My ankles ached from the time I’d spent on my feet. Besides the white noise of the television, everything was calm and quiet. My house was unoccupied by roommates. My legs were crossed beneath my body - planted into my couch. The air was sweet with essence of jackfruit scattered around my living room.
I held the spiky fruit in my lap. My hands preformed clinical like duties of birthing a newborn. The sweet meat was encapsulated by fibrous cages, protecting the delectable flesh that wrapped around a marble-sized seed. Yellow to the eye. Slimy yet powdery to the touch. The air had become too sweet. It was nauseating. My fingers stuck to everything, the juice of each chamber slid secretions down my wrist. Usually, that’d irritate me, wet hands, but I wasn’t in a place to baby my neurotic tendencies. I was preparing dinner for 30 people and our president had just announced the US would pull out of the Paris Accord.
My mind was other places.
I ripped each seed from the skull of the chamber, finding pleasure in the violent pull. I was angry. It suddenly started to feel that the progress we had made was deemed void. Was this real? Was the man so stupid? I spiraled into a frenzy of what was going on with our country. I’ve always been aware of the corruption we call our political system, but never thought we’d regress. Aren’t we supposed to be the richest country? Why aren’t we being innovative and investing into renewable energy? Why are we still talking about coal and fossil fuels? Renewable energy is not a hoax. Wind, solar, hydro and geothermal power do not pollute our air, they nurse what we have, what our earth is made of. They do not deplete mother nature. They do not cause global warming, oil spills, acid rain, or a decline in air quality. And they do not rely on the authorization of other countries. Renewable energy is reliable because unlike natural gas & fossil fuels, they will never run out. Yet, the leader of America, did not believe it was so.
Even with my repetitive actions, my thoughts were not present.
My body: tear the porous shell, rip through the fibers, pluck the succulent morsels, remove the seeds, repeat.
My mind was not so meditative. I’d stop in between actions with deep sighs of frustration. The constant unrest had infiltrated my cooking. Preparing meals was my meditation, my peace offering, my political resolution and yet I couldn’t stop the inner dialogue.
“What am I doing everyday to help prevent climate change? We protest and march, and complain about our archaic administration but what are WE doing? Are we still supporting factory raised food? Are we eating meat everyday? Are we buying cheap fashion? Are we wasting massive amounts of water? Buying bottled water? Not recycling clothing? Contributing to big business? Researching who our money is going to? We as the people have the power to make changes. But are we?”
With an exhale, I brought myself back. Back to reality. Back to my kitchen. Back to my sticky fingers. And I focused on what I could do at that very moment. “tear the porous shell, rip through the fibers, pluck the succulent morsels, remove the seeds, repeat.”
Pulled Jackfruit BBQ Sandwiches
2 20 ounce cans of jackfruit in brine
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbs vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs dark brown sugar
1/2 c dark beer (if gluten free, use veggie broth or water)
1/2 c vegan bbq sauce
1. Drain jackfruit and slice it into thin pieces.
2. Preheat over to 400F degrees.
3. Over medium high heat, get up your skillet with some oil. Once hot, add jackfruit, a generous amount of salt & pepper and allow to cook for a few minutes.
4. Add in all ingredients besides beer and bbq sauce.
5. Allow jackfruit to cook in spice for about 5 minutes.
6. Once your skillet has some caramelization, turn your heat down to low, and add in beer to deglaze the pan.
7. Allow for jackfruit to soak up beer and cover the pan for a few minutes(don’t let it burn. This will help the jackfruit become tender.
8. Evenly disperse jackfruit onto a cooking sheet and set in your preheated oven.
9. Allow for the jackfruit to dry out for about 15 minutes. It is important your jackfruit be well spread out so it has the chance to dry out. (In my photo, they are too close together and unable to breathe. Spread them out more! :p)
10. Once to desired texture, pull out of the oven and add bbq sauce.
11. Serve with a bun and some slaw.