“America and England are two countries separated by a common language.”
–George Bernard Shaw/Oscar Wilde/Winston Churchill/Token Quotable White British Man of Choice/The Google
Hey, kids! It’s me, Blinki the Briton! Boy, today’s such a jolly great day! So great that, why—I just feel like learning some new words today, don’t you? Yes, you do! Today’s theme is “Why Alice Can’t Cook Properly at Cambridge!” Doesn’t that sound like fun? Hug your mom, let’s go! Wahoo! Here’s the first word:
Gyp room. Gyp-room. GYP ROOM!
A GYP ROOM is a cruel joke of a student kitchen that provides a few antiquated and ailing appliances to starving grad students for a fee exorbitant in number and mandatory in nature! Also, cooking with fat or oil is prohibited in a GYP ROOM. WTF, right kiddets? Waooooh!
Let’s try a sentence, okay?
“Sensitivity training, whatevs—I cannot think of my GYP ROOM without conjuring images of swindling, pilfering gypsies doing their whirling, whirling gypsy dance.”
Got that? Good! Now, I wonder what we can find in a GYP ROOM…
Oh! I know! It’s the next wooo-ord:
Kettle. Ket-tle. KETTLE!
A KETTLE is an electric plastic pitcher thing that boils your water in a suspiciously brief amount of time so that you can make tea or ramen and sometimes cous-cous but mostly tea! And you know what? EVERYBODY here has a KETTLE, even the Americans! In fact, that reminds me of a song. Want me to sing it? Do ya do ya do-ya??? OKAYLET’SSINGTHEFUCKINGSONGOHMYGODHIPHIPHOORAAAAAY!!!
A KETTLE is something everybody has
It’s a basic item, not something for pizzazz
I’d take mine to the isle of Alcatraz
‘Cause everybody here has a KETTLE
(Even the Americans!)
My KETTLE leaches cancer into my water
The toxins creep out as the plastic grows hotter
All this to pretend that I’m Harry Potter
‘Cause everybody here has a KETTLE
(And mine’s really skeezy-looking!)
Wow, that was great! You guys sure know how to sing, gee! Are you ready for our last word? It’s a friend of the KETTLE, and it also lives in the GYP ROOM… Do you see anything like that? What, it’s BEHIND me?!?!?!?! Why, holy shit—there it is, a HOB!!!!
Hob. Hob. HOB.
A HOB is pretty much a pair of free-standing burners, so you can theoretically cook food without a whole stove, which sounds like a sweet deal unless it sucks and it takes half an hour to sauté onions for étouffée.
Try this sentence:
“My HOB sucks.”
Now, wasn’t that fun? Now you know why, compounded with her own crippling laziness, Alice doesn’t do a whole lot of cooking in the Old Country!
Well okay that’s the end of the program okay byeee!
[Exeunt Blinki and My Culinary Dignity]
As you might have inferred from that preamble, I (Alice) am a little limited in my abilities to whip up mad awesome hot food that doesn’t involve instant noodles and carcinogens. Ergo, in the interest of time and safety, I avoid making meals that demand additional cooking to be enjoyable. Sometimes it works out, other times I drink plain yogurt out of the container and squeeze honey into my mouth straight from the bear (an admitted nadir). And given the fact that my time and prep space are limited and I never have more than a few ingredients in my tiny communal fridge, I tend to keep things quick, simple, and uh, cold. I actually got halfway through this sandwich, not expecting much from it and brainstorming about what to write for my post, before realizing that it was pretty darn tasty, which explains the picture. And this post.
The Little Tofu Sandwich That Could Have Tasted A Whole Lot Worse
Slap it together. Tastes surprisingly good.
150g Firm tofu, sliced to ½” thickness (you gotta be precise; this shit is science.)
2 slices of your favorite hearty, multigrain bread (the texture should stand up and stand out against the squishiness of the tofu.)
A healthy schmearsworth of good hummus on one slice of the bread (you know–a schmearsworth. It’s metric.)
A handful of crunchy green leaves (I was going to be bourgeois and put “baby lettuce and pea shoot mix” here, but yes, it could technically be iceberg, you lowlife philistine. Just something to bring a little crunch and perhaps some color and flavor to your wasted body and blackened soul.)
Assemble your sandwich, in the following order to ensure minimal sogginess:
Of course, there are more variables—I didn’t toast the bread; you might not have a crappy toaster. You could grill/pan fry the tofu with implements and lubricants forbidden to my dorm. Or even marinate it. Or add any other sort of flavoring, for that matter. Just keep in mind that introducing all of that loses sight of my original vision: quick, simple, cold.