Eggplant Parmigana

A couple of  weeks ago my husband and I had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant.

The eggplant was a disappointment.
So I had to make it for dinner to remind us how yummy it really is.

First, beat two eggs in a shallow bowl (I used a cereal bowl).

Next, place 1 cup flour into another bowl.
I added some seasonings to mine:  salt, pepper, rosemary, basil, and some bread crumbs.

Now, wash and peel your eggplant.

You can see how quickly they begin to brown.
Next, slice it into slices that are 1/4 to 3/8 inches thick.

Dip each slice of eggplant into the egg, being sure to coat both sides.

Then do the same thing in the flour.

Continue until every slice is covered with flour.

Heat some oil  and butter in a frying pan.

When the pan is hot, gently place each slice of eggplant in the pan.

Let it cook until it looks like this when you flip it over.

Mmm.

While you are cooking the eggplant, boil some water and cook a little pasta.
My husband picked fettuccine noodles this time.

In a small saucepan, I also opened some garlic and herb spaghetti sauce and began to heat it.

When the pasta is al dente, drain it.

Remove the eggplant from the heat as soon as it is cooked on both sides,
and assemble your dish.

Tonight, I first put pasta on a plate, then eggplant followed by your sauce and Italian cheese.  Garnish with Italian parsley.

Delicious!  You want some?

The thing to remember about dishes such as this is how inexpensive they are.
Because this is a meatless dish, the cost per serving is incredibly low.   I love summer barbecues, but sometimes I feel like we end up eating too much meat.   Dishes like this are nice to rotate into the mix.  It’s also a great way to take advantage of summer produce.
Try it!

Hopeful Homemaker’s Eggplant Parmigana

1 eggplant
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1/2 tsp. dried basil
2 Tb. dried bread crumbs
1 Tb. oil
8 ounces pasta of your choice
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
Italian parsley (for garnish, if desired)

Beat eggs in small bowl.  In separate bowl, combine flour and seasonings.
Wash, peel and slice eggplant into 1/4 to 3/8 inch slices.
Dip each slice of eggplant in to egg mixture and then into flour mixture.
In frying pan, heat 1 Tb. oil.  Gently place eggplant into pan.
Turn when golden brown, and remove from heat.
Boil pasta until it reaches desired tenderness.  Heat spaghetti sauce.
Place pasta on plate, drizzle with spaghetti squash and 2 Tb. cheese.
Place 2 slices eggplant on top of pasta, drizzle again with sauce and sprinkle with more cheese.
Garnish with Italian parsley.  Enjoy!

Turkey

I know that these guys are usually discussed only at a different time of year.
But I just have to comment on them for a minute.

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Look at the wattle on these turkeys!
Sometimes God’s love of color really catches my attention.
The blue head and red wattle are quite the combination, wouldn’t you say?

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Something about the brightness of the color combination was really beautiful to me.
I’ve always loved red, white and blue.  They’ve been my favorite colors for years,
but in the past year or two I’ve come to really like the tomato red with a lighter, brighter blue or even aqua color.

It’s not a color combination that a lot of people around me use much.  But I love it.
And here I was, staring at it on a turkey, of all things!

For the past year or so, I’ve engaged in a casual observational study that I call  Observations in God’s Use of Color.  I love to pause and look around and learn a little about how colors coexist in the natural world.
I’ve learned that nature isn’t very matchy matchy.  Sometimes it’s very understated.  Sometimes it’s anything but.  And sometimes the most average seeming things are punctuated with amazing flourishes.

I guess that’s what grabbed me about these turkeys.
We don’t think of them as beautiful creatures.  But what a colorful flourish!

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I really love color.  Since I’m on the subject of turkeys, I guess it’s ok to say that every Thanksgiving when I ponder the things I’m grateful for, color is always on my list.  I’m just so grateful that we have such a simple thing as color to enrich life so much.  Being grateful for color reminds me to give thanks that I can see, as well.  Simple gifts.  It’s a wonderful life, isn’t it?!

If you’ve had an experience when a glimpse of unexpected color stopped you in your tracks or made you catch your breath for the sheer beauty of it, please share.  If you haven’t, start watching for one.

You’ll be surprised.

Happy observing!

HH

Decisions

If there’s one thing I didn’t anticipate about parenting, it is all the decisions that need to be made.
I didn’t foresee how difficult it would be to choose which activities to involve my children in,
how much to push them, how to maintain a balanced life for each of them individually and somehow find a balanced lifestyle for the family as a whole.

This week would be the week of decisions.
It doesn’t help that most of the year is decided in May, when you’re most exhausted and least able to really perceive how things will work out.

Gymnastics.  Soccer.  Piano lessons.
Scouts.  Church activities.  Swimming lessons.

What about time with friends?  Time to ride your bike?  Time to read a book?
What about time to work around the house?  Homework?  Time to go on an outing with Dad?
What about time for good, old-fashioned childhood?

You want them to develop their talents, to give them opportunities to stretch and find new strength deep inside them.  But you don’t want it to come with a price tag that ends up being too high.  You don’t want to burn them out or have them gone so much that you lose your opportunities to just be a family.

I have an old friend whose least favorite words are “missed opportunity”.  She makes many decisions with the assistance of these words.  As a mother, though, I’ve learned that every thing we choose to do means there are many other things we’re choosing NOT to do.  It’s important to grab opportunities when they come, but if we grab too many of them, we miss the opportunity to live a balanced life, or we miss the opportunity to gather at the kitchen table for family dinner (the studies regarding the importance of family dinner are amazing!).  So I guess my own question isn’t so much about whether this choice will turn out to be a missed opportunity as much as whether it is the RIGHT opportunity at the RIGHT time.  And you hope so much it will be a positive experience.

This is what you want to see.

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My husband took this picture on his phone at my daughter’s last gymnastics meet of the season.
She looks so happy, and so at home.  My eyes tear up a little because I’m so grateful it turned out to be such a great experience for her.

You hope your decisions feed them, make them happy in the true sense of the word.  You hope they will feel a sense of accomplishment because they’ve invested so much.

So with a deep breath and a prayer in my heart, we push forward with our choices for next year.
And oh, how I hope it will all work out!  Through the grace of God, I know it can.

Jennifer

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