Even though neither one of us was feeling particularly festive, we decided this week to make Classic Thai Noodles,Vegetarian Style
. Basically, to make this, you need to prepare everything upfront (lots of cathartic chopping and bashing), and put each individual ingredient in a seperate bowl. Then you just sling everything in a wok in the proscribed order. We figured it was a three star meal - the condiments really made it. The garbanzo beans really didn't do a lot for me - it would have been better with some red bell pepper or some water chestnuts I think. It was supposed to feed two as a main meal, but Mykull, my son and I each had a big bowlful, and we had tons left over.
This morning, after spending two hours stripping ivy from a tree in Mykull's yard, we ate the rest which was vastly improved by another couple of tablespoons soy sauce and a dash of Thai fish sauce. Or maybe hacking through ivy stalks imagining they are the Presidential perineum, or gouging through dead bark pretending it's Michael Chertoff's ear canal, or ripping up vegetation while thinking about scalping Michael Brown just works up a girl's appetite.
OK, I'm done talking about the noodles now. I'm still in a state of disbelief about what has happened on the Gulf Coast. I just can't believe the level of indifference, cynicism and incompetence that has been displayed over the last few day. I just can't believe that 10,000 people have died (Ray Nagin's estimate), many of them needlessly and brutally. Think about the reasons that people voted for Bush, and how each one of them has been refuted beyond doubt by his actions or inactions:
He's a moral man of faith. I don't think you could get any less Christian than to turn your back on thousands of poor, sick and old, when you have the resources of the wealthiest country in the world at your disposal. Never mind impeachment; he should stand trial for the murder of thousands.
He's 'folksy' and a 'man of the people'. He's more concerned about photo-ops and spinning what has happened while simultaneously refusing aid from other countries and states. His focus is on how events make him look, not on helping people, and on rewriting history to exonerate his past decisions which helped create this horrible situation.
He's a no-nonsense man of action. So once upon a time he conveniently had a bull-horn at the right time at the right place. But now, he can't even come up with consoling words. And his actions have been too little, too late. Aid has been blocked from going into New Orleans; boats with supplies have been prevented from entering; Northern Command had resources ready to go just waiting for the word from our guitar-strumming, cake-eating, vacationing leader.
And it's unbelievable to me his approval rating is still 44% - it's dropped a lot, but who in the hell can approve of how he has handled this situation? It's been an unmitigated, horrific disaster.
Classic Thai Noodles - Vegetarian Style
8 oz dried rice sticks noodles 'chantaboon' type or any thin, flat variety about 1/8 " wide
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
8 oz firm tofu, cut into fat matchstick sized pieces
5 tbsp vegetable stock
3 tbsp distilled white vinegar
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp white pepper
4 scallions, finely sliced
3 tbsp thai soy sauce with mushroom or chinese brand like Pearl River Bridge
1 tbsp paprika, thai chili powder or other ground red chili
1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans
1 cup bean sprouts
1/3 cup crushed roasted unsalted peanuts
2 cups beansprouts
1/3 cup crushed roasted unsalted peanuts
thai chilies, finely sliced
Soak rice noodles in large bowl of warm water for 15 minutes until they are soft. Drain.
Heat a wok over medium-high heat. When quite hot, add the oil. Rotate the wok so the oil coats the sides. Add garlic and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the tofu and stir-fry for a minute. Add stock and noodles, and stir-fry for a minute, tossing the noodles to mix. Add the vinegar and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add sugar, pepper and scallions and mix well. Add soy sauce and stir fry for 1 minute. Add soy sauce and stir fry for 1 minute. Add paprika and stir fry briskly for 1-2 minutes. Stir in garbanzo beans, beansprouts and peanuts and mix well. Serve with condiments.