September 20, 2012: Mom’s Baked Eggplant

September 20, 2012

I had hinted that my last article, the review of “Toast” (2010) that the film influenced me in a way that I never expected. Before I ever saw the movie, I was reading the jacket cover of the DVD, just before going to bed. My first thought was that I was going to like the film (I did.) Reading that the film was about a mother who found challenges in the kitchen, made me think of my own mom’s cooking.

As just about all my sisters are superior chefs, we have this family joke that we all became good cooks in self-defense, due to our mom’s bad cooking. Without a doubt, poor lady, she had a number of disasters. In particular, mom’s pigs feet is imbedded in my mind as the absolute worst and most disgusting food I have ever eaten. The scene from “Toast” where Nigel flings away his mother’s sandwiches? That was me. I used to dread Monday Meatloaf, not so much as the meatloaf wasn’t good, it actually was very tasty right out of the oven. It’s just that I knew I was doomed to several days of my mom’s awful meatloaf sandwiches for lunch, sandwiches that I promptly chucked into the wastebasket at lunch!

The reality was that mom was trying to please the tastes of nine different, very particular, and refined tastes, which any chef will tell you, is just about an impossibility! Mom actually did a fine job introducing unique dishes to our diet. We all really loved her pizza and beef and veggie soup, and she did an excellent job on anything she baked.

I can’t really say, with any certainty, where these ideas come from, but all I know is that going to bed, that night after reading the DVD jacket, I was thinking of my mom’s cooking and I woke up remembering two pretty unique recipes of my her’s. Baked Eggplant is the first one.

Mom’s Baked Eggplant:
Skin 1 medium eggplant and save skins for soup stock. Dice eggplant, wash, salt well, let sit for 20 minutes, wash again, and let dry out a couple of minutes. This will remove some of the inherit bitterness of the eggplant (this makes 2.5C. eggplant.)   Cube .5C. wheat bread, add 1-2 Tblsp. butter to a pan and toast croutons over medium heat, turning often with spices (ground pepper, Herbs de Provence, and French Thyme.) You want the croutons to be just a bit toasted, as it will be further baked with the eggplant. Mixed croutons with eggplant. Butter individual Pryex bowls and add bread/eggplant. Top with dabs of butter, a sprinkling of panko and a dash of red pepper flakes. Bake at 350°F for about 15 minutes. Zap with the broiler to get extra toasting on top.

There is a saying that we all grow in response to our parents. I think it’s quite possible that both the good and the bad dishes my mom made helped shape most of her children into wonderful chefs.


One comment

  1. Hey brat,

    Robert and I just watched this movie.


    Now I am hungry…again.

    Come down to Ct…and we can cook together…hmmm. Or just you…and we can supply all the fixings.

    Xo. Regan’s mom


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