Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
It’s been storming and hailing all day and I’m making soup. In my kitchen, the windows are steamed up and you can barely see the dying light outside; the early spring spirits fighting their best fight against winter’s big black hangover. Fighting—or at least the desire and intent to fight—looks to be the mood of this new year. From what I’ve seen lately, there’s some kind of healthy living movement taking hold amongst my people. Maybe it’s thanks to this past winter, which was hard and long and dark; I don’t know. What I do know is a lot of people (young and old) that I really love and respect are shaking off that dated, limiting, terrible “doomed artist” thing a lot of us flirt with and are looking for better ways to live. They’re trying health spells and experimenting with folk remedies. They’re reading ancient cookbooks, trying new age detox cures, and making recipe zines that read like hardcore songs. Like a friend of mine sings on his new record, “Do you want to live long? Well, then you better stay strong.” I want to live long.
So I’m making soup. This one’s a simple split pea soup recipe but it comes packed with good health, sweet spice, and—above all—a mammoth dose of protein; two bowls of this in the morning and I feel like I can bend steel bars into pretzels.
Also—and this is kind of a side-note—I’m listening to the new Inca Ore 12”, Birthday of Bless You, while I cook (and while I write this). It works; the long, hazy ghost drones really fit the dimming light outside and the steamed, dripping window glass, and the healing vibes I’m working hard to bring on. Just like any experimental process, making food deserves a good soundtrack and Birthday of Bless You is a fine one.
1 cup dry split peas
3 cups water
1 tbsp sea salt
One half tbsp of each: curry power, cumin, ginger
1-2 tbsp(s) cinnamon
Quarter of a red onion (not chopped up or anything.)
Extra firm tofu
Smart Balance, Light (non-hydrogenated butter substitute)
Directions are pretty basic. Fry the tofu in a pan with a couple tablespoons of Smart Balance and a sprinkle of ginger until the tofu gets nice and brown around the edges. While that’s happening, put the water and peas in the biggest soup pot you can find and turn the stove to high. (The bigger the better since a lot of the final outcome depends upon the magical properties of steam.) Bring the peas and water to a boil then add the sea salt, tofu, seasonings, and onion. Cover, turn the stove down low (I put mine at 2 ½ on a scale of 1-10), and let it cook for an hour.
When your hour’s up, take the pot off the heat and uncover it. After it cools a little, you’re going to want to taste it and see if it’s sweet enough. If it’s not, add more cinnamon (balanced out with curry) until it’s right on. Then grate the carrot into the pot and you’re all set.
Note: If you’re looking for a good drink to go with this, try water with fresh squeezed lime juice, and a couple drops of rosewater (as wrote Edgar Cayce) or a good strong red wine.BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org