Sunday, August 12, 2012

Understanding Hives

I finally understand.

It's unfortunate that it took the events of this week for me to do so, but I finally understand why people say that their pets are like their children. Miss Bailey broke away from her leash, after being called by a dumb lady standing in a very busy street, and my mind raced in a million possible directions all leading to having to get her before she was hit by a car.

With help from my husband and family members (although the dumb lady in the street did keep calling Miss Bailey) we were able to get her safely back on the leash. I looked down at my skinned up leg and dirty hands (I fell pretty hard onto the pavement and dirt when attempting to grab her) and I didn't feel any pain. My adrenaline was so high that I didn't even think about it.

In the car ride home, I broke into tears looking back at her sitting staring out the window. I can't imagine our lives without her. (Note to anyone who knew me before: Yes, I realize this goes against everything I ever said about not liking animals). In fact, I was so upset about the situation that I broke out in hives, possibly a first for me. I always knew how much having a puppy would mean to my husband, but I never knew how much having a puppy would change me.

Our garden has been doing fairly well (Eggplants: classic and white, Acorn Squash, Yellow Squash, many herbs, and a few green tomatoes so far). So, in an effort to use up some of the abundant eggplant I'm making a savory dish this weekend.

White Eggplant Bruschette
adapted from Gourmet March 2006

1 baguette
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 garlic cloves, whole clove left unpeeled
2 small white eggplants
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Cut off and discard 1 end of baguette, then cut 12 (1/4-inch-thick) crosswise slices from baguette (reserve remainder for another use). Lightly brush 1 side of each slice with some oil (about 1 tablespoon total) and arrange, oiled sides up, on a baking sheet. Toast until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. While toasts are still warm, rub oiled sides with cut side of garlic clove half, then transfer to a rack to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F.
 Halve eggplants lengthwise and make shallow 1/2-inch-long incisions all over cut sides with tip of a paring knife. Arrange eggplants, cut sides up (without crowding), in a shallow baking dish and add unpeeled garlic clove. Sprinkle thyme, rosemary, oregano, sea salt, and pepper over eggplant, then drizzle eggplant and garlic with 2 tablespoons oil.
Bake until garlic is very tender, 30 to 35 minutes, then transfer garlic to a cutting board and continue to bake eggplant until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes more. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze flesh from peel onto cutting board.
Transfer eggplant to cutting board and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Scrape out flesh with a spoon onto cutting board, discarding peel. Finely chop eggplant and garlic together and transfer to a bowl. Add parsley and remaining tablespoon oil, then stir until combined well. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Top toasts with eggplant mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

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