MARINATED EGGPLANT

September 24, 2010

I’m afraid I don’t have anything profound to say about this eggplant.

You of course should know that it tastes great, is easy to make and healthy, and goes perfectly with the rosemary flatbreads from earlier in the week.  And I recommend you try it!  I just can’t come up with anything further, I fear, because I just saw video of my father for the first time since he died.  I’m totally out of words.

The footage is from the Father-Daughter Dinner Dance my all-girls’ high school throws every year; after the meal, each father gets up and gives a tribute to his daughter and there’s nary a dry eye in the house.

Frankly, I had forgotten this video existed, but somehow it cropped up and so tonight I slid it into our antique VHS player (seriously how bulky do these things seem now?), and there he was, with dimensions, with his beard and his accent that I fear I am forgetting, telling me that he loves me and is proud of me, smiling the smile I inherited.  The most amazing gift—to see him, to have him there, as if he might step out of the screen at any moment and come sit down with me, shoving aside my piles of used Kleenex.

I want to be okay in my life; I don’t want to live looking backwards, angry and wondering.  After all, I am bound to encounter much more death in this lifetime, including my own.  But just when I think I’ve reached some place, that grief and I may have made some kind of arrangement, it just flat-out breaks my heart all over again.

I don’t ever want to stop missing him, and I do not think that I will.

MARINATED EGGPLANT
adapted from Gourmet
While I love this dish, it doesn’t keep very well, so make only as much as you think you’ll need.

ingredients:

3-4 thin Italian or Asian eggplants, sliced into thin rounds
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
¼ cup mint, chopped
2 T capers
olive oil
red wine vinegar

oven temp: broiler

Toss the eggplants in a bit of olive oil, then arrange in one layer on a baking sheet or sheets.  Broil for about 10 minutes, turning once to brown on both sides.

Once the eggplant is out of the oven, stir together with the herbs, capers, and a few tablespoons of both olive oil & vinegar both.  Add a bit of salt & pepper to taste, then let the eggplant marinate for 15-20 minutes.

Serve with flatbread, pita, or crackers.

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9 Comments »

  1. Such a touching post, Nishta. I’m glad that you have the video, but wow — what an emotional impact. That kind of thing packs a wallop. The eggplant sounds yummy, and I love roasting things and then marinating them in olive oil and different kinds of vinegar. But what is really sticking with me is how much these words are resonating with me: “I want to be okay in my life; I don’t want to live looking backwards, angry and wondering. After all, I am bound to encounter much more death in this lifetime, including my own. But just when I think I’ve reached some place, that grief and I may have made some kind of arrangement, it just flat-out breaks my heart all over again.” I’m with you. You took the words right out of my mouth. 🙂

    Comment by Karin (an alien parisienne) — September 24, 2010 @ 6:30 am

  2. This post, the part about your father, reminds me of an Emerson quote. In talking about his son’s death, ol’Ralph says “I grieve that grief can teach me nothing”.
    It is always, always going to hurt. Always. But if it didn’t… well, we won’t think about that. It does.
    I think I’m making this eggplant, along with the flatbreads, for a snack tomorrow, after a 20-mile run. I’ll think of you while I’m stuffing my face. 🙂

    Comment by Joh — September 24, 2010 @ 9:14 am

  3. Funny how we think that we are stronger or different from other people, but feel so basically the same when it comes to the way that we love our families. I think that it is perfectly okay and normal to grieve the loss of a dear loved one(sometimes more deeply than others) until the day we die. Just as long as you keep creating beauty in your life (like this wonderful recipe:) and try to focus mostly on the living.

    Comment by April — September 24, 2010 @ 9:32 am

  4. Nishta, treasure that video tape. Have it converted to DVD and make an extra copy for safe keeping. Never loose it. I wish I had an actual image of my father telling me he loved me. He committed suicide when I was 19, I don’t remember him ever saying those words to me. You are truly blessed to have such a great father and such a precious memory. Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings, they always remind me that I am never alone.

    Comment by Hayley — September 24, 2010 @ 9:46 am

  5. Okay. So, this poem by David Craig seems a little more than appropriate:

    “Who is this Holy Spirit?
    And what is He doing in the eggplant?”

    Seriously, that’s the poem. The whole of it. Really.

    Works, doesn’t it?
    Love you. KMB

    Comment by Katherine — September 24, 2010 @ 10:46 am

  6. oh, love. there are no words. i still haven’t been able to face video footage of my mother at the reception the last year of her life, or the cd of her singing her daily hymns, or the video of her reading books that she made for her unborn grandchildren… i’m really glad i have them, as i’m sure you’ll treasure that video forever. i just can’t see them yet. i love you.

    Comment by rebecca — September 24, 2010 @ 10:58 am

  7. Grief is a lifelong thing. But it isn’t all-consuming after a while. I actually think I miss my FIL more now than in the beginning. But that’s okay. You aren’t looking backwards, you are feeling love and there is nothing wrong with that!

    Comment by Cheryl Arkison — September 24, 2010 @ 11:02 am

  8. Thanks from a kindred daughter who lost a wonderful father for sharing such personal thoughts about your grief. It’s always comforting to know that you’re not the only one who feels things a certain way.

    Comment by Sue C. — September 24, 2010 @ 1:19 pm

  9. I am so blessed to have each of you amazing people as readers & friends. thank you, your words are truly a comfort.

    Comment by Blue Jean Gourmet — September 25, 2010 @ 12:10 pm

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