Eggplant -- 09/15/06

So I've done it again -- written two or three entries in a row and then gone a couple of weeks without writing anything.

The usual excuses... being busy, working, trying to grab some of the last days of summer, school starting up again for Nancy, me trying to be more consistent about working out, and then there's tennis. Yeah, I know, I don't play tennis... but Nancy does... and she loves watching the big tournaments... and I sometimes keep her company while she watches... and I can't be writing an entry for here while I'm watching the U.S. Open with Nancy.

Hey, I could keep on going and fill this entire entry with excuses for not having written an entry in two weeks.

So, instead, I'll talk about eggplant.

I grew up eating (most) vegetables that were served at my family's dining room table. (Well as a kid I didn't like rhubarb or tomatoes -- which was odd considering that I ate everything else from my father's garden -- and, although I came to love tomatoes, no matter how much I would like to like rhubarb, I still remain immune to its charms.)

(Hmmm, it occurs to me that I also have never really gotten cozy with beets.)

When I mention the vegetables served at our house, I mean the ones my father grew in the backyard and the limited array of vegetables available in the supermarkets of the 1940s and 1950s. The supply of fresh vegetables was so meager compared with the variety offered up in a contemporary supermarket. Still, I was fond of carrots and corn and peas and brocolli and asparagus, etc. I cannot, however, recall eggplant being served. (Hey Charlie, do you remember Mom serving eggplant when we were kids?)

Anyway, at some point in my adult life I was introduced to eggplant... when Jill and I go to our favorite Japanese restaurant in Providence we usually get an eggplant dish as an appetizer... but it wasn't something I cooked at home. I think a couple of times in recent years I bought some Asian eggplants from the supermarket.
In recent years -- probably since she graduated from high school -- Jill has been interested in my garden. Mostly she was into planting carrots... but last year she suggested trying eggplants and she picked some out and planted them.

We began to harvest eggplant -- and I began to make eggplant parmesan. Yummy!

So this year I thought it would be interesting to plant two different kinds of eggplant. (No, I'm sorry, I can't tell you the variety names offhand and it is raining outside so I'm not going to hunt in the garden for the little plastic identifier.)
Pick the eggplant...

Slice... dip in egg and milk... dip wet slices in seasoned breadcrumbs... cook in hot canola oil... alternating layers of tomato sauce, eggplant, mozzarella and parmesan cheese... <repeat> Bake in oven.




I've also made lasagna with eggplant. Mmmm, that's also very tasty.

I have half a dozen servings of eggplant parmesan in the freezer from the last batch I made. Adam and Leah and Sammy are coming up on Saturday for a weekend visit. I should go out to the garden and pick some more eggplants so I can make an egplant lasagna for dinner on Saturday.

I also need to go grocery shopping... but I can't do that until Nancy gets home so I can borrow her car... My car is in the shop getting some work donw.

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