Sunday, December 11, 2011

August - December

I took a season's sabbatical from blogging, and here is what you missed:

I visited the Yazoo Brewery here in Nashville, and drank a lot of straight off the conveyer-belt beers while walking around the giant stainless steel tanks.

Yazoo Brewery

I also saw Tall Glenn Danzig there, checking out the Dos Perros.

Yazoo Brewery and Tall Glenn Danzig

I spent two 100+ degree days wandering around Memphis with my mother, including an incredibly moving trip through the Civil Rights Museum. It is built into the back of the Lorraine Motel, and the last stop on the self-led tour is standing inside the room Dr. King had rented, staring out at the site of his assassination.

Civil Right Museum, Memphis TN

Halfway through August Matt came back from Pittsburgh! It was sweet to live together again, and we did lots of fun things like look for Monkey Balls.

Matt found some monkey balls!

Monkey Balls, or Osage-Oranges as they are properly called, are giant green fruits filled with seeds that are altogether inedible. Nothing can eat them, except domesticated horses and mules and the occaisonal determined squirrel (and they don't seem too hot on them either). But wait, you may be saying. Dr. Carrie, isn't the whole point of fruit to entice animals to eat them and shit the seeds elsewhere, thereby perpetuating the species?

Monkey Balls!

Well, I'm glad you asked that.

The osage-orange, along with other fruits like the pawpaw and honey locust pods, are thought to have co-evolved with the now extinct megafauna that once roamed North America. Animals like mastodons, gomphotheres and giant sloths could easily eat the fruits whole and pass the seeds, spreading the osage-orange throughout North America. This article, entitled Anachronistic Fruits and the Ghosts Who Haunt Them (ie Best Title Ever), explains the process well. For those of you who might need a little additional clarification, I worked up this diagram:


The tail end of summer turned into a long, warm Autumn. October was consumed with Halloween witchcraft, including some very elaborate costume planning and throwing a rad Halloween party. Here I am in costume as Frank Rossitano from 30 Rock:

Me as Frank Rossitano

My hat says "HOLLOW WEENIE".

Here is Matt as "the white guy from All-4-One":

Matt as "the white guy from all-4-one"

Then November came and I disappeared socially, hermiting myself up to compete in NaNoWriMo, aka National Novel Writing Month. Over the course of 30 days I wrote a 144 page feminist sci-fi epic called In the Shadow of the Mechanical Planet. I was among the 14% of contenders who finished, and December 1st looked pretty sweet from the winner's circle:


Now it's 11 days into December and the leaves are off the trees and the garden is finally dead. The blackened cores of the okra stalks still raise up four feet above my head, between me and the clear winter sky.

Dead Okra

But if you brush aside the leaves piled up in the garden, you can still find cilantro growing, verdant and strong, 14 days before Christmas.

Cilantro in December

It's nice to be here and it's nice to be back.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Worst Case Scenarios

Portrait of an articulated skeleton on a bentwood chair

I've been living alone this summer, which gives me lots of time to imagine worst case scenarios. Here are the top 10.

10) You look out the window to find the entire view filled with the giant eye of an monstrously immense beast.

9) You hang your leg over the side of the bed only to be grabbed at the ankle by the withered hand of a zombie demon.

8) You unsuspectingly sit on the couch only to be grabbed at the ankle by the withered hand of a zombie demon.

7) You stand by the toaster heating up a poptart only to be etc etc etc zombie demon.

6) Corpse behind the shower curtain.

5) The cat runs away (and never really liked you).

4) Mucous tentacle crawls out of shower drain.

3) A hairy yelling monster barges through the door and jumps on you.

2) You get pantry moths.

1) You die right before the good part.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Heart Kennywood

When I was in Pittsburgh I had the good fortune to spend the afternoon at one of my favorite places in the world: Kennywood. For those unacquainted with this particular slice of heaven, here is Kennywood in a teacup:

It opened in 1898 as a trolley park and since then has been open continuously, featuring such wholesome attractions as picnic groves, dance halls, games of chance, swimming pools and rides. Today it is a top notch amusement park, maintaining both a collection of modern thrill rides as well as some shambling mechanical marvels that date back to 1918 (The Whip) and 1927 (The Turtles) as well as two wooden coasters dating back to the 1920's (The Jack Rabbit - 1920 and The Racer - 1927).

