West of the Fields

A tropical ecologist reporting from the field. Musings on life and art, botfly extractions, tropical plant identification, beer, parrots, machetes. Etc.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

When life hands you moldy eggplants...

Here is my recipe for Single Girl’s Baba Ganoush: you find, as you clean out the miserable mess that your ex-boyfriend left in the fridge, that there is a moldy eggplant in the vegetable drawer. Now, it is not so completely moldy as to be inedible, and damn it, you paid good money for the thing two weeks ago. You cut the moldy bits off the eggplant, slice it in half and brush it with olive oil, and bake it for an hour or so until it is completely soft. Then you realize that you are out of onions and that you never had any tahini in the house to begin with, so you walk downtown to the co-op and buy them, and you pick up some Ben and Jerry’s too (this is assuming that, like me, you have a dear friend who sent you coupons for ice cream when she heard of your breakup. Thanks, Mimi!). It helps if it’s a crisp and wintery day with a promise of snow, because the cold air will redden your cheeks as you feel the cheap thrill of braving the elements suburban-style. Also the ice cream will not melt during the walk home.

Back in the kitchen, you unpack the blender that your aunt gave you years ago (thanks, Gretchen!), but you never had counter space for it in the midst of your newly departed boyfriend’s coffee-making paraphernalia. Celebrate the availability of counter space. Take the roasted eggplant, cool by now, and scrape it into the blender. Discard the skins. They look disturbingly un-vegetable in the compost bin, like bits of off-purple whaleskin, so you take the compost out to the pile in the back yard and observe with pleasure that squirrels have run off with the last of the stale corn chips you dumped there the day after your ex left.

You chop up half an onion and some garlic, and add it to the blender along with some tahini. Maybe half a cup; I don’t know. All my recipes are seat-of-the-pants. Lemon juice, if you have it. Salt and pepper. You grind it all up until the bits are indistinguishable. Then you serve it on a new plate, handpainted Italian stoneware that you bought at Ocean State Job Lot for 99¢. Never knock Ocean State Job Lot. You surround the baba ganoush with triangles of pita bread and a few leftover olives, and you light a candle and sit down to enjoy it, all by yourself. This is when the snow starts. Somebody walking by outside in the cold might catch a glimpse of you in the candlelight, through the snowflakes and the wavery glass of your antique window, and might imagine that you are content. And this imaginary traveler would perhaps, just maybe, be right.


At 6:03 PM, Blogger Yvette In English said...

Yay for eggplant and squirrels and single gals enjoying yummy food!

At 10:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hola, Susannah! I am just catching up with your site and commend your indomibable spirit and matchless grace! One who knows.....


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