I may be permanently banned from Seville. Maybe not the entire town but certainly from the Tour de Spain which is the Tour de France’s younger brother. I know nothing about large-scale cycling races. And, this was long before Lance Armstrong was popular. I know even less about driving a stick shift car. Do they still make stick-shift cars in America?
My previous stick-shift driving experience ended poorly, another post unto itself. So I’m not sure what I was thinking. Did I think that college degree had given me the experience to overcome my stick-shift inabilities? Or was I just a typical, smug, post-grad?
The situation occured when I backpacked around Europe. I use this phrase rather loosely. When I say “backpack” I should clarify-
1. I stayed in a hostel all of 15 minutes, before I fled in fear.
2. I stuffed everything I needed for two months into “the backpack”.
3. I bought a Euro Rail Pass, which was great until there were areas I couldn’t easily access without a car. The car I rented was a stick shift. Here is what happened…
“Bang Bang Bang” random yelling in Spanish by angry cyclist on the top of my itt- bitty rental vehicle.
I was surronded on all sides. I had merely made one wrong turn on the way to returning the car at Avis and whoops! here I am in the midst of a bunch of cyclists.
That’s odd.. why are there people standing on the sides behind rope?
Wait a second, is that a finish line?
What does that sign say? …Vuelta de Espana?… wonder what that means…
Is that a cameraman running at me?
Am I in a cycling race?
Oh my God, I’m on tv. I can see my car from the pan out on the big screen up ahead. I’m going to die of embarassment. Or I’m going to get arrested. This is such a nightmare….
And then I stalled the car.
I hopped on the next train out of Sevilla and headed to France. I never looked back and haven’t driven a stick-shift since. Thankfully, I was able to enjoy some tapas before I fled the country in shame and fear. This recipe is a great addition to a tapas evening, or even a middle eastern meal. I like to serve warm with pita bread or pita chips.
There is only one way I like to cook eggplant- in the microwave. None of this slicing, salting and laying on a rack nonsense only to find out it’s still mushy and overly salty. Eggplant wants to be mushy. It is his destiny. Don’t fight it, just try this recipe the next time your farmer gives you eggplant and save the exhausting efforts of eggplant parm for a nice italian night out with your Hubs.
The basics of this recipe are simple- eggplant, olive oil, salt, garlic, lemon juice and herbs. I switch it up everytime depending on what I have in my fridge and pantry.
1 lb eggplant
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil or flavored olive oil
1 clove garlic or 1 tsp Majestic Garlic
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fresh herbs
To cook eggplant in the microwave, score with a knife several times. Wrap in several paper towels. Cook on high until eggplant deflates. For 1 lb of eggplant, cook about 8-12 minutes depending on your microwave.
Cut the warm eggplant and scoop out the flesh, discarding purple skin. Mix with other ingredients. Serve warm with chips or pita bread.