Becoming Vegetarian: Eggplant

On the CD player:

40 years . . . .  really?  I remember buying this album in the mid-70s with money from one of the first paychecks I ever earned.  It was a double LP, I had sticker shock when I bought it, and I had it for years until it went missing during one of our many moves.  I still have Neil Diamond’s A Beautiful Noise, a Christmas present from then-BF Tina.

We were shopping at Whole Foods today, and there it was, at the checkout stand.  DH was so shocked by my impulse buy — because he can’t remember the last time I bought a CD, let alone make an impulse purchase that cost more than a couple of bucks — that he didn’t give me a hard time about it.

I am having a really good nostalgia moment 🙂

CSA Share Week 11:  eggplant, corn, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, crookneck squash, cucumber, green onions, spinach, carrots, Romaine lettuce, Italian parsley, cilantro (gave away), eggs

CSA Share Week 10:  eggplant, corn, heirloom tomatoes, zucchini (gave away), cucumber, green pepper, green onions (gave away), collard greens, kale salad, spinach, baby carrots, Romaine lettuce, eggs

Recipes:  crustless ratatouille and shrimp (wild-caught Louisiana white shrimp!) pie, adapted from Greene on Greens; greens (collard greens, kale, beet greens) with Hopi black beans; roasted carrots; eggs Florentine; spinach and cheese strata; cucumber salad

About 25 years ago, I tried my hand at ratatouille — I believe it was a recipe from Mollie Katzen.  It was an abysmal failure, but I don’t think it was the fault of the recipe itself; I just did not understand eggplants.  So, for 25 years I have avoided eggplants — just as well, because DH does not like eggplants.  Or squash.  Or zucchini.

Today, I made ratatouille, using a recipe from Greene on Greens, and it had eggplants, and squash, and zucchini . . .  and DH liked it enough to have seconds 🙂  I love Bert Greene’s rambling expositions on vegetable lore, but the best parts of his book are his tips on what to look for in vegetables, how to store them, and how to do basic preparations.  His recipes, like those of Deborah Madison, have not failed me yet.

I altered the ratatouille recipe to take advantage of what I had from the boxes last week and this week:  zucchini, squash, onion, green bell pepper, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, corn.  I threw in the corn because it wasn’t particularly sweet on its own, but I figured it would be OK baked with all the other veggies.  Not traditional at all, but pretty tasty nevertheless!

The Junior Innkeeper

That would be me this past week, when our friend who runs a B & B in Estes Park went off to music camp.  Annoying things guests do:

1.  If you tell me you are going to show up around noon, you really should show up around noon.  4 PM is nowhere near “noon-ish.”

2.  “No Shoes” policy means exactly that — the sandals that you showed up in are in fact “outside” shoes, and no, you can’t wear them inside the B & B just because you “hate going around in bare feet.”

3.  You chose to come to Colorado, and I assumed you did some research ahead of time and followed the news . . . .  you know, the news that had to do with DROUGHT conditions?  But no, you insisted on having ALL your towels changed everyday you were here, because by golly, you paid good money to stay at the B & B, and you expected SERVICE.

4.  Yes, you paid for service . . . .  but I am not your servant.

5.  Oh, and did you forget that batteries don’t just get tossed in the trash?

All good reasons why I could never be a full-time innkeeper.

CSA Share Week 9: beets, green onions, onions, Romaine lettuce, squash, cucumber, zucchini, Swiss chard, baby carrots, eggs

Recipes: roasted beets and carrots sauteed with beet greens and green onions (surprisingly good given that it has beets in it); squash and zucchini baked ziti (surprisingly good given that it has zucchini in it); soy sauce stewed eggs with green onions; chard/scapes/green onions/beet greens quiche

Passive Voice

CSA Share Week 8:  kale, Chiogga baby beets, cilantro, green onions, scapes, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, green beans, butter lettuce, Romaine lettuce

Recipes: Barley, Kale, and Kidney Bean stew (Vegetarian Planet); Gingered Beets (Greene on Greens); green beans sauteed with leftover Chinese Garlic Chicken

CSA Share Week 7:  chard, green onion, radishes, scapes, beets (gave away), zucchini, cilantro, butter lettuce

Recipes:  Chard Catalan Style, radishes added to leftover Chinese food, microwaved zucchini (The Teenager)

I remember the first time High School Boyfriend told me he loved me — he didn’t actually tell me he loved me, what he said was, “You are loved.”  And at that point, I really understood what “passive voice” meant.  This summer, The Teenager has been working on writing a decent essay, and this means massive  unlearning of  much of what passes for English education in public schools.  She is finally learning how to punctuate, learning how to organize a simple essay, learning how to read an article to find the thesis (hint, hint, read that first paragraph really carefully).  And she is learning all about passive voice.  I don’t care if it is a godsend for Ph.D. candidates writing their dissertations — it is lazy writing.

A few days ago, an American Historical Association newsletter link reminded me of how insidious the passive voice can be.  The article came from Richard Brody of the New Yorker, who posted this article on the German  government’s decision to use the passive voice for the Holocaust monument: “Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.”  As Mr. Brody pointed out, murdered by whom?  I’m with him on his critique, that the vagueness of the term is disturbing and that Germany’s “. . . .  reduction of responsibility to an embarrassing, tacit fact that “everybody knows” is the first step on the road to forgetting.”