I’m finally starting to feel more relaxed after an insanely busy and emotional month, things are showing signs of settling down just a pinch and I’m ready for it! Saturday was a tough day as my family and I sorted through my grandma’s apartment. It actually wasn’t a long project because she didn’t have a lot of stuff believing in keeping things simple in her tiny apartment. But it was an emotionally tough thing to do, everything brought back so many wonderful memories of an amazing woman. Even though she’s passed, it felt strange and invasive to go through all of her personal things. I didn’t take much home, just a few items that had sentimental value and that I knew she’d be happy to see me enjoy, like another set of her published books and Bible.
It was always so amazing to me that she was a published author of fantastic fictional romance novels. She had such a passion for writing that she kept it up to the end and had an amazing talent for creating and developing fictional characters. Some day I hope to have just a fraction of her talent and passion for writing, it’s always something that has interested and inspired me even though I’ve never felt I’m that good at it.
Along with writing, she and my grandpa had a passion for traveling around the world and spent years doing it, they valued experiences and adventure more than collecting material things and always seemed to have a great time together. We divided up the few fabulous paintings and art pieces from these adventure and I got some of the paintings I remember marveling at as a kid. We ended up donating much of her furniture and clothes with was tough, but I knew she wouldn’t want us to feel obligated to keep anything we couldn’t use or enjoy.
Sadly the last few weeks seem like a blur to me and most of my eats weren’t that exciting, many were fast WTF meals utilizing what we had in the kitchen and garden since I haven’t made a huge grocery shopping trip in weeks. A great example is this baked tofu dish.
I marinated pressed tofu slices in soy sauce for about 20 minutes before baking for 40 minutes at 350 degrees with a sliced kabocha squash from our garden.
The baked meal lacked class for sure and seemed to echo how I felt that evening.
I’m happy to report that my home-grown kabocha squashes are delicious! I’m giddy to have 4 more growing right now.
And the baked tofu actually came out good with a crunchy outside and chewy inside.
I have been a vegan for two years now, but I do kind of remember what pork rinds taste like and these baked tofu slices tasted eerily like them with a salty and crispy exterior. Did I stumble on a vegan pork rind recipe? Maybe I need to explore this more.
But it hasn’t all been ghetto eats over these trying times. I had plenty of zucchini, yellow squash and tomatoes from my dad’s garden and a freezer that’s always stocked with hemp seeds. So I spiral sliced some squash, chopped tomato and added leftover corn from a family gathering.
I coated the mess with my favorite curry hemp seed sauce from Kristen Suzanne’s Hemp recipe book which I make a lot, I know. In my defense, I was craving curry that night and flipped through my other raw recipe books looking for a new curry recipe to try, but every other recipe I came across called for coconut milk which I didn’t have. Kristen’s recipe is a powerhouse to me because it packs raw ginger, garlic, and the perfect amount of spicy kick. I mixed in a little homemade cultured veggies too for added tang and probiotics which always come in handy during stressful times for me.
I really liked the texture of the added corn and variety in texture mixing spiral sliced yellow squash and zucchini for this raw dish.
And it made great leftovers for a fast, workday lunch.
I also completed my long 10-mile run this weekend which was a needed win after such a frustrating week, but it wasn’t a fast run. As much as I enjoy half-marathons, it’s tough not to let life get in the way of the intense training schedule and I found myself thankful that was my last long run before the big event. And thankful for Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer.
Loading half a serving into a smoothie before and after long runs really seems to make a difference in how fast I recover from them. And I’m glad to have it as an additional nutrient boost during stressful times when I might not be eating as well as I could.
JL goes Vegan says
Wow, how cool that your grandmother was a published author and that you have her stories to cherish!
I love crunchy tofu — it looks awesome!
Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga says
the tofu looks awesome! love it when it crisps up on the edges like that.
home-grown kabocha squashes are delicious! = WOW, congrats!
, it felt strange and invasive to go through all of her personal things. <– I can imagine, yes. When my grandmas passed, my mom did that job so I have no firsthand experience. So sorry, Christine.
And a published author…see, blogging and writing is in your genes!
Thanks on the squash, it came out great considering they were accidentally grown from seeds in the compost. :-)
It was tough going through her things, we tried to make it a fun celebration of memories.
Heh, thanks on the genes, I hope to have her talent someday! :-)
Jane Plass says
My sympathies on your loss. Your grandmother sounds like a very special person.
Thanks, the last month has been very tough, but we’re relieved her suffering is over.
Your grandmother published romance novels :) that’s really cool! Actually, that’s pretty awesome. I’m sorry for your loss, and I am glad you are celebrating her life by keeping some of her creations (the books) and special things. I send hugs and care your way.
I remember times when I have been dealing with “stuff” and just cooking with what was on hand and suddenly “accidentally” making something delicious and having a nice pleasant surprise. That’s kid of what it looks like with that delicious sounding tofu. The last dish there sounds quite good too. I like that you make cultured. veggies. What do you use to do that?
Yes and they’re great novels, she had such a creative talent developing characters and would write through the night sometimes. Thanks, the last month was a rough ride, but I’m glad her suffering is over.
I’m having so much fun making cultured veggies and they so much cheaper than buying from Whole Foods. For this batch, I used shredded cabbage, carrots and cucumbers with a little dill, salt, and probiotics in the water. Here’s a great post on it:
Thanks for that link!
so so so sorry about your grandma but i am glad life is starting to get back to normal.
Thanks, the last month seemed so surreal, but I’m glad her suffering is over.
Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg says
I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother passing. We’ll be doing the dividing up of my grandmother’s things over Thanksgiving or Christmas break, and I think it will be kind of surreal. I’m glad that you were able to take a few things with you that will always remind you of her.
Thanks on my grandma, she was an amazing woman. We tried to make going through her things a fun celebration of memories and keep just what we cherished and could use as she would have wanted. I hope you have fun going through your grandma’s things, she seemed like an amazing woman too with style and class from your posts.
Have been out of town and am just back, so sorry to hear of your grandma’s passing. Your post here is a beautiful, simple tribute to her. Hoping for some more restful times coming up for you.
Kim @ Eat, Live, and Blog says
I just found your blog and your recipes looks amazing! I’m so sorry for your loss though. I know it must be a tough time for you right now. I hope things will get better for you. :)
Thanks and thanks on my grandma. :-) Glad I found your blog too, wonderful food!