When the Food System Fails — Minneapolis, Minn. My mother is a stubborn and hard working Lutheran, born and raised in Minnesota. Growing up, her mother, grandmother and aunts would always be making buns, biscuits, cookies, cakes, pies, loaves and hot dishes of all kinds. These were staples, found fresh or frozen at all times, because they make you feel at home. These are foods you make to endure stressful times, and no time in my life has been as tough as right now.
When you envision a diner, images of piles of eggs, bacon, fries and pancakes come to mind. At Ithaca’s first vegan diner, Angelhearts, very similar items can be found on the menu. The Engelharts, who have long craved starting a family-owned restaurant, opened Angelhearts Diner in August of 2019. According to an Ithaca Journal article, Kim named the diner “Angelhearts” because by eating vegan, “you are choosing compassion in your food.” The family makes every dish from scratch, aside from Susie’s Seitan, which is made locally in Ithaca. They create vegan cheeses out of cashews and soy, offer many gluten-free and wheat-free options and focus on fresh ingredients.
I’ve always been a little set off by tofu. The texture isn’t quite right and the flavor is almost nonexistent. Until now, I’ve been dead set against the mushy mass of protein and would never so much as give it a passing glance. Over spring break, I was determined to find a way to make this ugly food a little more edible in my eyes. While listening to an episode of Martha Stewart Radio (Don’t judge me! They have great recipes!), I heard of a technique for preparing tofu that sounded promising. They stated that the key to making tofu correctly is to really dry it out, marinate it in potent flavors, and bake it until its crispy. So I placed the tofu in a glass dish, wrapped it in a clean towel, and put a fairly heavy bowl on top.