The Sprouts - Eggplant Extravaganza


I’ve found a new book to add to our collection. It is called Food For Thought by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers. It is a food-filled book of shapes, colors, numbers, letters and opposites. We’ve renewed it from the library several times; Skoogie just does not want to see it go. It has all of the food art ideas that you read about but just never get around to doing…number one – the time; number two - it just becomes too overwhelming and the creative juices are zapped even just thinking about trying to get all of the supplies needed; number three - usually it’s enough to get food on the table and eaten let alone make art projects out of it! The book does it for you!! The photographs are brilliant with bright filled colors and lots of texture. It is the perfect kind of book for Skoogie!

As I’ve mentioned, Skoogie is very visually oriented. She loves to pick up the book and thumb through it on her own or with me by her side. She talks about the colors, the shapes, the funny faces on the characters, and all the different kinds of food used to make each one. The other day she even had me sit on the couch and she became the teacher! Standing up on the other side of the coffee table she turned to the shape section and told me the name of each shape on the page. Then she started pointing to and outlining things in the room that were the same shape (using a chopstick as a pointer). You could just see and feel the synapses in her brain clicking!! She did it again later in the day when Pete returned.

One of her favorite pictures in the book consists of six penguins, made out of eggplants. The creators of the book carved off the outer skin on one side to make the bellies, peeled up two sections on each side to form wings, the stems serve as beaks and two pinto beans form the eyes. Skoogie has never eaten eggplant before but purple is one of her favorite colors and she enjoys penguins, so maybe that is what attracts her.

This spring we eagerly gave most of our eggplant seedlings away as gifts and unfortunately as we were preparing our garden fence, a creature found our one remaining plant! This past Saturday when we found several varieties at the Harvest Festival, in gorgeous shades of purples, we quickly bought them. That night we enjoyed baba ghanoush (an eggplant version of hummus) and spread it onto falafel sandwiches. The adults ended up eating their sandwiches intact, while O and Skoogie enjoyed dipping their pita bread into the dip and eating their falafel solo. The parts are what make the whole, right. We’ve tried many falafel and baba ganouj recipes and decided the following are our favorites so far. Hope you enjoy!

Baba Ghanoush - http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/06/baba-ghanoush-ganoush-mediter...

Falafel - http://www.sooogood.org/iraqi_food_recipes/falafel.html

Pita Bread – The recipe for lavsh crackers in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice, rolling to ¼ inch thickness instead of a cracker.

fantastic falafel

We recently tried the falafel recipe and it was a huge success. The falafel was the best we've tasted and it didn't fall apart during the cooking process (a problem we've experienced with other recipes we've tried). Falafel is on the menu again this week!

I also want to let you know how much our family appreciates what you do. We've spent the last month battling one virus after another. I've lost count of the number of times I've come here for healthy menu ideas. We've tried new things (loved the taste and ease of preparation of the pork carnitas tacos) and returned for many favorites (your black bean spread is addicting). Thank you for making our lives healthier and easier.

Falafel, oh how I love you!

I love falafel but have had so much trouble making at home. Can't wait to try this new recipe, especially after the rave reviews. Interesting that it mentions fresh cumin- that was one of the top 5 spices recommended by last month's Veg Times mag to always by whole and grind fresh. Gonna have to try that, too.

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