Although I spent all of last week in Wisconsin, the closest I got to eating cheese was modeling this symbol of Papa Smart’s favorite football team in the airport prior to (on time!) departure.In fact, if I had a (faux) cheesehead, it would probably be made out of soy, based on the sheer amount of it I consumed during the week. I’m not talking about just tofu……although when my family decided to celebrate the Fourth of July in the style of the pilgrims with a roast turkey, mashed potaoes, and cranberry sauce* I substituted with a tofu stir fry of sorts.
*I guess it’s like having a BBQ on Christmas, right? And they do that in Australia.^
^And yes, I did for a minute wonder if Aussies would also have a turkey dinner on the 4th…before realizing they have no reason to celebrate.
No, Jenn, and all you What I Are Wednesday followers, I’m talking about the less pure form of soy that perhaps normally might be alarming if consumed too frequently, but in the face of a tempeh-less society, one I would happily turn to: the hydrolyzed soy protein known as the ‘veggie’ burger.I already showed y’all the ‘build your own’ veggie burger I lucked into finding at the Milwaukee Grill our first night in town. [It's only more beautiful the second time around.]Frozen Bocas also helped get met through our nights spent cooking at Grammie Smart’s house.[Bunless on both counts, but heavily doctored with mustard and/or Heinz 57 sauce. The focus, as usual, was on my ingenuity with side dishes: Simple Bean Salad above, Wild Rice Salad below.]Leftover Morningstar Garden Patties–yes, we (Sister Smart and I) were equal opportunity veggie burger consumers–found their crumbled way onto a massive salad I made to take with me to the country club for a poolside lunch.Diet Sundrop ‘on tap’ made the whole thing even better. [And if Grammie Smart thought it was crazy when I pulled out the giant tup-faux-ware container from my backpack she didn't say so...at least not that time.]Perhaps the most surprising–or should I say soy-prising?–moment came after visiting Papa Smart’s farm land in Illinois. After checking out the state of the Smart Family–you guess it–soy beans….…we ventured into the nearest small town, where the only thing open was Raelyn’s Pub & Eatery––where, shockingly to me, they had a veggie burger on the menu. [Just not what you expect in the middle of nowhere, Illinois.]Although the actual burger was a frozen Boca, I think, it didn’t really matter, because the glory that emerged from the kitchen was so amazing, I couldn’t have cared less. Not only did they ask if I wanted raw or sauteed mushrooms on my burger (when do you ever get offered raw mushrooms?), the chef carved a star in the button on top!
I might have had a slight veggie burger overload during my time in Wisconsin…but in the end, that wasn’t soy bad.