Eggplant

Eggplant is one of those weird vegetables you see on sale and think “ah ha, purple skin, high in vitamins and antioxidants, uncommon but not unknowable, I do believe I’ll pick up one or two”.  Bad idea.  One eggplant is too many, two is just a waste of space.  And every time you look in your refrigerator for the next month or so, you’ll see this large vegetable taking up space.  So finally, you’ll decide to do something with it, but when you start looking online or in your healthy low-fat vegetarian bullshit cookbooks you see that eggplant should be easy to prepare but normally isn’t.  Cooks in particular love to take something easy and complicate it as much as possible.  French cooking is based on complicating cream.

So the first recipe says to peel the f**king eggplant.  What exactly is the point in that?  The purple peel is the reason I bought the damn thing in the first place.  So that recipe is out of the question.  Moving on to other non-peeling recipes, they all insist the first step is slicing or cubing, followed by immersion in a salt-water bath for a lengthy period of time.  Cooking is about instant gratification, for me.  Chili or stew is as lengthy as it gets, and that’s normally due to laziness on my part rather than cook time.

Then, pretty much no matter what you do with it, you end up with snot-textured vegetable in sauce.  Not attractive.  Tasty, perhaps, but most adults prefer not to be reminded of their misspent youth eating snot as a three-year old.  I know girls who actually gag and occasionally throw up if you try to sneak in a little eggplant in their stir fry.

My theory is, the All-knowing Being of Love, God, Buddha, Pan, whoever the hell you happen to worship, gave us eggplants not as food but as weapons.  You can do some serious damage pitching an eggplant at an enemy, and probably leave no marks or scars to prove you did anything wrong.  It hits hard, but bounces off, like when those assholes in fifth-grade gym class used to bounce basketballs off your head.  It can knock you down.  It can knock you out.  But you won’t bleed and probably won’t bruise, if the attacker doesn’t present a frontal assault.  Though, one has to admit, looking back on ones bullied youth with vaguely juvenile thoughts of revenge, the look on Fred the Quarterback’s face as he sees an eggplant hurtling through space and about to connect with and break his f**king nose would be priceless.

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