As far as I’m concerned, there are two guidelines to hosting a craft night: choose a craft and promise dinner. My craft of choice was the Macramé Hanger from my friend’s super cool book, Vintage Craft Workshop: Fresh Takes on Twenty-Four Classic Projects from the '60s and '70s. For dinner, I wanted something simple, something meatless (There was one vegetarian crafter in attendance.) and something autumnal, despite the fact that autumn has been a complete no-show here in Los Angeles. I found all of these requisites well met in a recipe titled Big Curry Noodle Pot in Super Natural Cooking—a cookbook that had eluded me until now. Curry and crafting—here we go!
As you can see, I ended up dyeing my finished product purple. If I had been able to find bright white rope (or bright any-color for that matter), I don’t think I would have gone this extra step, but the rope I had bought was this sad beige color. In the end though, I’m kind of glad that I couldn’t find any colored rope—I’d never dyed anything before and it was a supremely satisfying experience. Almost as satisfying as tying my very first Josephine knot. I guess that’s why the saying goes: “Money can buy you a lot of things, but it cannot buy you the satisfaction of tying your very own Josephine knot.” That is a saying, right?
The curry was a success too, and definitely something I will turn to if Matt and I redo the three-week vegan challenge we did last winter. That said, perhaps the next time I’ll try it with the full fat coconut milk as this version left me hungry a few hours after dinner. But then again, maybe I was just spent from having tied all of those hyper-satisfying J-knots?
Sidebar / craft-night discovery: the definition of macramé is “the art of knotting cord or string in patterns to make decorative articles.” Who knew? This whole time I thought it just meant: weird rope-stuff from the 70s.
Big Curry Noodle Pot via Super Natural Cooking
8 oz. dried udon noodles
2 tbsp coconut oil (Olive oil works fine here too.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 tsp red curry paste
12 oz. extra firm tofu, cut into 1″ long columns
1 14 oz can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp curry powder (or turmeric if you've got it!)
2 tbsp shoyu sauce (Though, you could substitute soy sauce. I think it just might be a little saltier. Full disclosure: I added a pretty good amount of salt to mine anyway.)
1 tbsp natural cane sugar
Juice of 1 lime
2/3 cup peanuts
2 shallots, sliced into rings
Cook noodles according to package directions in lots of boiling water with a dash of salt. Drain and set aside. (Or, you could always go the route of cooking the noodles in the broth at the end as shown in one of the photos above. This makes for slightly less broth, but one less pan to wash!)
Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, onion and curry paste, stirring until the curry paste is well incorporated, 1-2 minutes. Add the tofu and gently stir until coated. Stir in the coconut milk, broth, curry powder, shoyu and sugar. Bring to a slow simmer and keep it there for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice and noodles, and stir.
Add the noodles and some extra both to each of 4 bowls. Top with the shallots and peanuts.