I could go on about Kennywood forever, but fortunately I don't have to. Rick Sebak and WQED were kind enough to make a documentary about this park back in the 1980's, which will provide you with all you need to know.

Kennywood Memories, Part One

I was too busy having fun to get many snapshots, but here are a few of my favorites. Unfortunately we had so much fun we didn't get to stay past dark and see the wonderful transformation as all the neon buzzes to life.

noah's arc, kennywood

The last I heard, this is one of the two last remaining Noah's Ark dark attractions left in the world. The other one, if it is still alive and kicking, resides in Blackpool, England. For however shabby it gets from season to season, it remains close to my heart.

bayern kurve, kennywood

The Bayern Kurve, a bobsled themed go-round-and-round-and-round-till-you-puke ride is back in action after being in storage for many years. The best part of this ride is that right when you are at your fastest and most disoriented, an air horn blasts right in your face. I think I actually traveled to another dimension.

Kennywood is home to an arcade that features such diverse entertainment as a wall of skeeball machines (50% actually functional), the world's largest claw machine (filled with child-sized Domo-kuns), as well as a variety of pseudo-gambling machines, creepy fortune tellers that thrust their mechanical chests out with simulated sighs, and video games spanning the past 30 years.

I was totally blown away by the stencil work on some of these old cabinets.

asteroid machine, kennywood

This is an Asteroid cabinet, in all its terrifying jagged space monster glory.

ms pacman and moon patrol machines, kennywood

Here an original Ms. Pacman cabinet stands back-to-back with an AMAZING Moon Patrol cabinet (are you seeing this??)

Seeing these machines persisting unchanged from the 1980's brought to mind the Polybius urban legend. If you are looking for a little reading material, check out this site: The Polybius Home Page . I love creepy urban legends and this one certainly hits the spot.

In short, Kennywood, you are the best. See you next summer!

Postscript - This is the advantage of having a father-in-law who runs an antique store: when you come home flushed and gushing about how much you adore Kennywood, he will surprise you the next day with an authentic 1950's Kennywood propeller beanie. I am so lucky.

kennywood beanie

Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspiration on the Streets

Somehow in my months away I had forgotten about the art that swells in every corner of Pittsburgh: painted by a grant from the city, thrown up overnight on bridges and brick walls, shipped and assembled in galleries or just hanging out in the street, faded from years of drizzle and sun. In the steel city, inspiration is never far from you.

community center, mount oliver 1

community center, mount oliver 2

These murals, a bit worse for wear, are on the side of a community center in Mount Oliver.

the captains congress

A corner of an installation at the Society for Contemporary Craft, titled "The Captains Congress."

liberty avenue, the strip district

A statue of Leda and the Swan, spotted in a strip district parking lot.

liberty avenue, bloomfield

A husky walrus spouts Italian for "Bitten Alive" on a wall in Bloomfield.

butler street, lawrenceville

A few KIDS pieces (RIP) are still going strong in the city. This one is on the side of a property on Butler Street.

window birds, oakland

Two birdies peck in the window of a restaurant in progress... very slow progress.

penn avenue, garfield

My personal favorite, a reminder of what it's all about, currently residing on the pavement outside the Quiet Storm in Garfield.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Check out this gross thing!

Hey friends, check out my gnarly bite wound!

spider bite

Location: right leg
Purple pen marks courtesy of the Vanderbilt walk-in clinic.
Bite courtesy of mystery beast!

According to the very nice nurse practitioner, I have three options.
1) If the rash shrinks back from the marks in a day or two, celebrate!
2) If the rash stays the same, start antibiotics.
3) If the rash pushes red streaks past the pen-ink boundaries and toward my quivering heart, um, call a doctor right away.

