Friday, September 20, 2013

Eggplant


Mike and I considered ourselves soul mates, but we definitely were not culinary mates.  Mike liked what he liked and disliked what he disliked and he never changed his mind about things like that.  He did not eat mayonnaise.  He did not eat tomato sauce.  He did not eat cooked vegetables except for corn, peas and green beans.  He did not eat onions cooked or otherwise.  He did not eat casseroles ever since they were a combination of things he didn't eat anyway.

I did not like mushrooms as a kid and eggplant just made me gag, but my tastes changed,  Foods I found disgusting as a child are now among my favorites--mushrooms, eggplant, avocados, asparagus, eggs, spinach, brussel sprouts, herbs and spices.

I will admit that I never developed a taste for liver (nor do I want to).

I made this Moussakka a while ago and ate it every day for a week.  I froze half of it but ended up thawing it out right away.

It consists of sliced eggplant layered with a fresh tomato sauce loaded with Greek oregano, basil, and parsley from my garden and with some ground turkey thrown in.  Then it is topped with a bechamel sauce to which I added a big dollop of basil pesto.  I topped it with a bit of parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and fresh parsley and baked it.

You know, I really do feel him near me so much of the time...but not so much at meals.

31 comments:

  1. Wow, i thought I was picky. Poor Mike, he must have had the equivalent of color blindness on this taste buds, or perhaps the opposite. Not liking tomato sauce! I would starve to death.

    I despised green pepper as a child and now I love it. I don't why. All the rest of the vegges you mentioned are yummy.

    Your moussakka sounds wonderful, minus the ground turkey. You do get extra points for not liking liver. It must be an acquired taste. Sea food is another item that I can't stomach. I somewhat envy people who do, they seem to enjoy it to degrees that are unknown to me.

    Greek oregano? Is it different than regular oregano?

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    1. I think that Greek oregano is milder, more subtle in flavor. It grows well in my little herb garden.

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  2. The moussaka sounds wonderful!
    I think a lot of us do not outgrow our distaste for things we hated as kids. My boys for years required all food to be separated on their plate. They outgrew that, but there are remnants of childhood distastes remaining. I am sure it is that way for all of us.

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    1. My son was fussy as a kid and eats (and cooks) all kinds of foods now. My daughter was not fussy as a kid but is worrisomely restricted in what she eats now and she is not into cooking nor expanding my grand children's palates. I just would not have expected the turn of events.

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  3. That dish sounds yummy. I love eggplant in dishes, and I'll probably try this one, too. My husband? No way! We, too, have differences in our food preferences.

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    1. It really was good. It could be made with mushrooms instead of the ground turkey as a vegetarian dish.

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  4. Oh, that sounds good! I like just about anything anybody puts in front of me. And sometimes what they put in front of other people too.
    I would happily cook a big pan of something and eat it until it was gone. The other party in the household won't do that. Two days is pushing it. Three days, the food is suspect.
    As if I had left it outdoors in the sun.
    Uncovered.
    In July.

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  5. Olga, I love eggplant. There's an Eggplant Parmesan made by Michael Angelo (?) (one of those supposedly healthy - all fresh, no preservative casseroles)that is really good! I don't do frozen anything normally. We eat fresh only, and I can't remember why I bought this (could have been for DIL who is vegetarian), but I would buy it again. Your dish reminded me of this.

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    1. I like the fresh way best, too, but I also like to have some standbys in the freezer.

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  6. B loves eggplant. I hate it. Go figure, there's no 'countin' for taste. But . . . you are definitely right about liver!

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    1. Eggplant is a recently acquired taste for me. I might have liked it sooner like it sooner if I'd been exposed to the right preparation. I remember vegetables in my childhood as being cooked (mostly boiled) to near mush.

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  7. I have to admit I've never had eggplant. The casserole sounds good to me, though so I may have to buy some.

    I laughed as you were describing Mike's eating habits. My dad was much the same, hated cooked vegetables, and could find a piece of diced celery or onion in a dish a mile away. He also had butter on his lettuce instead of dressing. Seriously!

    Mom used to make a dish she called kitchen surprise...though we all knew what it was. Liver smothered with spaghetti sauce and baked in the oven on a low temp. I still didn't like it!

    Have a great weekend.

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    1. OMG, Eileen. What ever did you do to deserve such a punishment? That sounds so awful!!!

