Looking back on 2015, it was a pretty fantastic year.
It was full of time in the kitchen, both professional and at home. There was lots of music, friends, family and love. And I finally got to stop taking weekly ferries out to visit Owen, because we moved back in together!
2015 was packed full of so many memories and experiences. But it felt like it went by in a flash. One of my best friends Holly is back visiting London right now, the city where we met and went to school together nearly two years ago. And it’s been on my mind a lot lately how quickly time goes by. It feels like just yesterday that Owen and I were nervously boarding a plane to move to the UK.
Sometimes I look back at that first year living together in London (not to mention it also being my first time living away from home) and all the little frustrations and difficulties seem to make so much sense- I think I made it out that it was going to be a lot easier than it actually was, and didn’t allow myself to be okay with it being hard. For me, it was all the little things I didn’t realize I’d have to do on my own: Set up a bank account, get a phone plan, budget for groceries, buy groceries, buy things like dish soap and a broom. And I didn’t count on the night life in London to be so much fun. That definitely took a nice healthy chunk out of my weekly spending. And beyond it being my first time out on my own, or the fact that we had just moved away from home and all the way across the world, we were doing this together. Moving to London together, moving in together. And all at 18 and 19, which looking back at it all now, I’m pretty proud of how well we managed.
Sometimes though I don’t know how we didn’t kill each other. We lived in a teeny tiny flat in the centre of London (we went for location over space) and I’m talking teeny tiny. Like, so small that when we skyped friends and family and they’d ask for the tour, we’d walk around our flat, which took about 10 seconds, and then they’d be there, smiling expectantly and say “Well? Take us to the next room then!” And we’d be like “That’s it. That’s the whole flat.”
It was actually so small that if one of us was in the bathroom while the other was cooking, the one in the kitchen would get smacked in the back of the head with the bathroom door as it swung open. Like, if we had a fight, your only option besides sitting furiously next to each other was to go sulk on the toilet or go take an angsty shower.
And by no means am I trying to sound ungrateful or that I hated it- because it was the complete opposite, I loved that tiny flat! It added so much hilarity, ridiculousness and character to our time in London. But it was just that, ridiculous. And I’d do it all over again.
This time around it’s a whole lot more chill. We’re living in a small city, in a house with friends. A whole house. And in our downtime we don’t have the entire bustling city of London just outside our front door like we did before, so we definitely spend a lot more time just hanging out, which is pretty cool too. Not to mention it’s been great living with my boy again, I’d forgotten how much I missed being around him for all the everyday kind of stuff, like cooking together.
When I first met Owen he hated tofu. There was literally nothing he liked about it. He hated the texture, the taste. Basically he thought tofu was stupid.
I, on the other hand, LOVE tofu. I think it’s the bomb. It’s versatile, it comes in so many different forms and textures, you can put it in basically everything. I just love everything about tofu. – Side note, I love tofu so much, one year for christmas Owen bought me these huge hideous brown knee high socks that say TOFU in big letters on them. They’re probably the weirdest pair of socks I own, which is saying something. But I love them.
So I made it my mission to get Owen to at least tolerate tofu. I’d say I was making stir fry then sneak it in. I bought the deep fried versions or I’d grill it with miso. Eventually, gradually, he stopped pulling the five-year-old-eating-broccoli face every time he saw it on his plate. And now, nearly 5 years later he loves tofu. And I’ve officially crowned myself queen of everything.
So in honour of Owen’s tofu transformation, here’s our go-to Tofu Stir fry recipe:
- 2-3 chopped stalks green onions
- 1 sliced bell pepper
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- 1 package of medium firm tofu/ or 1 package of the deep fried tofu
- Miso paste
- Oyster sauce
- Soy sauce
- Sesame seed oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- In a large fry pan on medium high, cook onions with a tablespoon of sesame seed oil until tender, set aside
- Remove tofu from packaging, drain water, and slice into bit sized cubes.
Put into fry pan with a tablespoon of sesame seed oil on med-high heat and pan fry tofu until it begins to brown.
- Add onions back into the pan, along with bell peppers and green onion. Turn down heat to med-low and add 2 tablespoons of butter.
- In a small bowl, put approximately 2 heaping tablespoons of miso paste, 3-4 tablespoons of oyster sauce, and 4-5 tablespoons of soy sauce. There is no exact measurement because it’s all up to your personal preference for taste and consistency. Add more soy sauce for a saucier and saltier stir fry . Mix together.
- Pour sauce over the stir fry and mix to combine.
- Remove from heat, and serve over a bowl of rice or noodles and garnish with cilantro.
If you have a tofu hater in your life, maybe this will help them make the first step into the light.
Happy eating! x