I made these awesome peach muffins that no one is terribly excited about, including myself. I'll get the recipe off to you all ASAP but for tonight I just didn't have the heart to type it all out because I was so underwhelmed with it. I didn't have a whole lot of peaches and should have used more. The fact that I'm not so into the muffins isn't really saying much though because I'm still not really feeling cake or sweets at all... except for ice cream. For some reason, ice cream is the only sweet that I'm really into... sometimes. Occasionally, I might enjoy two bites of a wunderbar chocolate bar. Two bites and I'm done. D isn't really into baked sweets at all and if he eats them it's for an occasion and then it's over. Muffins or cookies everyday. Nah. Ice cream... now he could do ice cream everyday. Kid #1 has assured me that the muffins get considerably better by day 2.
I had this whole awesome tabs bar full of articles and crap that you all would have been totally blown away by checking out. Somehow, it had all magically disappeared after Kid #2 enjoyed some computer time. That's funny. I could go and look it all up again but some of it was from a long time ago (because I haven't been the most organized about getting them posted in a timely matter) so I just kind of gave up and had a beer.
I sent a work email to about 5 people this week. I realised the next day that I referred to one of the addressee's by the wrong name for the entire email. That's a little bit funny and mostly just embarrassing. Fortunately, embarrassment has never phased me much. You giggle a little and then apologize for being an idiot and then move on.
I hope that you never have to experience just how difficult it can be to focus on something that you really really need to accomplish - something that isn't stupid - when someone is watching continuous episodes of 'Community' on Netflix. I'm not a huge tv fan at the best of times (although 'The Newsroom' has been trending in my house lately), reality tv makes me wish I'd never left the comfort of my mother, sitcom's are wayyyyyy too inconsistent, I can't even tell you just how bored I am with American crime shows right now. Community can be loud and even turning it down low doesn't drown it out enough to help me focus. Maybe it's my trouble focussing. Oh god.
I'm hoping that these anecdotes serve to illustrate to you all just what kind of week it's been. A little blah and maybe even disappointing. A little frustrating with a twinge of exasperating. A large dose of embarrassment and some forehead slapping head shaking.
All of that changed when I made this eggplant recipe.
It might not be too far off the mark to wonder if collective nirvana could be achieved by the ingestion of this eggplant. There are probably some who would argue that world peace is within reach should this dish be ingested. Well, at least peace in the middle east. This dish raises simplicity to an art form. Given my own issues with simplicity, it was everything I could do to hold my arms down sometimes. I wanted to add more ingredients. Different veggies. Add more flavour to the sauce. Nope. I resisted. Mostly because of focus issues.
You will need a little patience getting through the eggplant but the patience will pay off and you will wish that I had told you about this weeks ago.
Spicy Asian Eggplant adapted from Step by Step
makes about 3 cups, serves 4
2 small or 1 lg eggplant, cut into 1 inch thick strips 3 - 4 inches long
4 shallots or 1 onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic, crushed
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 heaping tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 heaping tsp brown sugar
1 heaping tsp corn starch
dash of pepper sauce (sriracha would be great here)
coriander or flat parsley leaves to garnish
Heat a wok to med/hot. Once heated turn down just a little. Add a few tbsp's of oil and add the eggplant in about two batches. Cook each batch of eggplant until it's softened and browned (you may find that you need more oil). Remove each batch, set aside and add the next batch.
Once the eggplant is done, add a little more oil to the wok and turn down the heat just a little more.
Add in the shallots or onion and cook until softened and golden (anywhere from 5 - 7 minutes).
Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, corn starch and pepper sauce together. Whisk until combined. Set aside.
Add the garlic and stir briefly - should be just browning and beginning to smell.
Turn the heat down to low and add back in the eggplant. Stir to mix.
Add the soy sauce mixture and stir to coat.
Turn the heat off and check the taste. Adjust if necessary.
Sprinkle some coarsely chopped coriander or flat parsley leaves on top.
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