnipresent ribbons found in most Chinese food.  The texture is more assertive than the flavor, but I’d miss them quite a bit if they weren’t there.  They aren’t mushroomy at all.
Method:
-In a large bowl, soak bean threads in lukewarm water until al dente (about 15 minutes), drain, and chop into 2 inch pieces.
-In a separate bowl, soak black fungus in hot water until reconstituted. Rinse, drain and chop into 1 inch pieces.
-In a small bowl, combine vinegar, black pepper, soy sauce, and sugar
-In a large saute pan, heat vegetable oil until almost smoking, then add garlic and ginger.  Quickly toss until aromatic.
-Add coleslaw mix and saute until tender but not soggy. 
-Pour in soy sauce mixture and black fungus pieces and saute for another minute.
-Remove from heat, and scrape into a bowl to cool (you can reuse the black fungus bowl)
-When cool, set out your egg roll skins, covered with a damp towel to keep from drying out, a pastry brush, and your egg wash.
-Drain any excess liquid off of your cabbage filling, then toss with your bean threads.
-Place an egg roll skin with a point toward you, like a diamond.

-Add about 3T filling to the bottom corner of the egg roll skin, leaving about an inch below.
-Roll tightly, as shown, until you have the egg roll with a triangle of egg roll skin left at the top, like an envelope.  Make sure that your ends have been tucked all the way in so there aren’t any places for filling to leak out or oil to leak in when frying.
-Brush the triangle of the “envelope” with egg wash, then finish rolling and set aside.  Repeat.

When all of your egg rolls have been rolled, you can put them in a freezer bag, keeping out the ones you want to eat immediately.

To cook:
-Heat 3-4 inches oil to 375 F.  Make sure your fryer or frying rig is set up safely, and that you’re not going to set your house on fire.  I recommend a real fryer, about which you’ve read the instruction manual.
-When hot, place 3-4 egg rolls in the oil and cook on all sides until golden brown.
-Drain on paper towels or a paper bag, then serve immediately with sweet and sour sauce or sweet chili sauce.

Spring rolls can be done similarly, but I prefer the chewy interior of the egg roll skin (you can see the layers of chewy dough inside the crispy outer layer). If you use the spring roll wrappers, these will become vegan. Either way, they’re pure comfort food, and a good way to get vegetables into picky eaters.  Also, they’re vegetarian.  And SO DELICIOUS.  Anytime you’re feeling saucy, just grab a few out of the freezer, fry them up, and get down to eating business.  I try to keep a reasonable stash, because egg rolls are one of my favorite foods for when I’m feelings sick (hungover) or sleepy (hungover) or craving Chinese food (all the time).