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tofu again? the lost book of Tofu... The Apocrypha version revealed
That, on the left, is an astrological chart for when I posed the question, "should I start a tofu factory in Adelaide", South Australia? At the time, January 1981, I was living with a wife; we met at an astrological conference in Sydney in January 1980, 'hooked-up' in May 1980 in Baltimore Maryland, she went back to Adelaide and I went to Hawaii where I received the phone call a few weeks later that our 'hook-up' moment in Baltimore had a creative aspect to it and soon she was in Hawaii and soon we were married, with a new name, I changed from Adsit to Neuage for some odd reason and she changed from something Ukranian to Neuage, and a week after Sacha was born I had this idea to start a tofu factory in Adelaide, where I had never been. In June 1981 I started my business in Australia which lasted eight years. In June 2011 I am starting this e-book.

Tofu Again?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Updated July 6, 2012
Adelaide, Sth Australia
Astrology made me a bad tofu maker

I once thought astrology would provide a road-map to my life but the more I studied it the more I realized it was only a road-map in as far as one made it up as they went. Astrology is a system that can be made to say whatever we want to hear. It is not just Sun sign astrology – take the other planets, add a few asteroids and fixed stars and nodes of planets and midpoints between planets and houses and house rulers and a few hundred other celestial objects and someone will find something that will explain something. I love astrology, and have spent many hours looking at my chart and my chart in relationship to another person's chart and if I progress using anyone of several systems then surely I can explain why it is the way it is. However, for as many times as I have found an astrological explanation for something that happened there have been momentous moments in my life that have no direct astrological signatures to explain them. Like my rise to failure of tofu making

