It might be one of the most boring things I have ever thought about writing—but never have I been more emotionally affected by and invested in my topic.
I made such a terrible dinner. It was genuinely awful. It was so awful, I feel as though it has spread a yucky layer of disappointment over my whole evening.
It's not even a dramatic and interesting failure. It's just that I've run out of tamari, and at some point, tamari appears to have become the foundation for all of my varied baked tofu dishes. So I keep thinking, for some reason, that because I'm now savvy enough to actually have ingredients I use for things, and recipes I've learned about those ingredients from, I can be one of those people who "improvises," and does things like substitute binder clips for capers, or inadvertently aged alcoholic cider for panko.
There's a delicious salad dressing I enjoy (that involves miso and tahini and mustard), and I thought "my background in the not-having of resourceful and successful food-related ideas makes me confident that baking tofu in this dressing would result in deliciousness." I only had medium-firm tofu, which I've used before and thought would be fine, and I just bought some cheap miso, which I was confident would not be disgusting at all, and so I used that too.
I baked it all up for a good forty minutes—I kept thinking the tofu would "firm up" given another five minutes, and yet it kept dissolving further into a giant puddle of squished grey-ish sloppiness. Aha! I thought (convinced that the one thing that would undo one misguided food plan was another food plan that would surely not turn out to have been misguided)—what this unsightly muck needs is to become fried unsightly muck.
So I fried up the tofu, and voilà! It had shape! And now also had an odd and unpleasant mealy texture!
I could have made three normal meals in the time it took to prepare this one, and I don't think I've ever eaten anything simultaneously so mushy and so salty.
I was indeed wise to stock up on frozen breaded mozzarella sticks: I will need them tonight.