Matilda Singing Rose Kornbluth was in no singing mood today. Every day, she’d wake up singing, ‘Good Day Sunshine’ by the Beatles even if she had gotten up at the crack of dawn again, or decided to work in Norway away from her mom and dad throughout an entire darkened five-month winter as a 9-year ski model for Northface; knowing that in a post-Corona universe, she was used to doing remote learning away from school, anyway.
But this drab Thanksgiving morning was different, because she had to act thankful for eating Tofurky Roast again (despite the spirit of Tofu The Terrible terrorizing her dreams since she’d described soy dogs, in her school lunch cafeteria blog, as “Rubber dog link nosh toys.”
But how could Matilda Singing Rose Kornbluth act grateful for eating a Tofurky Roast since her fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Right, made it clear how the Native American indians weren’t responsible for teaching the Pilgrims how to turn soy milk into white blocks of semi-firm bricks of soy, with higher levels of estrogen to feminize John Smith’s sturdy stock of sailors.
Also, Thanksgiving this year, post-Corona, wasn’t feeling particularly festive, knowing that Matilda was suffering from PTSD from wearing all of those Corona masks to death. Matilda was now having nightmares of being terrorized by the masked man Tofu The Terrible, who ruined every favorite meal she’d dreamed of.
For example, if Matilda had just won the gold medal in the Hardcore X Games for Equestrian Riders within the Under 10 Years age bracket, having to complete jumps through rings of fire with an occasional baby dragon on her tail, she’d normally celebrate with her best friend Shannon (in her dreams) over their favorite treat of jellybeans at a sleepover party, soon after.
But now, all that appeared in her dreams were pasty, slimy soybeans in the place of jellybeans, because Tofu The Terrible was punishing her for calling soy dogs, on her cafeteria food blog, “Not good enough to pass for rubber dog toys.” And Matilda hated pet dogs because they ate dog food with minced horsemeat inside.
Matilda had always been a hardcore vegetarian loyalist, yet she’d greatly offended the spirt of Tofu The Terrible, a ferocious Chinese vegetarian warrior from the Ming Dynasty who even got Genghis Khan into Mapo Tofu over jasmine rice, a fiery dish loaded with super-scary Sichuan spice.
The smell from the ground-up Sichuan peppercorns would make most grown men cry, making their lips tremble in fear at the prospect of having to try one more bite, knowing that Genghis Khan would be hoarding all the Sake rice wine for any temporary relief for themselves, soon afterwards.
Matilda was convinced that she’d never enjoy the food she loved in real life again (such as her Dad’s fried Icelandic cod in a barbeque aioli) without tasting anything but mushy dog drool, instead.
Now it was time for everyone at the table to give thanks for Thanksgiving. Matilda had been dreading this from the start. She was consumed with nightmarish visions of Tofu The Terrible ruining all her favorite foods in her dreams and in real life, such as her Dad’s star side dish creation, Caramelized Cauliflower Potato Gratin, combining cave-aged gruyere and raclette cheese from the Swiss Alps, which injected the dish with an extra scrumptious, creamy, fresh finish.
Matilda’s dad, a Stay-At-Home Comedian Author, podcast host, and self-taught semi-gourmand chef, can tell that his daughter was dreading her turn to participate, and says, “Matilda, you look like you’ve seen a ghost. Is Tofu The Terrible ruining the taste of your jellybeans again?” Matilda perks up, shaken out of her petrified, frozen comatose state, and says, “How did you know about Tofu The Terrible, Daddy?”
Matilda’s dad says, “I helped you launch your own lunch cafeteria blog on WordPress, remember? Your last piece, Tofu Brownie Blues, was about how Tofu The Terrible threatened to shred everyone’s masks at school, unless the Brownie Girls started selling his special batch of Tofu Brownies at the next school book fair, instead.”
Matilda says, “Do we have to eat the Tofurky Roast this year?”
Dad says, “No, try this veggie Barbeque Pita, instead.” Matilda takes a reluctant bite, but is moved by her Dad’s gesture of goodwill. She says, “Yummy, Daddy.”
Her dad says, “I fried up cubes of semi-firm soy inside that bad boy. The sautéed onions and peppers keep the memories of mushy dog toy food at bay.”
Tofu The Terrible was dead, in Matilda’s head, and she started singing again while giving thanks and praises at Thanksgiving, singing, “Soy Dogs still suck, Tofu The Terrible too; but you’re no longer so bad, since my Daddy came to my rescue.”