Keiko wrote, a while back, about her Red Tent Temple, a place where, as in Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, women gather for shared sisterhood, even if that shared sisterhood doesn't (as it does in the Bible) entail the experience of a monthly menstrual cycle. I was struck by that post at the time, wishing that there was a Red Tent somewhere around here. As ICLW (IComLeaveWe, a monthly commenting and new-blog-exploring love-fest organized by one of my other blogging mentors, Mel Ford, over at Stirrup Queens) begins, I've been thinking about that post again, since ICLW has become an occasion, for me, to enter into dialogue with other women, and to celebrate the feminine ... a sort of "virtual Red Tent," if you will. I've noticed, as I look over the list of participants, how few men there seem to be participating in ICLW. Just today, I was with two friends at a park where our children were playing, and we found ourselves discussing uteruses and labia like you might talk about the weather. I can't imagine my husband talking about, say, prostates, with other men, nor do I think I'd be as comfortable talking about my body with men.
I'm curious: do you know the gender of the bloggers you follow? What is the gender balance of your blogroll? What is the Red Tent equivalent for men? Or should our intimate spaces be more inclusive? Is there a real Red Tent in your community? (And can I come visit?)
I made red curry this week, as a way to continue working on our bounty of produce, and perhaps it's a fitting tribute to the virtual Red Tent in the blogosphere this week. Thai curries are easy (provided you're not making your own curry paste from scratch, which I don't), they can be healthy, and they're incredibly versatile. You can substitute in other vegetables that you like; just make sure that you cook any root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, etc.) longer, and leave things like beans or peas or zucchini until the end.
4 t. canola oil, divided
14 oz extra-firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes (I used baby corn in place of the tofu because my husband is not a tofu fan)
1 lb. sweet potato, cubed
1 14 oz. can lite coconut milk
1/2 c. vegetable broth
1-2 t. red Thai curry paste
1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed/cut
1 T. brown sugar
2 t. lime juice
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, quartered
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu and cook, stirring every 2 or 3 minutes, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, broth and curry paste to taste. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is just tender, about 4 minutes. Add the tofu, green beans and brown sugar; return to a simmer and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the green beans are tender-crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in lime juice and salt. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
The Stylish Blogger award requires that you list seven things about yourself and nominate 15 other bloggers. Since it's ICLW, I figured it would be a good excuse to (re)introduce myself in Q and A format. This time, with a food theme. Just because.
- What's your favorite thing to eat? Some days my body craves greens, and I love a big salad with walnuts, dried cranberries, and goat cheese. I enjoy Indian and Thai food. Then there's sweets: lately I've been craving chocolate, tiramisu, and cheesecake. I rarely dream about slabs of meat, though. That's my husband's job.
- Do you actually post about everything you cook? Mostly. There are some boring things I don't post. And I don't make something new every single day. But we are pretty adventurous eaters, and I like breaking bread (or cake, or soup) with other people.
- What's the weirdest thing you've ever eaten? I guess it depends on your perspective. I ate brains once as a child. And turtle. Neither of which were by my own choosing (my father thought it was a good sport to make me eat things I would never touch if I knew what they were).
- What is your guilty pleasure? Peanut butter, eaten with a single chopstick. Sometimes dipped in raisins, sometimes dipped in high quality chocolate chips. You'd be surprised at the number of things you can eat with a chopstick. Maybe someday I'll write a book about it.
- Why "Half Baked"? Is this a food blog? Well, roughly half of what I post here is baked. And my ideas are sometimes half baked. And my daughter, until recently, was also partially baked. Now she's fully baked, though. Or at least baking on her own. So no, this isn't really a food blog ... it's more of a food-and-life blog. See my tags at right for the IF backstory.
- What do you want to do with your one wild and precious life? This blog was supposed to help me figure that out. Someone (who reads this blog, bless her!) actually paid me for my baked goods last week; that was pretty cool. Writing wouldn't be so bad, either.
- Where do you get your beautiful pottery? I confess, I am sort of a sucker for pottery. Bill Campbell is one of my favorite artists, but I tend to collect things in that style.
- Bonus: Will you send me food? Maybe, if you're really, really nice to me. Baked goods can travel well. ;)
Now, for the bloggers! It's so hard to choose ... I always like to make sure that I give awards like these to new people, so that lots of people get exposure. And this is the perfect week to visit new blogs. So what I'll recommend is that you go here and pick someone to give this award to! Some of my most loyal commenters are also people you should go visit, and give some love ... I'll give this award to them, too (I already gave 9 others the award recently, so look them up!). :)
- Rebecca at http://roadlesstraveledblog.blogspot.com/
- RunningMama at http://moreroominmyheart.blogspot.com/
- Tasivfer at http://tasivfer.wordpress.com/
- K at http://mypottyseat.blogspot.com/
- Jenn at http://jennsden.blogspot.com/
- Adele at http://delinquenteggs.blogspot.com/
- Andie at http://conceivablefuture.blogspot.com/
- Tracy at http://cookedheads.blogspot.com/
- New Year Mum at http://newyearmum.blogspot.com/
- Beth at http://ofmusesandmeringues.blogspot.com/
- ManyManyMoons at http://manymanymoons.blogspot.com
- Lesley at http://theordinaryadventure.blogspot.com/
- Pie at http://sliceofpietoday.blogspot.com/
- EBC at http://ournewplana.blogspot.com/
- Jes at http://allieverwishedfor.blogspot.com/
- InBetween at http://survivingacademia.blogspot.com/