Tomato, Chickpea and Eggplant Stew. And Lemonade. And Surprise Tartinas.

The Beast teases that I make the same five dishes over and over again.  That’s partly true I suppose.  Even though I’m constantly cutting out recipes from magazines or printing them from websites, I still gravitate towards preparing my favourite meals instead of trying something new. There’s a comfort in making something again and again I suppose. 

But on Sunday I was feeling inspired by a lunch that a colleague brought into work last week.  It was a tomato, eggplant and chickpea casserole.  I thought that it would pair nicely with some of Rowe Farms’ french country sausages and make for a lovely Sunday night dinner.  So I made the casserole in the afternoon.

The recipe called for tomato paste but I left that out.  There’s also a touch of cinnamon which gives it a certain Eastern flare.  It also called for just a sprig of fresh basil but I ripped up far more than that and threw it in before the casserole got baked.

That’s not the only thing I did on Sunday:   I also went grocery shopping, did the laundry, got a manicure, decorated our Christmas tree…

…and I made lemonade!  Why did I make lemonade in Decemeber?  Because I’m making limoncello this year for Christmas gifts.  And that required me grating off the rinds of 24 lemons and soaking them in vodka.  I didn’t want to throw out all that lemon juice–about 6 cups–so I looked for a recipe online.  I decided on one by that Paula Deen lady: with an accent like that, one can only presume that she knows how to make up a batch of good lemonade.  

The jar on the left contains 4 cups of sugar (I substituted one cup of brown sugar for white) being dissolved in 2 cups of hot water for the lemonade.  The two jars on the right will be turned into limoncello in three weeks.

With dinner practically finished, my lemonade made, and the Beast not due home for a couple of hours, I decided to indulge in a movie that I knew he would have little to no interest in watching with me:  the new Star Trek movie.  The Beast doesn’t care so much for Hollywood blockbusters so I watch them while he’s working and he watches documentaries on dead Jazz musicians while I’m working.  It’s perfect.  And so was my movie choice!  I’m named after a science fiction princess you know (my Dad was reading the novel “Dune” days before I was born).  Maybe that makes me hard-wired to enjoy space, space fights, space romance and space aliens.  It practically makes me royalty too.  

But the Beast came home minutes before the movie was over:

Beast:  Oh hello there.  The tree looks beautiful!

Foodie:  Why thank you.  I’m happy I stuck with the multi-coloured lights. White lights are pretty but too fancy for our tastes.  I never want to have a designer Christmas tree with matching ornaments.  I just want some shiny balls on there.

Beast:  What’s that smell?

Foodie:  It’s a casserole I made with eggplant, chickpeas and tomatoes.  I’m serving it with sausages.

Beast:  Sounds great.  What are you watching?

Foodie:  Oh just a movie.

Beast:  What movie?

Foodie:  Oh just the new Star Trek movie.  Are you mad I’m watching it without you?

Beast:  Ah, no.

Once the movie finished  I got the sausages cooking while the Beast played in his music room.  That’s when I heard the doorbell ring.  I don’t think I can imagine a more wonderful surprise:  There was Jessie B (her boyfriend is the handsome doctor from the Splendido post) and in her cold little hands was a box filled with her homemade tartinas!  She and filmmaker Melissa Dozois were out all day shooting a web commercial for and Jessie B wanted to drop some off  to thank me for mentioning her website.  I think this gift was my first bit of “swag”.   

Beast:  Who was that?

Foodie:  Jessie B dropped off some tartinas!  Aren’t they gorgeous?

The Beast pawed at them suspiciously.

Foodie:  Let’s try a savoury one before dinner and we can save the sweet ones for dessert and breakfast!

I turned my back just long enough to flip the sausages in their pan and the Beast was on his second tartina.

Foodie:  I said one!

Beast: She made these?

Foodie:  Yes!

Beast:  From scratch?

Foodie:  Yes!  That’s good pastry don’t you think?

Beast:  Yes it is!

(Note:  This is not a paid product placement.  We were genuinely delighted by Jessie B’s tartinas.  That being said, if you would like to drop off baked goods/wine/prepared meals with the hopes of having your name and/or website plugged on this blog that 18 wonderful people read regularly, then email me. This could be a smart business move for you.)

Beast:  Why is there a giant jar of urine on our kitchen counter?

Foodie:  Come again?  Oh, you’re looking at the two gallons of lemonade over there.  Do you want to try some?

Beast:  I’m sure it’s delicious but I don’t think this meal is screaming out for lemonade.

Foodie:  Fine, but I’m having some.   The sausages are done.  Do you want me to plate yours?

Beast:  Whoa?!  That’s all there is?

Foodie:  Well I portioned some of the casserole for my lunches this week.  There’s still plenty for dinner though.

Beast:  Speak for yourself!  What, are you trying to starve me or something?

In the end, the Beast ate his mound of casserole, his two sausages, plus a third sausage that I gifted to him because he said he was still hungry.   We fell asleep on the couch watching another episode of I, Claudius.  If you ever have trouble sleeping you should rent I, Claudius.  I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy watching this show with the Beast, who, after reading my last post, was quite concerned that I was disenchanted with his rental choice.  But every now and then a girl needs an epic space adventure to wake her up. 

Foodie:  **1/2

Beast:  ***

3 responses to “Tomato, Chickpea and Eggplant Stew. And Lemonade. And Surprise Tartinas.

  1. I’ll make you something and drop it off just to be friendly… also if you’re in need of an excellent wedding photographer, I am available.

  2. HAH! Do you also do “Celebrate being Common Law” photography?

  3. How about “Foodie in The Kitchen” a series on you cooking, with occasional shots of “The Beast” in the background wearing a mud mask and playing his guitar?

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