Cauliflower: “Call me beef.”

Two weeks after Bruce Jenner hit the news stands on the Vanity Fair cover posing as “Caitlyn” Jenner with his newly acquired and sensuously voluptuous curls of hair, full bustier, and barbie-doll waist-to-hip ratio, it seems that the entire world world has been caught in a state of trance, or might I say trans. The case of Rachel Dolezal soon broke out, and the hurricane of controversy slammed photographs of her, both pre and post her dramatic hue progression, onto major newspapers and social media home pages where they remain, stubbornly and awkwardly plastered even now. We then observed the creep-in attempt of this strange new term ‘transable-ness’ which, like Rachel, is still somewhat stuck on the far side of the fence for most people.

All three cases propose the same claim: “I feel, therefore I am.” Empirically, this has already proven to be insufficient a reason for most of society, as most people are still struggling to come to terms with the latter cases. Those whom society would call conservative, like myself, would not even hesitate to draw the line before Jenner’s case.

However, with all due respect to recent events, I think it’s safe to say that society has taken a fancy to fudging the lines. I mean, it’s nothing new. Karl Marx, way back in 1875, aspired to creating a classless utopia free of discrimination and inequality. Right, there’s a term for that, communism. Need I remind you, that the whole concept has now become a heavy historical joke? Not even China gives a damn about its nominal ideology anymore.

So for a moment let’s ignore society’s definitely-not-better judgment. One question is worth asking here. Not the cliches of “How far is too far?”, “Does this infringe or reinforce freedom of expression?”, or even “Is society responsible for shaping the way these people perceive themselves?”, but a rather fundamental one that answers with utter simplicity of logic to their core argument of I feel, therefore I am.

Consider this. How can you be certain of how you feel, when you don’t know that which you are feeling? How can you say that you feel, deep down in the bottom of our heart that you are a woman, when you have never known womanhood? When you have not faced, for the whole of your life, the career barriers, cultural expectations, and societal judgments that real women face every single day of their lives? How can you claim, at the tender age of five, to feel, deep down in the depths of your soul, that you are black when you have not had to live with the discrimination and legacies of the plantation era that continue to explain poverty rates among African Americans today? How can you say that you feel, with every cell in your body, that you should be missing a limb or your sight, when you’ve never known – even when you were still in your mother’s womb – a day when you didn’t have everything you needed?

So really, the argument isn’t about feelings. It’s about wanting. I want to feel like what I perceive being a woman feels like. I want to feel like what I perceive being black feels like. And I want to feel like what I perceive being disabled feels like.

Well, you know what?

I feel like a goddamn multi-billionaire. Please, call me Bill Gates.

Aged Rib-Eye Steak with Roasted Cauliflower, Kale Chips, and Sweet Pea Aioli

A good steak is a good steak – it’s beefy, it’s primitive, and it makes you wait, but waits for no one. A cauliflower steak is caramelized, creamy, crispy, and benefits from being overdone than underdone. Two steaks, vastly different, competitively delicious, and I want both on my platter.

Ingredients for the aged rib-eye:

1 free range, bone-in rib eye steak

1 tbsp sea salt

1 tbsp grape seed oil or butter

To prepare the steak, four days before you want to have steak, go and buy it, take it home, and sprinkle salt generously on both sides. No need to rub it in. Put the steak on a rack placed over a plate, and leave it in the fridge for 4 nights, uncovered.

After the four days/nights, or when you want to eat your steak, take it out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. Meanwhile, preheat your cast iron pan until it’s very hot.

Grease the pan with the oil or butter and place the steak down firmly, for 2-3 minutes, until well crusted, then flip it over and let it sizzle for another 2-3 minutes. This should get you to a rare if you have an inch-thick steak.

Turn off the grill and leave your steak in there, with the lid down if you like it a bit more done. Serve with roasted vegetables, and as always with steak, a liberal application of salt and pepper. In the picture I also added a garlic pea puree, but that’s optional. The steak itself is plenty enough flavour.

Ingredients for the roasted cauliflower steak and floret:

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into an inch-thick steak plus loose florets

2 tbsp grape seed oil

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

To make the roasted cauliflower, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Coat the cauliflower withe oil and season generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Place on a metal baking sheet and bake for 30~40 minutes (the florets may take slightly less), or until caramelized and tender.

Serve with the steak.


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