I live such an interesting life surrounded by things that can kill me!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back from Pittsburgh

I spent the first 9 days of July walking around Pittsburgh with a camera and a notepad. I rambled from south to north to far eastward, meeting up with chums and spying all the old haunts I've been missing. I'm going to split all the resulting nonsense into chunks and post it over the next few days; until then please enjoy a delightful mishmosh of Tennessee in the summertime.

Downtown Nashville consists mostly of predictable glass spikes of 80's and 90's skyscrapers, but between them lurk a few sweet old brick buildings and lots of funny details.

Barbershop Harmony Society

Momma Opossum

Lamp Detail, Nashville, TN

In late May we were overrun with 13 year cicadas (Brood XIX - The Great Southern Brood to be exact). After a initial trickle of nymphs and molted shells the creatures were everywhere: plummeting from trees, getting trapped in breezeways and twice sneaking into my office by hitching a ride on the back of my shirt. It was a surreal period, with the endless churning shriek of the bugs so deafening and constant it was difficult to hold a conversation.

Cicadas on Elm Tree

Cicada Shells

Cicada Molting

Cicada Lightpole

Cicada Overload

Then, they all just disappeared. Their shells rotted into the soil and their buggy corpses were eaten until all that remained were shimmering wings, plucked and lying in the grass.

But the circle of life continues. The lawn outside my office is filled with small cottontails, conspicuous and unafraid.


Even walking through the zoo it is not uncommon to find fat black rat snakes or pretty slips of lizards like this five-lined skink, rivaling any beauty inside a cage.

Five Line Skink

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Study Guide to The Piano (1993) as Watched on Netflix

ENGL 567: Half-Sleeping through Movies On Sunday Afternoons
Dr. Greenlaw

The Piano (1993)
Writer and Director: Jane Campion
Cinematography: Stuart Dryburgh
Editing: Veronika Jenet
Music: Michael Nyman
Cast: Holly Hunter (Ada); Harvey Keitel (Baines); Sam Neill (Stewart); Anna Paquin (Flora); Kerry Walker (Aunt Morag); Geneviève Lemon (Nessie); Tungia Baker (Hira); Ian Mune (Reverend); Peter Dennett (Head Seaman); Te Whatanui Skipwith (Chief Nihe)


1) Many critics describe Holly Hunter's character of Ada as intuitively feminist. How do you reconcile that with the fact that she doesn't speak for most of the movie. I mean, she barely even makes facial expressions. I know she's dealing with a lot of shit but doesn't she seems like kind of a frosty box?

2) Anna Paquin, barely 11 years old, won an academy award for her role as Ada's daughter, Flora. Although she did a passable job, are child actors ever really good? Don't they always seem kind of fake? Can you argue that the Academy Award for best supporting actress really have gone to Rosie Perez for her work in Fearless?

3) How did you feel upon seeing Baines' (Harvey Keitel) bare buttocks? How did your feelings change when you realized you would also be seeing his penis?

4) Consider the scene at the climax of the movie, where Stewart chops off his wife's finger. Wasn't that part cool? Why couldn't the whole movie be like that?



1) Sometimes when watching a movie we don't particularly enjoy, we are overtaken by a masochistic urge to finish it rather then abandoning the viewing experience halfway through. What inspired you to finish the movie? Where you encouraged by extenuating circumstances (snacks, a particularly comfortable pillow, mild wine hangover)?

2) Is there a certain mount of prior knowledge the viewer should be expected to bring to the viewing experience? Or is it reasonable for the viewer to be 45 minutes into the film before realizing it takes place in New Zealand?

3) While filmed in English, The Piano is still technically a foreign film. Does that make it permissible to alter the viewing experience by turning on the subtitles? How thick and/or mumbly do the actor's accents have to be before the use of subtitles is validated?

4) What is the deal with the piano? I mean, seriously. Who cares?

5) In the coda of the film, Ada is revealed to be wearing a prosthetic metal finger in place of the one that was chopped off. Was your first thought "F yeah Terminator"? Did this reaction make you rethink your decision to watch a costume drama in place of the sci-fi you've been shoveling in your eyeholes all summer?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Huntsville, Alabama

It was late May, the weekend before Matt was scheduled to fly to Pittsburgh. We had one last full weekend together, and we returned to our favorite early-relationship past time: the day trip.

