07 April 2013

Supper for A One

As I am going to be a panelist on the Words Made Flesh: Intersections of Sexuality, Gender Identity, and Spirituality panel at my alma interfectoris LGBT alumni conference next weekend, I wanted to share a symbol I now wear on my right hand.

As there’s no way to tell if a person’s ace(asexual) without asking them, the ace ring was born on AVEN or another similar online forum (symbology here; check out this blog post for details on the ring).

The ace ring is generally a black ring worn on the right middle finger. Mine is, as you can see, a silvery wire ring with blue and green beads from Hearthsong. For me, the ring symbolizes being one among many. I’m not the only ace I know, thankfully, and the rings identify us to each other.

I figure if there’s ever a reason to stop being ace, the person or other cause for that major shift in my life can remove the ring (I’m so romantic Goth that way).

As I’m learning, the shift to being attracted to someone, though not sexually, is gradual. Then one day recently it hit me in morning pages that I had feelings for someone and have been goosey ever since.

I like to share. When I care about someone, I make them things and emotionally support them to the best of my capacity. I had no one to share this tempeh dinner with on Tuesday. #foreveralone #singlelife hashtagging time. It was so gourmet I impressed myself. The pomegranate molasses elevated it from ordinary to extraordinary. Granted, the butternut squash tasted a tad bland with all the other spices going on, but you say "reduction" and "seared" and all else is forgiven. It's not a true reduction, but it's viscous enough to be like one.

(This picture is not actually the dish in question, but it's similar, with grilled tempeh and braised greens. Those are rice noodles.)

Seared Tempeh with Sesame Pomegranate Molasses Reduction, Braised Greens, and Butternut Mash

2 8-ounce packages of tempeh (I used the plain soy and flax flavours; make sure it's GF.)

1 quart water

2 yellow onions, half-mooned

2 cloves garlic, sliced thin or pressed
pinch Kosher salt
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground comino
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon GF tamari

4 cups dandelion greens or other bitter greens, ribboned

2 cups roasted butternut squash

1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Cut tempeh into four triangles per 8-ounce block. In a medium saucepan, bring water and tempeh to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Drain water and set pan aside.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Dry sauté onions and garlic with the pinch of salt until they begin to brown and turn translucent, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Clear a space in the centre and add the spices. Toast the spices for thirty seconds before stirring to incorporate. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits. Cook for a few more minutes until the vinegar is mostly evaporated and the onions have softened. Scrape the onions into a large bowl and return the skillet to the heat.

Add the oil, tamari, and molasses to the pan and arrange the tempeh triangles in the pan. Sear over medium-high heat for about two minutes. Turn over and sear the other side until the oil mixture has mostly caramelized on the bottom of the pan. Remove the triangles and place in the bowl with the onions. Return the skillet to the heat.

In the medium saucepan, combine squash, maple syrup, and spices and heat through.

Add the dandelion greens and a few tablespoons of water to the skillet. Scrape up the sesame oil sauce and cook the greens until wilted.

To assemble: place about 3/4 cup of squash on each plate. Add a third of the dandelion greens. Layer with a third of the onions. Finally, top with one or two triangles of tempeh to each diner. Serves three. So it would be date night food with leftovers for lunch for one.

As you can see, I chopped up my tempeh since I like to eat teh cubez with chopstix.

Or it's dinner for one person three times. Given that I lack sharing audience save via teh interwebs, it's dinner for one 3x. If I had a restaurant, I would charge USD $22.00 for it. If I had someone to share it with, alls I ask is mutual exchange of ideas and support.

See, people, being ace does not preclude emotional attachment or caring deeply about the well-being of others. Taking care of myself, so I can best take care of others and fulfill what I need to do on this earth plane, comes from my spirituality. Using my talents for the nourishment of hearts and minds is my mission in this life. Spring fever has got me trying to direct my desire to share to a specific being this year.
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