Eggplant Terrell
Between the curds & the whey
making tofu is a life style
Leigh eating tofu cheesecake
the best tofu cheesecaked south of the artic
Lightfoods
Light Foods for several reasons: • Adelaide was chosen as the capital of South Australia and designed by Colonel William Light (1786 - 1839) in 1836, • We hoped our products would appeal to those on diets and wanted a light food (low-calorie and reduced-fat foods), • Still having a smidgen of spirituality left in me still I liked the line 'For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light'.we would set up our tent and sell tofu at all the great food venues of the Southern Hemisphere
The easiest way out is in
The easiest way out is in
I was standing in the kitchen thinking about what to make for dessert tonight.
I set the table for you.
Poured the wine.
Hoping it's red that goes with tofu.
We will have such a long talk.
Brother to brother
You will tell me about life in the Big Apple.
Oh how I envy your life.
Fast paced.
All those people.
Everyday such an adventure.
Me?
Well what can one expect living in this small town in South Australia?
The driest state on the driest continent.
See
We live by the ocean.
We can surf at any time.
Have to watch for the sharks.
A different type of shark than you get up there in the Big Apple.
I wish I had some wine glasses.
Who in New York City would ever drink wine out of a mug?
But we are not fancy here.
I can't wait until my brother sees the boys.
They have grown so big since last we were in the Big Apple in 1992.
I was just telling the boys the other day
how surprised Uncle Robert will be to see them.
But it is almost time for the school bus.
I better put away the wine and the table settings
before the children see I was pretending again
that you were coming to visit us even though I know you died so far away and all alone up there
in the Big Apple five long months more than I can cope with.
8-14-94 Victor Harbor
The Start
We got $4000 from the South Australia
government and with it we bought our first tofu making equipment. We found a person,
David, who had been making tofu and selling it to a few of the health food shops in
Adelaide but he had quit a year earlier and gone into the soap making business. We had
tracked him down through the local health food stores and he was willing to sell us what
equipment he had and show us how to make tofu or soybean curd as it sometimes
referred to. As if life was not strange enough we set up making tofu in Lesia's parent's
house. They had a large home in Torrensville and there was a section of the house that
had a lounge with a kitchen, bathroom, and a couple of bedrooms attached to it and that
was all separate from the main part of the house. What we had gotten from the original
Adelaide tofu maker was two large 20 litre cooking pots and an industrial burner and two
boxes with holes in them to make the tofu in. We had to use a large kitchen wiz to grind
up the soybeans. Making tofu has a few basic steps and no matter the size the same
process in some form is used:
•Soy Beans are soaked in water overnight then drained. This meant going the
night before to the parents and always putting up with some sarcastic
remark or dozen.
•The beans are pulverized with a small quantity of water. The resultant mash
will have the consistency of baby poo which I was becoming so familiar
with. I suppose baby poo would be the metaphor for my life.
•The poo is ladled into boiling water, and allowed to boil for about 10
minutes. This stage of the process is crucial as a certain enzyme in the
bean is broken down during this time. If the enzyme is not destroyed, the
Soy protein will not be humanly digestible.
•The resulting slurry is filtered. The liquid is Soy Milk, and the pulp is called
Okara. I used the okara in several products I made including breads and
burgers.
•A small amount of something is introduced to coagulate the Milk. I used
gypsum.
•The Milk will then separate into Curds and Whey. The Curds will float to
the top.
•The Curds are scooped off the top of the Whey and placed into a box lined with a porous cloth. We used curtain material. The box has many small holes in it to allow leftover whey to drain. A lid is then placed on the box. •A weight is placed on the lid of the container and allowed to sit for several hours. This part of the operation determines whether there will be soft or firm tofu. The heavier the weight and the longer it is left on the box the firmer the resulting block of soy cheese. The resulting block of tofu is placed into a tub of cold water for an hour or so.
I refined this process and used larger and more sophisticated equipment over the years but to begin with it was all done very simply.
Leigh's birth and a truck of soybeans
I thought Leigh should come home in style. Sacha had come home from Kahuku Hospital
in our dented and old car but maybe that was the way to do it in Hawaii. I thought maybe
we would do it differently this time and I hired a Rolls Royce with a chauffeur and went
to collect Lesia. We shared an expensive bottle of champagne and as the drive was only
fifteen minutes away and I had paid for an hour, we drove through the Adelaide
parklands. We got home in fairly good shape and five minutes after being in the house I
got a telephone call saying there was a truckload of soybeans that needed to be unloaded.
I was feeling a bit pissed from the champagne and drove over to the tofu factory and there was a large
tractor-trailer truck with my ten tones of soybeans I had ordered but had forgotten when
they were to arrive. This was our largest order to date. When we started our tofu business
we were buying beans at a Greek small goods warehouse in lots of ten kilos. One kilo
would make about one and half kilos of tofu or three blocks so ten kilos served us well
for the first few weeks of production when we were selling 24 blocks of tofu a week.
When our sales rocketed up to fifty blocks a week and we were selling a dozen
cheesecakes and a dozen burgers we were purchasing 20 kilos a week. Then we made the
big purchase. We bought a fifty-kilo bag of soybeans. We were so excited that we were
able to go through a fifty-kilo bag of soybeans that we even took a photograph of that
first bag.
I went off to look for a forklift and on the corner of South and Port roads there was a company that hired forklifts. It was five PM on a Thursday afternoon in winter and it was already dark. When I arrived the gates were just being closed so I rushed in and explained that I had ten tons of soybeans sitting in front of my tofu factory and I know the man I spoke to thought I must have just escaped some place for those who do not have their thoughts gathered together in the right place in their mind (see? this sort of explanation is what we have come to - I teach courses at university, now fifteen years later, and we teach all this inclusive language crap and it is just not politically correct to say loony bin so I have to come up with a more politically correct way of explaining what the person who I was dealing with was thinking even though we all know the bloke simply thought I was nuts). Nevertheless I got myself on to a forklift and answering the inevitable question of whether I had ever driven a forklift before with my answer in the negative. I was given a short lesson on which buttons to push and informed that I should be careful as this particular forklift had extra long forks or whatever those long things in the front are called. I almost knocked over the fence trying to get out of the place and I saw the man behind me shaking his head as I rolled out onto Port Road. Port Road is a six-lane main street with three lanes per direction with a wide gardened island between. At rush hour the direction I was headed on was packed and there was me weaving and waving down the road. I had driven half a block before a policeman pulled me over and I almost crashed into cars parked along the side of the street before I could stop the thing. There were no lights on the forklift and I did not have a forklift license. In all my innocence I told the officer about the truck full of soybeans in front of my tofu factory (I should add that most people I came across had never heard of tofu) and how just an hour ago I was coming home in a Rolls Royce from the hospital with my wife and baby and sharing a bottle of champagne only to get a phone call saying I had ten-tons of soybeans needing to be unloaded and the truck driver did not have a forklift and that is why I was driving down a main city artery driving this vehicle, the likes of which I had never driven before. For some odd and unexplainable reason the policeman believed me. He actually gave me an escort to my factory with lights flashing. I am sure he wanted to see if what I was saying was true and when he found that it was I was left alone, in the dark, with a grumpy truck driver and my ten-tons of soybeans. I made a gallant attempt to transfer a palette of soybeans from the truck to my factory but I could not get the forklift to behave the way I wanted. To add to my first ever attempt of manly fork lifting work was the mud in the driveway. The past several rainy days had turned the yard into a bit of a swamp. Out of pure frustration – I doubt that there was any Christian charity involved, the truckee took over and unloaded the 200 bags onto my front porch and I carried them one by one through the cottage and the newly built factory to the shed out back. Which to my dismay was filled with rats.
The last tofu factory

of course in the e-book there are not only receipes but many more stories...