"Let's go to Hendersonville, or Columbia" Matt suggested, perusing a list of the strange little cities that circle Nashville.

"No," I said."Let's go to Alabama."

Alabama is less then a 2 hour drive south of Nashville. Matt and I had traveled through The Heart of Dixie only once before, on our great Southern roadtrip of 2007. Matt remembered driving through the cities. I mostly remembered the creepy rest stops, and having this song stuck in my head for hours and hours:

We decided to chart a bee line south for Huntsville, Alabama with a few stops for flea markets and whatever else we came across. For the uninitiated, Huntsville is mostly known for two things.

1) As "Rocket City" it is the largest hub of NASA activity in the country. Here, shuttles and rockets are designed and manufactured and astronauts are trained. It is estimated that 1 in 3 people in Huntsville is an engineer.

2) The location of the "bed intruder" news story, and consequent viral autotune video.

I packed a variety of snacks, Matt wrote down the directions, and we were off.

Our first stop was the state welcome center, and its attendant rocket.

Welcome to Alabama

Next we aimed for the Huntsville Flea Market. On our way there we got sucked into the vortex of the Hard Times Thrift Shop. We made a u-turn on whatever route we were driving and checked it out.

Hard Times Sign, Alabama

The Hard Times Thrift Shop was a combination of everything awesome and terrible about off-brand thrift stores. Architecturally it was phenomenal. The whole thing was housed in a collection of ramshackle buildings mended and expanded with whatever oddball materials were accessible. The main building used to be a roadhouse bar, and there were little hints of it still in the corners and rafters. This building was surrounded by a half-dozen one-room wooden shacks, each housing a different seller.

Back of the Hard Times, Alabama

The goods however, were overpriced, boring or offensive. Pretty colored liqueur glasses for $15 a pop. Ceramic angels. A table full of mammy dolls that were clearly made in the 90's or later. A young couple tried to sell us a kitten, and a woman gave us the stink eye when I tried to take a picture of a creepy ventriloquist dummy. We beat a hasty retreat, happy to have seen the place, and satisfied enough to move on.

A little further down the road we found the Huntsville Flea Market proper. It was a very traditional flea market (swords, wigs, vinyl belts, incense, knock-off oriental carpets) and there was nothing much on interest there. We followed the long halls as they connected to other long halls, until we were so deep into the complex I suspected we had reached Moria. After checking out the old Zoltar machine we hit the road again.

Huntsville itself was a rainy ghost town. We had arrived on a Sunday afternoon and everything was shut down. We walked around downtown, looking in shop windows and imagining what this place was like / is like, when filled with people. Overhead the clouds grew threatening and thunder rumbled, echoing between the bank and the court house.

Weathervane, Huntsville, AL

We found the home that Tallulah Bankhead was born in. A three-story stone building of apartments and houses still very much in use, it retained a turn of century charm that seems so rare these days.

Tallulah Bankhead House, Huntsville, AL

On our way back to Nashville we cut through a part of Alabama that had been devastated by tornadoes just a week or two before. I gave Matt the camera and asked him to take a few shots as we careened by. I was eager to have a chance to see the destructive force of the tornadoes in detail, but I didn't want to stop and subject the locals to disaster tourism as they slowly moved debris and struggled to reclaim what was left of their homes.

Tornado Damage, North Alabama

Tornado Damage 3, Huntsville, AL

Tornado Damage 2, North Alabama

People always remark on the odd selectivity of tornadoes, how they destroy one house but spare its neighbor, or demolish a kitchen but leave a glass vase sitting on the counter. That level of haphazard catastrophe was present here, where jumbles of wood and brick laid 20 yards from a garden of tomato plants, still upright in their cages. Nature has a blind eye, but a very precise hand. The sun began to dip as we discussed fate and chance on the drive home.

And that, my friends, was our trip to Huntsville, Alabama.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

State of the Summer, 2011

Trick photo, decapitated man with bloody knife, holding his head

People, I have not been keeping up with my blog. You know why? Because some shitty stuff has been going on.

