Okay, I’m going to move into this slowly. First, what the would-be tempeh looked like: just skinned soaked soybeans, ready to go in their special pan inside a special heater on a table in the basement for 24 hours. And yes, this is another of housemate “Dan the Man”‘s fermentation experiments. (I’ve asked him to give me a list of all the fermentation products he’s produced so far, and he keeps saying he will . . .) YES! “Green Acres Alchemy” (the name for our future “product line”) lives!
And let me tell you. This “work” of his is truly play. Everytime this Virgo begins one of the detailed kitchen processes that yields his amazing ferments, he’s excited, and energized. A wonderful example of the kind of community contribution we ask from those who live here: WHAT ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT? DO THAT!
Meanwhile, that same evening we enjoyed another of our amazing weekly Community Dinners, although, in the three years we have done these — and we bill them as “giftings” rather than potlucks, because you don’t have to bring anything if you don’t want to — we didn’t have enough food! Plenty of wine, but basically the only food present was a loaded, hearty chicken/garden vegetable soup I had prepared, and the homemade noodles (both gluten and non-gluten) I had asked Dan to prepare to go in the soup. BTW: this was another first for him; he’s never made homemade noodles before, and you can imagine the learning curve he went through to get the non-gluten noodles to roll out. So chicken noodle soup, plus a salad from Rebecca and Dan made a quick trip to the store for bread — which Mariella, feeling guilty, insisted on paying for. And somebody brought chocolate bars for dessert. That’s it! Usually, there are a zillion offerings. This time mostly wine! So odd. Luckily I had made just enough soup for the 18 or so folks present. And luckily, even the non-gluten noodle option was good and filling.
The paucity of food selections didn’t stop us from having a great time, especially given all the wine (and we did have chips to go along with that). Various intense intimate conversations ensued.
Since I was the “lead” for this dinner, I had decided to “dress up,” meaning not just my usual sweat pants and shirt. Instead, I wore my new, never worn, orange tights under one of the cool tunics that I usually only get out for Dances of Universal Peace events. The tights I thought a nifty addition, since they matched one of the colors of the chosen tunic.
Well . . . Eva thought that I had bare legs, and was shocked! Mariella chimed in, wondering why I had worn something so risque. Then, the best interpretation of all, Eva’s pre-teen daughter Sophie, who seemed to be absorbed on her screen (on left below), suddenly called out, “I like your two carrots!”
To all these nasty ladies, I instantly transformed into the goddess Baubo, and flashed my torso!
While everybody else tittered behind their hands, housemate Dan got the joke. He had come wandering in a few evenings earlier, while I was watching a BBC documentary on Britain’s Child Beggars — about the Romanian gypsies, mostly women with small children, who have immigrated there and beg all day and night for coins. Really sad from the upper crust reporter’s point of view, but I love the way they stick together, and how they laugh! And how the children are so vital that they can run and throw snowballs at each other even after a long long day of begging the streets. Plus: whenever the gypsy women are confronted by the “authorities,” in utter contempt they flash their torsos from beneath their pretend long Muslim cloaks (they dress as Muslims in Muslim areas of London, since Muslims are known for their generosity). Baubos all the way!
At the time I had explained Baubo to Dan. Here are two less than usually risque images: You can google the rest.
In this image, notice especially the small image in the upper right between the snake heads. That’s the more usual depiction of Baubo. My own contribution was decidedly tame.
The original Greek goddess Baubo, by the way, was an old woman — like me!
Meanwhile, the very next day, 24 hours after they were put in the heater, voila! Micelium covers the entire surface.
Okay! Time to cut them into blocks and offer them to friends as a sample of what is to come.
Next batch? To be made with black beans, already in a pot, soaking. YES!