Tag Archives: relationships

My OWN Tofu

It’s no secret that food can transport you to another time.

Sitting around the table with family.
Eating that one amazing funnel cake at the county fair.
Baking with a grandmother during youth.

But what about food associations with not-so-great memories?

Because that’s my relationship with tofu. I’m no a hater. I’ve loved the stuff for years. Even though I’ve made some of the worst batches of tofu in the world, I still crave the good stuff.

But, here’s the sore spot. When I used to think, see or dream of tofu (in any form): a person popped into my brain. This was a person I don’t want to see. A former relationship that’s long dead in the water. It all kept going back to him.

I didn’t think I could make tofu as well as he did.
I didn’t think I had the same sort of patience as he did.
I knew I wasn’t him, and I knew I ate his tofu all the time.

The link to tofu in my brain was all wrapped up in that person, and I thought: This needs to stop. I needed to perform some serious image therapy on myself and stop linking food I loved with someone who made me feel such incredible pain. So the other night, I did just that. And the result was well worth it.

I made my own barbeque marinade.
I pressed my own tofu blocks.
I cut my own tofu the way I wanted.
I asked my own roommate to put this in the oven, so a meal would be ready upon arrival.

I prepared, crEATed and enjoyed this meal by myself in my own way. And it was the best tofu I’ve eaten in years.

Recipe: Change-of-Mind Marinade for Tofu

Compromise in the Kitchen

Last night was an exercise in patience. Thankfully, it yielded good results.

Days ago, the boyfriend suggested we make a meal together. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to create (and eat) a meal together as a team. Friday, I received a text from him indicating he had picked up some ingredients. When I arrived at his apartment, he was ready to cook.

As I was standing there watching him pull out pots and pans, I found myself feeling helpless. For more than a year, I have been used to cooking meals for myself (or my roommate). I am no longer used to this method of “cooking as a team,” and honestly, I found myself upset that I was not part of the planning process.

Between snapping asparagus stalks and boiling water, I let the boyfriend know my feelings. He indicated that he had picked out ingredients based on my food tolerances. He thought that buying the ingredients was a helpful move. I agree, it was, but I think some of my control issues surrounding the kitchen surfaced. Simply put, I am used to being head chef in the kitchen. I don’t like that power being taken away from me.

As I stood there feeling upset and hurt, I realized something huge: I need to loosen the reins. For the first time in a long time, I am in a happy and healthy relationship. I want to be able to share things that I love (like cooking) with my partner. Thankfully, we have created an open and honest relationship from the start. And despite the initial hiccups of our team cooking, we ended up sharing a beautiful meal with one another that both sustained our bodies and spirits.

When things don’t go as you had expected or planned, it’s best not to get worked up. Just be honest, straightforward and move on. Otherwise, you might miss out on enjoying an incredible meal with someone you love.

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