Sunday, August 1, 2010

OMG! There's FOOD in our garden!

Wisconsin's summer is alternatively known as "construction season" or "mosquito season" but this year has irritatingly produced a bumper crop of both. Despite a generous application of every "home remedy" type of mosquito prevention known to man and Google, it has been nearly impossible to spend any time in our backyard without being accosted by a swarm of nasty little bloodsuckers. I'd actually rather have construction going on.

For that reason, my gardens have been a little neglected. I'll pull a few weeds as I walk by on my way to the car, or I'll grab a ripe tomato if I happen to see it, but beyond that, I have truly feared to venture too deeply because of the very real possibility that mosquitoes could carry me off to their secret mosquito lair in the center of the earth. (That's what they do, right?)

Saturday thankfully brought some relief from the mosquito cloud that has been hanging over the yard since May, so I seized the opportunity to survey my garden. Over the past few weeks I've been noticing great looking cucumbers and eggplants at the farmer's market and I've been lamenting my own apparently barren plants. Despite having a ton of flowers, I hadn't seen anything resembling food anywhere in the garden.

Until Saturday. Out of nowhere, I found four beautiful eggplants, hanging there silently, like little purple ninjas. The cucumber patch yielded a similarly fantastic bounty - six, SIX gorgeous cucumbers, the kind that are such the perfect length and circumference that any single woman wouldn't dare buy them at her neighborhood grocery store.

I'm so proud of my garden.

To celebrate, we had cucumber sandwiches for lunch today (sliced cucumbers on toast with mayo, black pepper and turkey bacon. Serve with ice cold lemonade on a hot day). This week I'll slaughter a few of those eggplants for eggplant parmesan, one of my favorites because it is nearly impossible to screw up, and it tastes like I know a hell of a lot more about cooking than I actually do.

From Allrecipes.com:

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients

* 3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
* 6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
* 1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.
3. In a 9x13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown


mbj

3 comments:

sulfababy said...

Awesome! You are so funny. The "secret mosquito lair" and single-woman cucumber thing had me rolling. :) Enjoy your eggplant parm!

Lilo said...

Hooray! Those dreaded egg plants that you wanted to pawn off on people are making you happy! ;o) Want some banana peppers? or Anaheim peppers? we have TONS.

sfowler said...

I love eggplant ninja's, I'm even more excited about cucumber masters! I'm a new follower, loving the blog.