I moved fully out of the Meadows Cheese Factory because of not having my truck and
into my farm to make all my products. Other than a couple of more great ideas that came
to naught and cows who ate my tofu-burger-mix life was not too bad until one fine day
when a health inspector popped in and disapproved of my whole set-up. Something about
rats and cows and flies and cats and my dog and the openness of my lawless wall-less
factory. Fortunately, I found another ex-cheese factory not far away in the town of
Myponga, which was twenty minutes from the farm. The name, Myponga, derived from
the Aboriginal word maippunga meaning locality of high cliffs. In retrospect I saw I
should have stayed at the cheese factory in Meadows or any one of things 'I should have
done' in life but the Meadows factory had been rented for a car repair. Currently it is the
Meadows Cheese Factory Theatre and studio gallery which is located in the huge cool
room that was once my tofu factory. Sometime in 1987 I moved my production out of the
farm and to Myponga. Myponga is another beautiful South Australian area. If I had those
kinds of thoughts I would think the troubles I had for the next decade were due to the
uranium in the ground. Uranium was discovered in the early 1950s; however, there has
not been any attempt to dig it out as of yet. I thought it would be useful in our
advertisement something about the tofu that makes you glow but in light of my health
food hippie market decided against it. Maybe it is what inspired one of my more favourite
poems later on; "Because you glow in the dark I know your love for me is
real".
Myponga consists of three commercial establishments, the Service Station, General Store
and the Myponga Take Away as well as the Methodist Church and Hall, built between
the years of 1866 and 1883. The huge dairy factory, which at the time I moved in divided
into several sections. The area behind where I made tofu was home to a large mushroom
farm. Another section was used to make crepes that were delivered to restaurants around
Adelaide. I had two large areas in the front of the building. In one area I had my tofu
production and in the other, which once was once the store for the dairy company
formally housed there, I had a small soy deli. I had very few customers, as I was the only
one selling directly to the public from the cheese factory. In the late 1990s the old Cheese
Factory complex was called the Myponga Country Markets and it operateed on weekends
selling everything from farm produce to handcrafted stuff and bric-a-brac. In the late
1990s I even had a box of my picture-poems sitting in one of the shops in the market.
The drive between our farm and the factory in Myponga was a wooded winding country
road with the factory representing another out of place stop in my life; though the last
stop in this particular relentlessly unhappy drive toward my untimely failed attempted
dominance of the world's tofu market. The factory, badly in need of paint and repair sits
in front of the Myponga Reservoir. The reservoir, whose water supplies the south of the
City of Adelaide is surrounded by dense pine forest and even in the midst of my pending
doom and current gloom it cheered me momentarily. Five years after acting out this sad
part of my life I would drive over the Myponga Reservoir wall (a concrete arch dam with
a ski-jump spillway) in a large mobile home with my children and my 87-year-old father.
We even stopped on the narrow road and looked over the side which was at least a
fifteen-story drop on one side to the valley below and on the other side the water splashed
peacefully on the side of the dam. I now know what a fifteen-story height looks like, but
at the time it seemed a long ways to the bottom. Now I realize it is only a few seconds
distance. A distance that can take one from one world to another world in seconds. A
distance that would be meaningful to me later on in my life. Maybe that is what life is;
we are on a narrow road with peaceful gentle water on one side that we do not
know or fear the depth of and on the other side is a sheer drop to a rock filled
peaceful valley below. Life and death on either side of the wall and we are
always just barely balancing between the two.
When we were not going back and forth to our Mount Compass farm we would drive out
of Myponga to Victor Harbor and the Encounter Coast through Yankalilla. I had tofu
customers in Adelaide and the Adelaide Hills and as far away as Brisbane and Sydney
and Melbourne but I did not deliver to any shops in the towns that we lived in or so often
went through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

scribbles of an
e-book wannabe

thoughts, notes,
receipes, images,
stories

 

 

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