Thursday, March 18, 2010

Guest Blog: Eggplant for Dinner (or as Decoration)

This blog will have a different sound from Ellen's usual creative writing style. Since Ellen is out of town, she invited me, her mom, to add a recipe. Last week as I was re-reading journals from the early 70's, I found this story. Ellen had been playing basketball with three little guys, about her age, from the neighborhood and from the sound of laughter, and conversation, all had gone well. She came to tell me about the fun time saying, "Mom, don't you wish you were my age so you could have all this fun?" I avoided an affirming response, aware of what I was doing (sanding an antique frame for a mirror) and the difference in ages. While I continued to sand, she declared with enthusiasm, "I"d always like to stay this age..........nine years." Thinking logically as a Mom, I said, "You do want to go on to be a teenager and enjoy the years that will follow?"" "Oh, yes, I do. I want to go and be ninety-one, then I'd like to come back and be nine again. I love being this age!"

As in her younger years, enthusiam, creativity and imagination were evident. These characteristics have continued in what she does. Ellen finds what gives life.

I decided to include a recipe using an eggplant. This was not a familiar veggie in my early years. In fact, since Gene enjoyed gardening, we've added such plants in our small garden plot. They usually are quite productive. I looked for recipes that appealed to me, and yes, the one I chose to try was found in Grandma's favorite cookbook. I learned recently of a friend who was in a garden club where veggies were shared and he had received eggplants. That raised questions about what to do with this produce. He finally decided to use it as a centerpiece with other colorful garden items. Perhaps that's yet another idea one can use when gifted with a plethora of this interesting vegetable.

Here's a recipe for a creative eggplant souffle..........

1 large eggplant
Pare eggplant and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
Cook in 1/2 cup salt water until tender and almost dry

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
2 teaspoons grated onion
1 tablespoon catsup (add more if you like the taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper (I added a bit of basil and Island spice blend from Jamaica)
2 eggs, separated

Make a white sauce with butter, flour and milk.
When thickened, add mashed eggplant, seasonings, cheese, crumbs and beaten egg yolks
Fold in stiffly beaten whites

Pour into greased baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
Serves 6

From the kitchens of Mrs. Velma Miller and Mrs. Marling Lauver

Mary Herr

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