Today’s Photo

I recently saw a fun exhibit of Big Bugs, huge wood sculptures of insects created by David Rogers. This is a traveling exhibit, so watch (or ask) for it in your area. Locally, it was sponsored by the county park system.

Here are some of my photos. There are others (including other types of wood sculptures) on Rogers’ website.

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Awesome eggplant recipe – Caponata

Yum.

If you are an eggplant lover like I am (what is it with those nightshade veggies? – I love them all!), here is a recipe that is delicious and easy to prepare, despite the number of ingredients. Once you get the eggplant cooking, each step can be done while the previous one is in progress,  so it goes fast. The dish can served as a side dish or atop pasta or brown rice. It stayed in the refrig for a few days with no loss of flavor.

Thanks to my friend Vivian for sharing this recipe with me. It was combined from a few sources.

Caponata

1 medium eggplant (buy organic and leave the skin on)

1/2 cup canola or olive oil

1/4 cup raisins

4 tbs. red wine vinegar

1 chopped onion

1 small red bell pepper, cut into small chunks

1 can diced tomatoes (use fresh when you have them and include the juices)

1-2 ribs diced celery

2 ozs. capers, drained and rinsed

2 tbs. pine nuts, lightly toasted

1/4 cup pitted and sliced black or green olives

2 tbs. sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry eggplant. Dice into 1-inch cubes. Saute in VERY HOT oil for about 10 minutes, until soft and slightly browned. While that’s still cooking, soak raisins in wine vinegar and prepare other ingredients.

Remove eggplant from pan and place in large saucepan. Saute the onion and bell pepper in the same oil for about 3 min. (add a little oil if needed). When onions are golden brown and pepper is softened, add tomatoes and celery and simmer for about 15 min. or until celery is tender. Add capers, pine nuts, and olives. Add mixture to the eggplant.

Add sugar to raisins and vinegar, and then salt and pepper to taste. Heat in pan for a few minutes to dissolve sugar. Add to the eggplant, cover, and simmer for about 20 min. over low heat. Stir occasionally. Place in bowl and allow to cool.

Serve at room temperature.  Serves 4-6.

Enjoy!

Synchronicity

I had a funny moment of synchronicity the other day. A friend mentioned that she and her husband were going to do some “swanning about” that weekend, meaning that they would be doing a meandering car trip to somewhere or other in the surrounding countryside. All present took note of the phrase and remarked upon it.

My moment of synchronicity happened about an hour later: I was in the car and listening to a book on tape. It was a mystery story with a Scottish detective. His girlfriend complained that he had gone “swanning about,” leaving her to fend for herself in an unfamiliar town. The meaning was obvious from context, but I didn’t remember ever hearing the phrase before. Synchronicity strikes again!

So, make it a point to do some swanning about this weekend.

Here is one of a pair of swans that live on a local pond; they go swanning about all the time (but, believe me,  they don’t always look so elegant!):