Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I like mnemonic devices - they make life so much easier.  Probably the most frequently used form of this device is the acronym: a collection of initials that make up another word.  For lack of a more tactful example, we'll go with a well-known one: AIDS.  Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.  I find another form of mnemonic device helpful when I teach piano lessons - anyone who's ever taken piano lessons knows what's coming.

Every Good Boy Does Fine helps children remember the letter names of the lines on the treble clef.  This is a helpful little device if you ever want to read music.  There are a host of others, including a very creative one brought to me by one of my students to help her remember the names of the spaces of the bass clef: All Cows Eat Grass Blades.

One of my recent new hires created a modified acronym to help her remember the Core Values of our company and counting things off tends to find its way into march songs and cadences (for obvious reasons).  And of course, that's where we're going with all of this.  Some of my favorite "go to" recipes involve numerical mnemonic devices (say THAT five times fast) which help me to cook faster because I don't have to refer to the recipe for exactly how many tablespoons of this and teaspoons of that.  I devoted this post to the singular additions that make magic in my favorite "Indian" recipe.  Isa has a fabulous 2X2 BBQ sauce recipe that she created for the same reason.  Tonight's dinner, then, is brought to you by the number Three.

Three is the number of bowls of Yakisoba I had before forcing myself to save some for Leftover Lunch purely so Mister doesn't go out and buy pizza and I am not subjected to the "Gee, I wonder what I can eat at the cafe that doesn't involve animal bits" game.  Clearly, this is another one of those "I could eat this until I get a stomachache" dinners.

Three is also the number of ingredients in the simple but incredibly delicious sauce.  Three ingredients is simple enough to remember, but it's even easier when you have a little mnemonic device to help... like 1-2-3.  1 Tbsp raw sugar, mixed with 2 Tbsp rice vinegar and 3 Tbsp tamari/soy sauce.  Voila!  Very tasty sauce, and just enough of it to thoroughly coat the veggies and soak the noodles with flavor.

Finally, Three is the number of items left on the menu I have been cooking from but haven't bothered to list.  Here's a preview of the rest of this week:

1. Cajun Red Beans and Rice from The Accidental Vegan (same book Sunday's Kedgeree and tonight's Yakisoba live in) because I am incapable of cooking from this book without making this recipe.  And why should I deprive myself of the best rice-n-beans recipe I have, anyway?

2. Jerk Seitan on Coconut Rice, both from Vegan With A Vengeance, and yes, both still leftover from last week's menu.  No, I haven't stopped by Whole Foods for the missing seitan yet.  That's what Thursday is for.

3. Mediterranean Chopped Salad from Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook.  This is another one of those salad recipes that is sinfully simple and completely satisfying.  A little twist this time around involves smoked tofu and colorful lettuce.


  1. I should really pull out The Accidental Vegan. It was one of my first vegan cookbooks, and I have this tendency to cook out of the cookbooks I've bought recently.

  2. I do EXACTLY the same thing. I combat this in two ways - at the moment, I simply haven't allowed myself to purchase new cookbooks (this is helped by the Borders nearby closing). Also, at least once a month, I stand in front of my cookbook shelf and say "What's collecting dust?"