Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Turkey Atonement

So, to combat the karmic liability of eating the turkey, I made us a macrobiotic Thanksgiving feast on Saturday. My preparations began Friday night when I whipped up some home-made seitan. Yes, that's pronounced SAY-tan. You can believe it has supplied an endless stream of jokes in our house. I made it the traditional way, with 4 cups whole wheat flour and 4 cups unbleached white flour. You add water and knead all the bran and starch away, leaving only the rubbery gluten. Takes a long time, too much water, and leaves one's wrists rather cramped. Except for the wasting the water (I could've preserved it for bread baking or to pour on the compost pile), I think I upped my score.

So after you've created what looks like a tight ball of yellow elastic bands, you plop it into a broth of water, soy sauce, and kombu. (Macrobiotics is all about sea vegetables, you know, for which I'm game, pretty much, except for hijiki.)

I have to say that the finished product is not so bad! It comes closest to tasting like/having the texture of octopus, which we've eaten in Italy and the states. It's a tad rubbery, but picks up the broth flavor very nicely. If you don't want it to have the soy sauce flavor, you can cook it in another sort of broth, I suppose. And people also add herbs to the ball of gluten itself before cooking.


anne frasier said...

my god. that might be equivalent to...building your own car from scratch. :D i'm a vegetarian and ate falafels on thanksgiving. i've felt icky ever since! i think it must have been the grease they were fried in. (I didn't make them.)

i'm really intrigued by this kombu stuff. i may have to look into that.

Mary Louisa said...

LOL I'm the type of person who would try to build the car from scratch. About ten years ago, I had this bright idea that I wanted to build a mountain house for us from scratch. One room, very spartan, but half the point would be that I'd learn how to build a house. I am a lifelong learner of everything.
p.s. didn't do it.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

And here I just had a tamale/enchilada combo plate with rice and beans. Mmmmm, good. :)

Mary Louisa said...

Rob, are you sure that wasn't a kombu plate?