Monday, May 30, 2011

Grilled Tofu

Aaaaaaaaah - vacation. I needed that.
It occurred to me a few weeks ago that I was very tired and could use some time away from work. I have this bad habit of taking vacation in the summer and then realizing at the beginning of May that I have not taken any significant time off since August. You'd think I would've caught onto this by now, but it seems to happen year after year. Adding to my tiredness was the relentless dreary gray, rainy, 50 degree stretch of weather we were having. It was sapping what little energy I had left. I was craving light and relaxation. After some deliberation, I decided to partake in a yoga vacation on an island off the coast of South Carolina. I'd never been to the state before and when I saw the extended forecast was showing sunshine and heat for days on end, it was the extra incentive I needed to purchase a plane ticket. There were no direct flight options and the path I chose ended up cutting my vacation short by a half day due to mechanical and weather-related problems, but all that aggravation was washed away when I woke up my first morning there to sunshine, 90 degrees and wild deer roaming around the yard. The island is a nature preserve so the deer and other wildlife, pleasantly, have the run of the place.
The vacation included a place to stay in rented homes on Fripp Island, 2 yoga classes and 2 macrobiotic meals each day. There were also options for massage, ginger compress and reflexology treatments. The food was delicious and while I know I couldn't eat a strict macro diet all the time, I was very happy to do it for the week, especially with someone else cooking. I had a great massage in a room at the top floor of the house, next to windows that overlooked the beach. I listened to waves crashing and the sea breeze blowing while getting all the tension worked out of my neck and shoulders. The highlight of the yoga classes for me was that I was finally able to do Wheel pose (putting yourself up into a backbend). I became frustrated recently when I realized I was struggling with this pose, and set a goal for myself to try to do it by my birthday. I made it without much time to spare!
While all these components of the trip were great, the best part was the people I met there. It was a thoughtful, intelligent, creative and friendly group of people - Tara, Linda, Connie, Cecily, Amy, Jean, Frankie, Kevin, Tara #2, Keith, Janet, and, of course, Karin. I very much enjoyed chatting with them at each of our meals. A favorite moment of mine was when we celebrated Jean's 88th birthday not long after she had done a headstand. Go, Jean!
One of the dishes I liked best was a simple baked tofu. But, that was not the only delicious tofu I ate this week. Upon my return home, the sun had come out and it was the non-astronomical start of summer- Memorial Day weekend. We kicked it off with a smorgasbord cookout at Nate and Sarah Joy's place. SJ kindly marinated some tofu for me which was grilled and absolutely delicious. She threw together a marinade and told me the ingredients, but not amounts, so I'll make this and come back with more specifics.
(Thank you, Linda, for some of the photos. The one at the table is the only photographic evidence I was on Fripp Island!)
Grilled Tofu
1 container of firm extra firm tofu, pressed
lemon juice
a little cider vinegar
garlic
galangal
salt
lemongrass

1. Slice the pressed tofu into 1/2 inch slabs and pour the marinade over it. Marinate for several hours.
2. Grill until lightly browned on each side.

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