Numero Uno: My darling husband and best friend is working 500 miles away this summer, and I haven't seen him for a month.

Numero Dos: My hard drive died and I spent about two weeks without a computer.

Numero Tres: My health has been kind of fucked.

The first two I can deal with. Being separated from your partner always sucks, but it's only temporary. In fact, in 10 days I will be leaving to spend a week and a half in Pittsburgh, in which we will be able to hang out ALL DAY! EVERY DAY! Until then there are phone calls, texts and emails to keep the fires warm. And while my hard drive was destined for that big garbage can in the sky, I am fortunate enough to possess both a external back-up drive and a warranty, so there is no harm done beyond a few corrupted photos (and I suspect most of those were of the cat).

Now the health issue, well, that's another story.

The diet I'm on sucks. It's necessary, but it sucks. My energy is low because the foods I can stomach are so nutritionally empty that even while taking vitamins I'm exhausted most days. I'm eating a lot of sugar because it's the only mildly indulgent thing I'm allowed - fruit smoothies, jello, marshmallows. I dream of green salads, wheat bread with a tooth to it, kale tossed with vinegar. I eat peanut butter on saltines, broiled tofu and bowls of low-fat cottage cheese. I'm found two decent vegetable dishes which don't upset my stomach, and I make them endlessly: roasted summer squash topped with a lick of goat cheese, and mushrooms sauteed with a little butter and garlic and served on toast. Other nights I eat things that come in boxes, heated up in my toaster oven. Pop tarts. Frozen pizzas. Veggie chicken nuggets, dipped in low fat mayo. Sometimes I cook things and I can't even bear to eat them. I sit them on the counter until they grow cold, and then I throw them away.

The reflux medication I've been on since March has stopped working, so now my tiny, ascetic meals are interspersed with bouts of reflux that extend to my sinuses and leave everything tasting and smelling like stomach acid. Often on the bus ride home I am closer to vomiting then wanting to cook up yet another tasteless meal.

As a cook, this is depressing. As a devotee of gastronomy, this is heartbreaking. And as a human being this is a level of frustration and self-loathing I have not experienced in many years.

However, the worst thing I can do right now is to let my spirits flag. Holing up in my house watching movies and wishing things were different is not going to magically produce a solution. This diagnosis is not the end of anything - it's an opportunity to use my creativity and years of cooking experience to create new standby favorites that are both nourishing to my off-kilter body and unmistakably delicious. Right now I am walking a tight-rope, flailing my arms for anything to grab hold of. But what I really need is to find my own equilibrium, the innate balance within myself that will keep me steady, healthy and happy.

It's hard to give yourself a pep-talk without dipping too far into the corn, so please excuse me. I should probably resist anyways, since corn is on my no-no list.

Anyway, in the spirit of boot-strap pulling and rain-drop dodging, expect a flood of posts in the next few weeks on such diverse topics as Huntsville Alabama, the life cycle of cicada, and why I have a thing for hobbits. Till then, keep on (keeping on / chooglin' / secretly enjoying frozen pizza).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Gastroparesis (or, my stupid gross stomach)

Matt Wells belt (LOC)

I haven't been able to blog as much as I've wanted to lately. My photos and ideas are stacked up, just wanting for me to find a few hours to lay them all out. However, I've been a busy lady, and there have been some major changes over here.

Numero uno: My dearest man-friend and lovely husband Matt has left town for the summer. He's walking the cliffs and gullies of Pittsburgh and interning in the Office of the Public Defender. This is a wonderful development - it clears so many roads for future opportunities and cinches our return next summer. I will miss him dearly, along with Pittsburgh's steamy, green summer, but the sacrifice of time apart is nothing compared to the joy I feel at the thought of returning, of moving back to Pittsburgh, of standing in the doorway of a row house with my hands on my hips.

Numero dos: I have been dealing with some chronic GI health issues since 2007. One fine summer day four years ago a switch was flipped and my stomach became my most hated enemy. Over the years my symptoms shifted and I suffered through cycles of remission and reoccurance. I received diagnoses of gastritis and GERD, but diet changes and endless meds did nothing to eliminate the shadowy cause of all this pain. Last week I finally got in to see a respected GI specialist, and his diagnosis was swift and confident: Gastroparesis.

