February 8th, 2016

Day 7 of my vacation from working. I have taken this time off before but
never at home. One other time I took two weeks and that was when I went to Italy
with my family and my husband’s sisters family. A total of eleven of us in a villa in Tuscany. I didn’t mean to get on that tangent. Being home for an extended time is something I have not experienced in many years and I am relishing it. My son gave me a cookbook called Jerusalem last Christmas. I enjoyed looking through it at the time. The beautiful photography and descriptions. For the past year otherwise it has been sitting on the floor under some other books over by the window next to the piano. I decided to re-read my books on natural diets for dogs when I came upon it. I sat down at the kitchen table with my morning cup of bone broth and started to read. The recipes are out of this world. Out of my world in many ways because I have not even heard of some of the ingredients. One of the recipes caught my eye. It did not look too difficult. Stuffed eggplant with lamb and pine nuts. Eggplants that was easy. I was pretty sure I saw ground lamb at Hannaford. The only foreseeable problem was Tamarind paste. I have bought that before at the indian store down on Central avenue. Going down there today was not on my agenda so I decided I would shop around before rushing into any decisions on what to make tonight. I could also make curried Cauliflower or buy some fish if something looked good. I bought what I could at Hannaford. I found some buttermilk for the scones and blue berry biscuits I plan on making. I got into a conversation with the woman in front of me who asked me about the buttermilk and about the time her and her friends decided to make Irish soda bread after a few cocktails. I am not sure what that had to do with buttermilk. I found everything except the tamarind so off to the Hallah meat market on route nine. I am not sure I spelled that right. It is our only middle eastern market and it is always empty when I go in there. I live in a pretty white bread community but times have changed. I asked the man for tamarind. He was not friendly but he told where I could find it by pointing his finger. I also asked for Sumac for another recipe. He actually got up and showed me where that was. He was reading a newspaper standing up and had a strange speckled multi-colored face. He wore glasses and a vest and he was thin. He took my money and went back to whatever he was reading.I thought he would be impressed with my purchases but obviously he could care less. I was intimidated by the work ahead of me but I got started right away because it had to roast in the oven for some time. I started out by halving the eggplant (2) brushing with oil and baking for 1/2 hour. I had to put together some spices, cumin, paprika and cinnamon. I didn’t have any cumin powder but I did have seeds. I got out my motar and pestle which I have only used once. It is light green and made by Le Cruset. I love it and really enjoyed using it. I also crushed some pepper corns while I was at it. The smell! So you sautee the onions in half of the spice mixture and then add the lamb, pine nuts and parsley, a little sugar salt and pepper. After cooking you put the lamb mixture on the eggplant halves. The rest of the spice mixture, a little lemon juice, water. a little sugar and four cinnamon sticks go in the pan. Cook 1 and 1/2 hours basting twice. I took a picture when it was done and sent to my son who is presently in Seattle touring with his band. He texted back right away ( not typical) He said “that looks awesome”. I said ” I love that book”


About jensiper

I like to write now and then
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