Thursday, October 25, 2007

Company for Dinner

Hopefully not this mouse, just seen again under the sink when I reached to get a new sponge. Mouse had eaten major hunks of yesterday's new sponge, as well as some aluminum foil, passing by an open box of Trader Joe's crackers. No accounting for taste.

But we really are having company for a hike and dinner, and when you spend so much time semi-solitary, as we do, it seems like a BIG DEAL! Plus the recipes got thrown out the window when we found that Catherine's a vegetarian and wheat intolerant. No lasagna for us... we had that last night, and the night before, and it's just as well they're not getting that!

So it's going to be:
  • Pioneer Woman's Shrimp (cooked twice now and like it)
  • My eggplant dish- thin slices with a tomato/garlic/olive oil paste top, roasted. Usually delicious but not always reliable.
  • Cornbread from a special mix for the no wheaters.
  • simple salad
  • rice pudding- I just made this one. The recipe, from a NY Fire Dept. Cookbook, says it feeds ten. Ten what? Ten mice? I split the recipe and ended up with some pudding that tastes good on the spoon and is about one big cereal bowl size-- so we'll hope the rest of the dinner fills them up. By the way, rice pudding is incredibly tedious to cook. You have to stand at the stove stirring for 50 plus minutes, at least at this altitude.

Fortunately I'm reading a great book, Death Valley in '49: The Autobiography of a Pioneer.

I'd read it once before, but then it was a loaned copy, from someone who didn't really want to loan it, (a friend's husband), and I was amazed to find it on Amazon because I'd thought about it a lot and didn't know what it was called. If you don't enjoy Western history, you wouldn't like this, but if you do it's amazing.

Greta, here's a video snippet for you. I found a whole lovely video of this rat in this house half a year ago, but looking for it today I couldn't find it anywhere on youtube.

Sally G, the eggplant recipe: eggplant crisps (I made it up)

Slice an eggplant thinly, maybe 1/3" and put garlic salt on both sides. Place between paper towels with something heavy over it for 1/2 hour at least. This pulls out the moisture.

Preheat oven to 350. In blender make a paste of Parmesan, olive oil, a clove of garlic, some of those tasty small tomatoes that aren't cherry tomatoes, and chives or basil. If it tastes good smeared on a cracker, it's good.

Lightly oil a cookie sheet right before cooking. Place slices on the sheet with a thin layer of the topping. Don't do this in advance or the eggplant will soak up the oil and get soggy. Eggplant is fussy. Cook for about a half hour, should be bubbly on top but not burned, and if you're lucky they'll be crispy. Still can't figure out why sometimes they aren't crispy, but they're always tasty.


Greta said...

When I was a little girl, I caught a little mouse just like yours. I decided he was so cute and I wanted to make him a house so I got a little cardboard box, furnished it with lovely tissues for nesting, snacks for eating and even some mouse toys. I placed the mouse in the house complete with top poked with breathing holes on the headboard of my bed. The next morning I was dismayed to find that my mouse had eaten a hole in the side of his box house and was nowhere to be found. Never saw him again although I now suspect he was living closeby for awhile. By the way, I love your blog and also pioneer woman's. Thanks for sharing, Sally.

linda said...

ADORABLE. Beyond adorable.

Will you show us how the food turns out? Or at least tell us? Would you ever consider sharing your eggplant dish recipe?

Namowal said...

The mouse passed up crackers for FOIL? Maybe he's wheat sensitive too?

Sally said...

Greta, Thanks for your mouse story. I've posted a video snippet for you.

Sally said...

Mean Jean emailed me: " The one who ate the sponge is probably PREGNANT and having cravings for weird stuff."

If the eggplant is tasty I'll write the recipe, but I won't be taking pictures of the food as that's kind of peculiar if you're a guest, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Semi-solitary is wonderful. I hope your dinner worked. Mice come in to keep keep warm, and you've had snow. Do you ever follow contemporary "western" history? I've been reading about that Kansas (where he began) character, the billionaire tycoon Philip Anschutz....he of Southern Pacific fibre optic cable, Qwest, Regal Cinemas, oil, newspapers, conservative Christianity, Republican politics, art collector and feel good billboards. A very strange mix. And why have I been reading this? Because I encountered one of his billboards. The rest of the tale horrified me....Hollywood, and movie distribution. It seemed an insidious control the image (tiresomely positive)conglom. But I lead an innocent semi-solitary life. And the West is vast.

sally g said...

Perhaps you did sort of give the eggplant recipe here vaguely? Is this enough info to improvise on? We have at least one mouse. I have found evidence. We have baited several traps, but he justs eat the peanut butter and cheese and laugh at us! I'm thinking I might as well just make him a sandwich when I pack our lunches in the morning.

linda said...

Aw. I wish I had seen the eggplant recipe before we went to the farmers' market today. (This is 3 weeks in a row for me.) But I know that once I start smearing the parmesan paste on crackers to test whether or not it's good, it will be all over. I mean, there won't be any left for the eggplant.

I've watched the rat snippet a zillion times. It's one of the best movies out there.

Greta said...

I loved the mouse video. What a cute mouse house!