Friday, July 21, 2006

OLS 4: Curiouser and curiouser

This week I had absolutely no idea what to cook for our One Local Summer meal. We'd had tofu in eggplant and tomatillo sauce the previous night, so my usual eggplanty tricks were out of the question. The s.o. vetoed my tentative zucchini soufflé idea. And I hadn't had a chance to drive into Athens for local quail or beef.

So I picked up my trusty copy of A Midwest Gardener's Cookbook, a tome that has saved me from despair many, many times. As usual, it immediately yielded solutions.

The main dish was a sausage and zucchini hash that I found in the summer section of the book. The s.o. described it as being "like zucchini sloppy joes" and said it would be welcome on his plate anytime--maybe even on a bun.

For a side dish, I steamed some of our homegrown wax beans. Tender and delicious.

Then there was the dessert. What was it? Well, brace yourself. When I was paging through the cookbook, I stumbled upon something called "Dessert Fried Eggplant": strips of well-drained eggplant dredged in flour and deep-fried, then served with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar. Normally I would snort at such a bizarre concept and move on, but you'll have to remember that we are up to our earlobes in eggplant right now. I decided that it was worth a try.

The proof was in the s.o.'s response. He picked up a crispy eggplant strip, dusted it with sugar, and took a bite. "Well, I'll be damned," he said.

I have to agree. Dessert Fried Eggplant is not only good; it's positively addictive.

Either that, or we have finally gone off the deep end.


English-style breakfast sausage (our own, made from a pig raised in Cobbtown, Ga.) - 132 miles
Vidalia onion - approximately the same distance
Tomatoes (from my stepsister) - 80 miles
Zucchini - 0 miles
Olive oil - not local

0 miles

Eggplant - 0 miles
Southern Biscuit flour (Newton, N.C.) - 245 miles
Duke's peanut oil (Greenville, S.C.) - 137 miles
Sugar - somewhere in Florida
Salt - not local