We had a family get-together for Memorial Day, and the carnivores among us complimented me mightily on my bean soup, saying it had to be full of ham to taste like that.

It wasn’t.

I started with a jar of Randall’s pinto beans. Dumped the beans out into a pan and mashed them with a potato masher, leaving some intact but crushing most of them. Filled the jar with water and added that and maybe a little more. Since Charlie doesn’t do onions, I sprinkled in some onion powder; normally, I would chop some onions into it. I also put in some vegetarian vegetable bouillon. Finally, my secret ingredient: garlic-flavored olive oil. The oil adds that umami thing also called “mouth-feel” and the garlic, for some reason, compensates for the meat flavor. Cooked it slowly for a few hours, even though the beans were cooked already.

Speaking of vegan, at the convention this past weekend, we sprang for lunches at the food court, and I had the best fried tofu. It must have been flash fried or something: the cubes of tofu were puffed up and all knobbly on the outside, and it was served with a sauce of what tasted like soy sauce, sesame oil, chopped green onion and chopped peanuts. Take a bite out of the tofu and put the rest into the sauce, and the sauce soaked into the interior and…. YUM! Zowie, powie, it was good!

Looks like a gorgeous day. Enjoy!


writing prompt: Does your main character enjoy getting together with family, or is it a little slice of hell? How about your villain? How about your favorite bit character?