I found some adorable mini eggplants at the farmer’s market. Really, they’re the size of a thumb. Okay, maybe the size of a thumb if you’ve hit it really hard with a hammer. But ADORABLE, really. Firm and sweet smelling, striated pale purple and cream, lovely. And cheap. I couldn’t resist them – despite the irritating voice in the back of my head who kept whispering in my ear about some weird previous aversion I’ve always had to eggplant. That hatred? That was the OLD Pam. The Pam who had never experienced these darling new Baby Barney Dreamsicle Eggplants (no, the farmer wasn’t all that excited about the name I gave them either–all of you people lack imagination).
I rinsed, sliced and skewered them. They were even cuter in a row. I guess that most things are–baby ducklings, paper dolls, soldiers–wait…. Then I basted them with olive oil and fig balsamic vinegar, sprinkled them with cracked pepper and threw them on the grill.
When they were carmelized and crisped to perfection, I topped them with finely chopped mint that I cut from my garden (by garden, I mean one very heroic little minty bush in a plastic pot who provides for all of my mojito needs despite my criminal neglect, praise mint) and placed them on the table between the asparagus and the steaks.
Sometimes, the best way to get The Giant to eat something new is to placidly pretend that the item in question has always been a table staple. If he specifically asks about the food, I quickly tout the cooking method or toppings like the bat shit crazy mother from Better Off Dead (‘It has fig balsamic. You LIKE fig balsamic’) instead of saying, “eggplant,” I may have hedged and changed the subject to how many episodes of Daredevil we could squeeze in before bedtime.
It worked. The Giant ate one. He did! And The Ginger ate FIVE. Then I ate one. Guess what? I still hate eggplant. It’s disgusting. Even when it’s adorable. Leftovers were NOT retained for further use. All evidence of Barney Dreamsicle buffoonery has been eradicated from my kitchen and we will now all agree to forget that this ever happened. Thanks.