Three Delicious Things to Do In May

Read “Tofu Takes Time”

May, which is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage month, is the perfect time to check out the new sweet little book, “Tofu Takes Time” (Beaming Books), of which I received a copy.

Will charming illustrations by artist Julie Jarema, this children’s book is inspired by author Helen H. Wu’s own childhood spent making tofu alongside her grandmother.

It tells the story of a little girl named Lin who learns how to make tofu from scratch with soybeans from her grandma NaiNai. She learns how bean curd, eaten in China for more than 2,000 years, takes many steps and loads of patience to perfect. And along the way, she realizes the most important lesson of all: that good things come to those who patiently persevere.

Chew on Jelly Belly Gum

Everyone’s favorite jelly bean company, Jelly Belly, now also makes chewing gum.

Launched last year, the sugar-free gum comes in four flavors: Watermelon, Berry Blue, Island Punch and Very Cherry.

I had a chance to try samples recently. Like the jelly beans, the gum bursts with sweet, fruity flavor that dissipates after a couple of minutes. Of the flavors, Very Cherry is tops for me with its cherry hard candy-like taste.

Jelly Belly sugar-free gum.
Jelly Belly sugar-free gum. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

The gum uses sorbitol, a naturally occurring sweetener. If you’re like me and have taste buds that are sensitive to sweeteners other than cane sugar, you’ll definitely notice a faint aftertaste with this gum. But if you can handle that, you’ll be glad to know that 2 pieces have only 5 calories, plus zero fat and sodium.

The Chicklet-shaped Jelly Belly gum. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)
The Chicklet-shaped Jelly Belly gum. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Although quite malleable, this isn’t the type of gum to blow bubbles with because it doesn’t have quite that elasticity.

Each blister packet contains 12 pieces. A dozen packs is available for $18 on Amazon.

Savor Christina Tosi’s “Dessert Can Save the World”

If anyone thinks that “Dessert Can Save the World”,” of course it would be Christina Tosi, founder of Milk Bar, the phenom bakery on its way to world domination.

That’s the title of her latest book (Harmony Books), of which I received a review copy.

This easy read is part memoir, and part cheerleader, encouraging you to be fearless in the kitchen and to own your sweet tooth, no matter how immense it may be.

After all, as she writes, “Meatloaf and mashed potatoes can comfort our souls, but cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting mainline healing and love straight to our hearts.”

Tosi recounts her Midwest upbringing, and what led her to grow into one of the most celebrated and successful pastry chefs in the country.

Along the way, she sprinkles in some crazy “dirty dessert secrets” of hers, including soaking M&Ms in a glass of warm water, mashing them with a spoon, pouring out the water, and then eating the resulting crunchy chocolate bits.

A few recipes are also included, such as “Make Your Own Cereal Milk” and “Easy, Can’t -Mess-It-Up Bread Recipe.”

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