Soy stuff can be sticky.
First there’s the soyapower machine. It came with a package of magic cleaning powder that instructs one to mix a container of the stuff to reuse–who has room on a counter? The idea is appealing in that it sounds like a way to ease cleanup unless one is opposed to leaving soaking parts laying about the kitchen. So, instead, we have stuck with vigilant immediate cleanup and as we do it the process seems to become less of a chore.
After milk making the milk is immediately poured into a big (heated) glass jar (or pot on the stove if tofu is being made), the soy-milk maker pitcher is rinsed and washed (this avoids anything getting sticky in the soy-milk maker pitcher) and the pitcher is refilled with fresh water if more batches are being made. The okara is then dumped into a press (or bowl if unpressed okara is going to be used) and the sieve basket is put into hot soapy water. This is important, again, because soy can be sticky and as soon as okara and milk dry on the basket, cleanup becomes more difficult. While the basket soaks, the machine itself is sprayed off and gently sponged, then sprayed again–it’s actually pretty easy once you get a method going. And then the basket is washed and refilled and the process is begun again (or…we dry the parts and put the machine away clean, no soaking bits on the counter.)
This may seem like silly stuff to talk about but it was on my mind. It is what I find to be the biggest detractor to making these soy things; the machine has to be cleaned. But there’s more about cleaning that I thought important to share. Years ago I read in The Farm Cookbook by Louis Hagler and Dorothy Bates that the whey from making tofu was useful for cleaning soy tools. This has been valuable information because (did I mention that soy could be sticky?) sometimes it is needed. When drying okara in the oven there is a risk of pans stuck with stuff that seems nearly impossible to remove, the whey from making tofu loosens it almost instantly and cleanup goes from frustrating scrubbing to easy wiping away. It’s really *that good*! Because of this we will most likely keep the okara drying to days when tofu is being made. We’ll have large amounts of okara to work with and the whey to easily clean the pans after baking.