I suspect you are just as confused as I was. Although this condition affects one out of twenty-five people, I had never heard of it. Basically, it is a partial paralysis of the stomach caused by nerve damage. Often this nerve damage is caused by complications of diabetes. However, for many (like me), the cause is never fully known. But now that my stomach can't move very well, food just hangs out there. This is the really disgusting part. It also explains a lot, like why I have the magical ability to vomit up my breakfast at 2pm. It's not witchcraft people! My stomach is just that stupid and gross.

Since there is no direct treatment for the nerve damage and this is a chronic condition, the best thing I can do is dramatically change my diet. The doctor gave me a booklet explaining the virtues of a good blender and eating 6-8 tiny, annoying meals instead of three normal-sized, satisfying ones. But the best part was the recommended foods:

AVOID: raw vegetables, winter squash, whole wheat products, corn, brown rice, beans/peas/lentils, citrus fruits and berries, cruciferous vegetables, nuts and seeds, anything high in fat

EAT: white bread, white rice, pasta, vegetables that have been cooked to shit, cottage cheese, fruit and vegetable juices, yogurt, eggs, smoothies, low-fat cheese, potatoes sans peels, crackers Crackers CRACKERS

As a really goddamn healthy vegetarian, this diet was a total mindfuck. Suddenly, everything I ate regularly and relied on to keep me healthy was part of the problem. And everything I avoided was somehow good for me. All these years of eating crappy whole-wheat pasta for nothing! As much as I gave the whole thing the side-eye I made like a good patient and bought my cottage cheese and sourdough bread and protein powder. I drank some weird smoothies and broke my meals into little snacklets. I even bought out the kozy shack pudding cups for days when I can't stomach enough calories of white bread. But then something interesting happened.

I began to feel better.

A lot better.

No longer did I finish a meal only to suffer two hours of choking and reflux. No longer was I suddenly nauseous because I ate a handful of peanuts. It's been a dramatic and swift improvement, and such a deep relief. Although I can hardly eat like a normal person right now, I can finally go through a day without feeling ill.

Doctor, I'm sorry I gave you the side-eye. I just had no idea that white bread might actually be good for me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Delicious Dinners #2

Tonight we have the outstanding raw Tuscan kale salad, served with tofu marinated in an Italian-style vinaigrette. The warm, chewy tofu is a perfect compliment to the crisp, lemon-scented salad, and the whole thing is an antidote to steamy, summery, Southern evenings. To seal the deal, kale just came into season and my favorite stand at the Nashville Farmer's Market surprised me with a basket of the most tender, mild, little baby kale I've ever eaten. This lovely green is only going to be in season until mid to late June, so hit up your local farmer's market and make this asap!

Broiled Tofu with Tuscan Kale Salad

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad With Pecorino

as published in the New York Times, recipe by Melissa Clark


1 bunch kale (they recommend Tuscan kale, common kale works fine)
1 thin slice country bread (part whole-wheat or rye is nice), or 1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (coarse)
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, more for garnish (pecorino is a bit rich for my blood [$$$] so I replaced it with Gran Queso by Roth Käse.)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.


1. Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard. Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl.

2. If using bread, toast it until golden on both sides. Tear it into small pieces and grind in a food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs.

3. Using a mortar and pestle, or with the back of a knife, pound garlic into a paste. Transfer garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to thoroughly combine (dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat leaves).

4. Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of oil.

Italian Tofu

from Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowitz


1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 cup white cooking wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, smashed
A big pinch each dried basil, marjoram, and thyme


Prepare the marinade by combining all ingredients in a wide shallow bowl.

Cut the tofu widthwise into eight equal pieces. Marinate for at least an hour, flipping after 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 400F. Place the tofu on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip over and bake another 10 minutes. Place in the broiler for about 3 more minutes for extra chewiness. Sometimes I cheat and cook it using only the broiler, which leaves the outside slightly crisp and the inside dense and chewy.