Sunday, March 4, 2012

It is going to be a good year of cooking

Twenty-three years. That is how long I waited to change from an electric stove to gas. When we bought our house in 1989, it came with a not-new refrigerator and electric stove. Okay. I had opportunities to cook on gas stoves and vastly preferred it, but this one was here, and electric, and after buying the house we did not have a lot of spare money. So I thought I would use the electric one until it died and then I would replace it with gas.

Twenty-three years.

The oven element was failing, and I probably could have fixed it - myself - for about $25. But when we determined that it was indeed failing, my heart leaped and I did a happy dance. Reena did not begrudge me the new stove.We bought one lickity-split, had a gas line run from the basement (furnace, water heater) to the kitchen. Delivery of the new stove (and refrigerator) was yesterday.

Now we are cookin' with gas. Yeah baby.

As it turns out, we were not home for dinner yesterday. Reena got to use the stove before I did - sheesh! - and we went to a pot luck party. Today...ahh, today. I had a brand new carbon steel wok from Blood Bath and Beyond, and today it was going to get used. But with a carbon steel wok, like a cast iron skillet, you first have to season it.

Seasoning the new Carbon Steel Wok (DS3_6160)

For those who do not know, seasoning means heating up the brand new wok, coating the whole dang thing with vegetable oil, and putting it on the burner until the oil cooks in and burns off. It smokes a lot, and definitely set off my smoke alarm. It changes the color of the wok from bright steel to blackened caramel. Done properly it will prepare the wok for a lifetime of non-stick cooking goodness.

Now mine has had its initial seasoning, and it was time to cook. Who knew that the first thing I would cook in it, on the new stove, was tofu? Not me!

Marinating Tofu and Freashly-seasoned Wok (DS3_6161)

I took most of a pound of tofu and squeezed the moisture out of it, then put it in a marinade of lemon juice, salt, lemon peel, garlic, cloves, onion, and ginger. I have peppers (red and green), mushrooms, baby corn, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, and bean sprouts to add. A bit of rice, and voilé - dinner!

On my new gas stove with a newly seasoned wok. It is going to be a good year of cooking.

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