Local Calamities Continued

November 20, 2008 at 8:28 am

Rob Gardner

When we were last checking in on the Local Family (as compared to checking in on the local expo) we found food gone to waste.  Over at the VI blog, I summed up what was in the house and found a few more losses.  That was not all that’s gone wrong in the Bungalow.  For instance, I offered up baked Nigerian eggplants for dinner last night.

I mostly enjoy cooking.  With the enhanced work schedule of my wife, I mostly do the cooking now.  Mostly, the family enjoys what I prepare.  The older daughter is a cook’s best friend.  She eats with relish and enjoys nearly any concoction.  The younger daughter is filled with edible idiosycrancies, so we’ll just leave her out.  But the wife, she’s been around the block, not to mention inside the kitchen of a leading restaurant.  Can I please her?

Before Austin, I took care of some four large beets.  I wrapped each in foil.  Roasted for about an hour at 400.  Peeled.  Sliced.  Dressed with olive oil, tarragon vinegar and some chopped marjoram.  Some, apparently were not cooked enough, although I believe it was the long seeping of marjoram that turned off two outta three.  Those two were also not as keen on the old skinny eggplants I sliced, roasted and tossed with rosemary infused honey, but maybe that was the fault of the ages.  Then there were the eggplants the next day.

If you follow closely, you may remember that one Eli’s market day, I forgot some eggplant there.  The next week, the only eggplants left were the bright red Nigerians.  Chad Nichols let me take a bunch in exchange.  I finally got around to them when I did my purge.  They seemed fine from outward appearances.  I googled Nigerian eggplants with little success–does this one seem very Nigerian to you? Lo and behold, in my backyard, Internet speaking, I find this.  I roast the eggplants until they crack and hiss eggplant juice.  I, and my daughter, peel scalding eggplants.  I platter, season and spritz with olive oil.   I add some feta, to, well, make it a meal. 

We start with butternut soup my wife made, no calamity here.  The first table taste.  The first remarks.  The first I’m eating peanut butter tonight.  The needed advice.  Avoid the seeds.  That’s what the Internet poster said.  More bitter horrors.  One daughter eats all the fennel marmalade (I’m not all calamity either).  Mom comes to the rescue with paczki from work.  We replace healthy vegetarian, local dining with fried Polish goodies stuffed with cheap jam, more bumps on the road to the local life.