Last night, i tried my hardest to stop at Popeye's for fried chicken, but just couldn't hack it. i'm kind of happy with that, really. i think its best to just go with harold's, even if the experts prefer Popeye's. instead, i stopped by dominicks for some pasta, an eggplant, mushrooms (the pre-sliced type--oh yeah!), a can of stewed tomatoes and a head of garlic. i've recently caught a few t.v. shows on how to select the perfect eggplant and i know it has something to do with the bounciness of the skin and the "sex" of the eggplant (based on what the bottom of the thing looks like) but i can never remember whats what so i just poked at the stack of eggplants for a few minutes and finally went with the least wrinkly option. the bottom had a slightly green and flat center. just to be safe and avoid any unnecessary bitterness, i took irma's advice and peeled the eggplant. i minced the garlic into a saucepan of olive oil and as soon as it started to brown, dumped in the cubed eggplant. twenty minutes and some serious stirring later, the eggplant had absorbed all of the oil, started to cook and rereleased a good portion of the oil back into the pan. at this point, i threw in some more garlic, tossed in the (oh! already sliced!) mushrooms, opened the can of tomatoes and added that and sprinkled with salt. as the mushrooms finished cooking it occurred to me that i should have started the pasta about fifteen minutes previously and put a pot of water on the stove to boil. the sauce finished and the water was still waiting to heat. in the meantime, i ate the leftover burdock root, good cold and a bit crunchier having sat in the fridge for a few days. the water still hadn't boiled, so i poured myself a glass of grapefruit juice and got out the very very long article about Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas in this week's New Yorker. as i neared the end of the article, the water boiled, i threw in the pasta (can't remember what its called but it looks like macaroni cut in half). finally, ten hours (give or take) after i'd finished the sauce, the pasta was done. sprinkle liberally with nutritional yeast (good on anything!) and voila! dinner. nothing fancy. nothing that even comes close to the good ol' Julie/Julia blog but, if i'd made the eggplant in advance and had timed the pasta right, its one of those five-minute meals. and with the amount of garlic in there, no vampire is getting anywhere near me. thats for sure.
after the pasta, i threw together some almost-vegan chocolate chip cookies (vegan recipe with butter instead of margarine). i'm not sure if the margarine acts to keep the cookies together, but they didn't work so well. they were dry and crumbly and didn't really spill out into actual cookie shapes. i had to smush them flat. but they still tasted pretty good. phew!