Today I reached a point where it was very clear that No More Work Was Going to Be Done, so I went on a spree of provisioning instead. I put up a jar of what will become preserved lemons (packed with salt and lemon juice, left in a cool place, shaken every day for a week or two or more), made a strata for our breakfasts for the rest of the week, and went shopping at the local "Oriental Super Market," as the nearby Asian market calls itself. I managed to get quite a lot of stuff for $15, which made me feel productive in this small way, if not with regard to my actual work. For the small sum of money in my wallet, I got:
2 cans "mock duck" wheat gluten
2 blocks fresh tofu
1 package dried shiitake mushrooms
1 bunch chinese broccoli
1 head cauliflower
1 bunch radishes
1 large package of green beans
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch green onions
6 heads of garlic
That should keep us for a little while. I used the tofu right away, as you can see. Fresh tofu is good. It is creamy and custardy on the inside in a way that the sealed tubs of stuff never manage to be, and good golly, is it cheap. I think I paid thirty-five cents for each block, each of which fed one person very handsomely, in combination with a modest selection of vegetables.
This tofu dish involved dredging the drained and sliced tofu with homemade curry powder and lime juice, then pan-frying it and draining it on a paper bag. While the tofu sat on the counter, I sauteed a sliced onion, a few cloves of minced garlic, some grated ginger, red pepper flakes, and cumin seeds in a bit of fresh olive oil. After a minute, I added the green beans, then after a minute more, tossed in some salt and half a cup of water. Then the lid went on until the beans were almost ready. Lid off again, I added the tofu and some canned diced tomatoes and heated everything through. We scarfed it all up with some little cakes made of leftover baked sweet potato, and I felt frugal and decadent all at once.