Well spring certainly is just around the corner here though some would question how we'd even know. The flowering plum trees in our side yard are just getting ready to pop, allergy season is upon us, the quail are making a stir calling their mates to party and Max and I were almost coyote bait yesterday on our morning walk. It's gotta be spring!
I suppose there are benefits to living in the sunny Southwest, as much as I hate to admit it. The big guy was telling me this morning about the experience his visiting guest speaker had when he arrived in the Old Pueblo Tuesday night. This fellow left snow, freezing cold, wind, treacherous driving conditions - you get the picture - then arrived to a desert welcome and a rental car agent's comment "ya, we might see a cloud today". That kind of sums it up. And yet here I sit - I live, breathe, complain and count the days till Oregon. Hey my life's pretty close to perfect. I gotta' complain about something.
I wasn't complaining about dinner last night though and neither was the big guy. This is one of those "throw it in the pot" dinners, so sorry - as good as it looks there's no real recipe, though I suppose next time I make it I'll take measurements. I threw an onion in a saute pan and added a half pound of hot Italian sausage after the onion was softened, followed by several cloves of garlic, a smidge of red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, dried basil and a large can of TJ's Marinara sauce, then let it simmer for 40 minutes, partially covered.
The eggplant was a steal of a price at Sprouts yesterday at a mere 50 cents and beautiful - fresh, shiny coated and firm. I sliced it, leaving the peel on cause it's so darn good for ya', then salted it and wrapped it in paper towels for 20 minutes, weighed down with another unopened can of Marinara sauce - hey I'll use it some day! Then I floured the slices of eggplant, dipped them in a mix of 2 eggs beaten with a teaspoon of red pepper flakes and coated it in Italian seasoned breadcrumbs with a little corn meal. The eggplant hit about a quarter inch of hot oil in a large frying pan and cooked for 2 minutes a side, drained on a rack over a sheet pan and warmed in the oven while the big guy and I had a little libation. As you can imagine, it was plum tasty AND we each get to have leftovers for lunch. Bonus!