Monday, March 7, 2011

Just go with it right?

I don't know what did it. I'd been feeling overworked, underappreciated, alone with my family so far away and 2 major vacations of the year already come and gone. I've been going out too much, having too much fun and when it's all over, well yes there are the wonderful memories, but also just a yawning sort of emptiness of the daily grind that finally caught up with me today.

It didn't matter that a woman I work with and absolutely adore called me up out of the blue to have lunch. It didn't matter that my highly coveted Frye boots arrived today... and fit. A major coup for the anti-internet shoe shopper. It didn't matter that my EVP (that would be my boss' boss' boss) wanted me to do a write up today for my CEO showcasing the work I've done for my client. The minute I walked in my door tonight the waterworks started. And I just stood there in my darkened doorway and sobbed.
Beauties though, no?
And as I said I can't even pinpoint exactly what it was that brought it on... but I also have very little patience for feeling sorry for myself. It accomplishes nothing and just sets me back from doing things, which if you haven't deduced yet I am a doer; and even if I'm going to sit on the couch all day I'm going to get stuff done. So I channeled my home chef idol, Luisa of The Wednesday Chef, and something in my brain connected this recipe, one she had prepared during an even worse week for her. And I just went with it. Threw on some great music, opened a bottle of wine, put on my brand new (and oh so comfortable) boots and a cute dress and made her/Francis Lam's eggplant spagetti, with my typical fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants alterations.
And it's kind of working. I'm smiling now. Life goes on, and does get better. You just have to go with it.

Spagetti (or Fussilli) with Let-My-Eggplant-Go-Free Sauce
1 pound eggplant, cut into ½ inch slices
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup stock or water- I used veggie stock because that's what pesca vegan use
2 Tbl marinara sauce- the recipe calls for sun dried tomatoes but I'm if-y on these and didn't have in my pantry anyways6 leaves basil, sliced thinly- again, left off because I didn't haveSalt and pepper

(this recipe serves 3-4, so I just used 1 small eggplant and cut all the rest of the ingredients in half which was still enough for 2 meals)

1. Lightly salt the slices of eggplant, stack them back together and let sit for 20 minutes

2. Put the olive oil in a wide, heavy saucepan, add the garlic cloves, and set over low heat

3. Dry off the eggplant, cut it into chunks. When you start hearing the garlic sizzle a little and can smell it, drop in your eggplant and stir to coat it all with oil. Turn up the heat a little bit to medium high and add the oregano and stir. When the eggplant is turning translucent and softening, add the tomato sauce and stock liquid, let it come to a boil, and turn it back down to medium-low. Let it bubble for a bit and cover it, leaving a crack for steam to escape. Stir once in a while so that the bottom doesn’t stick

4. After about 20 minutes or so, the liquid in the eggplant pan should be mostly evaporated and the eggplant should be soft. Mash it with a fork or spoon, and adjust the seasoning to taste. Toss the eggplant purée with the spaghetti that you cooked al dente. Serve immediately

*To make this vegan simply serve over couscous, rice, quinoa, or an eggless pasta

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