Thursday, May 1, 2008

Eggplant on my face

Reader Pat left a nice comment about Ken being on his business trip: "You'll be fine. Indulge yourself in all the little things that pamper you, watch your fav shows, read a good book, bubble baths, etc." Never fear, Pat! I may miss Ken, but I never have a problem keeping myself occupied!

 In fact, yesterday I bought my eggplant for what has become a Ken-is-on-a-business-trip tradition: I make myself Eggplant Parmigian. Eggplant is kind of a joke between us, because when we started corresponding, I was on a major eggplant kick--I was making everything from Eggplant Parmesan to Eggplant Casserole to Ratatouille. When we met for our first date, he handed me a little box wrapped in a bow, with a rose on top. Inside was an eggplant! I even got one on our wedding day. Ha ha! Ken is a really good sport when it comes to trying new things, but I've never been able to convert him to being an eggplant fan. He says it's the texture that bugs him (other people have told me they feel the same way), and he will indeed eat other types of squash like zucchini or yellow crooknecks. Since Eggplant Parmigiana is my all-time favorite dish, I usually make it for myself when Ken goes on a trip. So that's what is for dinner tonight! Later on, I'll post the recipe on a fun recipe journal called Kitchen Chatter. Deb was kind enough to add me as a regular cook, so I need to get busy and post another recipe!

One thing I'll tell you now--speaking of pampering--is that I've started using real Parmesan cheese rather than the Kraft grated stuff. The green canister is good for other things (I love it on pasta salad), but for Italian dishes, I just LOVE the real stuff. At first it seems ridiculously expensive, but I've found that a wedge lasts for ages! Its flavor is so much more potent and pungent that you don't need a lot on top. And to continue in the "real stuff" vein, I've become hooked on using fresh mozzarella. Oh man, I love this yummy cheese, and if I see that it's on sale, I buy some and plan a meal around it! It has such a light, nutty flavor to me. I bought a container earlier this week, and that's what I'll be using in the Eggplant Parmigiana. Jeez, I'm making myself hungry!

Wow, what a surprisingly gorgeous day! It was fairly cool in here this morning, so after my shower (I'm not a bubble bath kinda gal), I put on flannel pants and a sweatshirt. A little bit later, I looked up at our weather clock and saw that while the temperature inside was around 65°, outside it was 75°! I opened the window, and it was downright balmy. When I went out to get the mail, I realized just how warm it was, so I put on a T-shirt and sat outside in the sun for a while. It felt great! Later, I moved over so that I was out of the sun, and beneath the hummingbird feeder--the hummies were flying up and checking me out. I saw females, too, so soon we'll have baby hummies! It's getting overcast now, and we'll get some rain tonight, but today was very pleasant.

It's amazing how well our house does in the summer. We do have lots of trees, and I guess that's what keeps it so cool in here. Our living room and dining room windows face north and south, so there's never much direct sunlight. (The only east window is one we had put in our bedroom, and there are a lot of trees right there. We have no west windows.) We can also get an amazing cross breeze in here that makes it very pleasant the vast majority of the time. We don't have central air, so it's a good thing that the house stays fairly cool. It has to get up to about 90° and humid for it to be uncomfortable in the living room--we have a free-standing unit that we can use when it gets that hot and humid. We have a small window unit for the bedroom, because neither of us can stand to be too hot when we sleep, so we run that a lot of nights in the summer. I love our place, because while I know it's needed sometimes, I've never loved air conditioning--I would much rather have the windows open so I can hear the outside sounds and feel the warm breezes. I'm ready for some hot weather! Well, not TOO hot!

Ken called a little bit ago and has made it safely to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan!



madcobug said...

Glad that you are finding plenty to keep yourself busy. That Eggplant Parmigiana sounds good. I don't think my Ken would eat it either. Glad that Ken made it safely there. Helen

jimsulliv3 said...

You'd croak in Miami where central air is a must. It isn't the heat so much as the humidity. When I was in Texas in the Army, it was 105 degrees and yet arriving that afternoon in Miami it was only 95 degrees and I thought I was having a stroke.


ziggy2315 said...

Good lord, what is he doing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ? About the parmesan, you are so right. Nothing like the real thing (Reggiano) you don't need much of it to enjoy the superb flavour. On a show today I saw an idea for an appetizer. A wedge of Parmesan (the real stuff) and guests would break off little chunks and dip them in balsamic vinegar and eat them. They said it tastes really, really good and I am sure it does. Enjoy your eggplant. So nice to hear about all your birds and wildlife. You are very fortunate to live where you do so that you can enjoy all that nature has to offer.

tschuckman said...

I love the name, BETH !   And your talk of egg plant and cooking makes me feel like a million bucks--- and I hope that you can pass along some great recipes  to my wife and I.  
    I invites you to check out my own AOL Blog,  OLD SOLDIER TOM'S JOURNAL.  I am just a country boy, retired and love to write encouraging words to help others.

Tom and Sharon Schuckman

krmprm said...

It's me again!  And I have a confession to make.   Would you believe that
I have never, ever tasted eggplant?   But I copied the recipe and I can't
wait to go shopping for the ingredients.  (I could eat shoe leather if it was
smothered in real Parmesan or Mozzarella.)  That's the same way I prepare
fried green tomatoes w/o sauce.   Thanks for the recipe.     Pat

helmswondermom said...

Glad Ken is safely in SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN.  I'm going to make sure I say that aloud a couple times today in your honor!  I love eggplant!  We had a beautiful day here, only very, very windy.  There's a chance of thundershowers tonight, but I'm hoping we'll just get a little rain and nothing more.

eml625 said...

I LOVE Eggplant, do you eat it cold? Or hot? We only buy the real good Parmesan cheese, yes, it's expensive, but SO worth it. And being Italian, I think it's in the rule book or something. We cant be caught with the "green canister" it's like using a Jar sauce *gravy*. I would love to see your recipe though.

rdautumnsage said...

Ugh it's rainy and been colder than I don't know what the last few days. I've had to turn the blasted heat on. Hearing you talk about the Hummies reminded me I have to put my Hummingbird feeder out soon. I'm having a slightly sad weekend. It might be the last with the older kittens. The 4 are hardy and romping all over the place, it's time to let them go to their other foster mother. The younger ones are getting bigger by the day, within another week or so they will be moving more and almost ready to venture out. Sigh...I love what I do for these little ones, just hate those moments of saying goodbye. At least I know they are going to be loved and safe. (Hugs) Indigo

queeniemart said...

I have never had eggplant but i do not like squash at all.
Glad you had a nice warm day.
I bet all your dishes have delightful and interesting flavors.