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  8. I like your happy/sad post, Olga. Mike would be smiling! Enjoy the Moussakka - Mike doesn't want any!

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    1. He would have fired up the grill and cooked himself a burger or a steak or even a hot dog. It is funny that happy/sad is my way of being now. I am glad that the happy part is there though. I don't feel guilty about it at all. I know Mike trusted me to stay strong.

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  9. That sounds and looks quite good. I'm proud of you for cooking. I think most folks have a really hard time with that after the death of a loved one.

    I'm with you on the liver.

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    1. Well, so many people seem determined to feed me it is a wonder I have not gained weight. I find that there is something about cooking that centers me.

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  10. You had me grinning with this one. With Mike, I do not eat Mayonnaise, and only onions very well cooked, and not garlic. But with you, I love all other vegetables.
    I love your last line - Perhaps one tiny blessing in all of this.

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    1. Mike did not eat mayonnaise because he and his brother asked their garbage man what he did with all the garbage one time when they were little kids. The garbage man told them that he took all the garbage to the mayonnaise factory. "And if you cannot trust your garbage man, who can you trust?" was the ending of that story.

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    2. Oh, good God that is great! Think of all those overcooked mushy veggies that was turned to mayo! My own belief is that its not mayo but Miracle Whip which is why it has that snappy flavor. I like mayo but detest Miracle Whip which my mother felt should be served on everything including boiled hot dogs cut in half longitudinally and served open face on a piece of industrial white bread. I can remember some groaty lunch meat called honey loaf (it was to lunch meat, what particle board is to fine Vermont maple) served on industrial white "wonder" like bread slathered in the Kroger version of Miracle Whip called "salad dressing." It balled up into my throat. Your body will reject being fed toxins! Much of Mike's mayo was from those sandwiches which I slipped into the out side garbage can if the neighbor's dog was not handy. That dog ate many a stuffed pepper that I slipped into my pant cuffs one fork full at a time. I can't believe I managed to pull that one off. Why didn't my mother spot messy cuffs that had a certain pepper fragrance? I still marvel at my abilities. I successfully dodged 6 eyes (my sister would have delighted in ratting me out) and put most of the stuffed pepper into my cuffs for the culinary delight of the neighbor's dog. He loved them. Thank God dungarees (they were not called jeans in our house) were bought so I could grow into them. I imagine at the end of my pants life, it looked like I wore capri pants during stuffed pepper day. Now I love stuffed peppers...it is one of the great mysteries.

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  11. I am fixing foods that I like most these days. Ron was good and ate anything set before him but I could tell what he really liked by second helpings or not. His common expression when I asked what he would like me to fix was, "I'll eat anything as long as it makes a turd." Poetic huh?

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    1. Hmm, very poetic. Mike may have been fussy, but he did look forward to his meals. We tried not to pick on each other's tastes in food. We were not always successful, but I did get a kick out of his obvious enjoyment when I fixed something he really liked. I especially liked the meals we fixed together...we both did like to celebrate events with excellent food and good wine.

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  12. Oh he is probably there at meal time, too! Standing there being glad he doesn't have to eat what you're cooking! You have a wonderful way of looking at it all.

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  13. I think some foods are just meant for adult taste buds and sometimes it is hard to let go of our childhood prejudices. I never had a garbage man to influence me like Mike did but I just never liked Mayo.
    Sad to admit that I have never eaten eggplant but that looks marvelous. I may try it.

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  14. I'm like you. I've grown to love all the things I hated, except liver. And my husband is a total Mike. He is a very unworthy dining companion, but a lovely person.

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  15. That sounds and looks great! I love eggplant and tomato sauce and cheese, too. Wish I could get some fresh herbs like yours, though. Everything in my kitchen is dried.

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  16. How delightful a post! You are well on your way to healing! You laugh and you cry!

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  17. I love eggplant and would love to try this one - I remember as a kid not liking tomotoes but love them now. Funny how our tastes change over the years...

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  18. Sounds like Mike's tastes aligned with my husband's, especially regarding the veggies he'd eat.

    Strange but true: I've never had eggplant. But this dish looks delicious, so I just may have to try my hand at it. (Knowing my husband will never eat it, of course.)

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  19. Oh dear. I wrote a comment with my iPad yesterday and it looks like it didn't get published. Art loves eggplants and he would have loved to have sat at your table. Like Mike and you, Art and I have differing food tastes too.

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