Many people dislike or even hate eggplant, but I think eggplant is good when cooked right. And the dish that I think is cooked correctly is the eggplant casserole that my grama makes.
Gretchen Schuette, my grandma, wrote down her mom’s eggplant casserole and it is delicious. It is the perfect balance of eggplant and tomato. The grated cheese on top is the perfect way to finish the dish.
1 medium-size eggplant
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
1 can tomatoes or 2 cups of fresh tomatoes
1 chopped small green pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Dice eggplant and cook for 10 minutes in boiling water.
In another pan, melt butter and blend with flour.
(Cook on low heat for 3 minutes if you use whole wheat flour.)
Add the rest of the ingredients (except eggplant).
Cook sauce for 5 minutes.
Mix together the sauce and the eggplant and put in a casserole.
Cover with grated cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
It is always important to keep up certain traditions, family memoirs that mean something personal and connect you with those who have passed or those that are far away.
Today I cooked my Grandmas recipe for an Easter nest. In no way is the recipe extravagant or different but to me it really means something.
I was taught this recipe at the age of 3. With my pull up stool giving me a little height, but not enough for my eyes to meet the counter, I would help her as much as I could in the kitchen. When I would arrive at their house I would run into the secret cupboard retrieve the stool and run into the kitchen readily awaiting my grandma’s presence to bake our Easter nests together.
As I grew taller and could reach the counter on my own the stool grew dusty but never did the recipe in my mind of the famous Easter nest. Yearly we would bake this same recipe together; it was our tradition, until I moved away.
Last year I made the nest all the way in California but it was not the same without her there. This year I will do the same. Although in many ways it makes me sad, this ritual is a joyous motion that honors my grandmother in England and connects us through a single recipe, despite the distance. This is a recipe I will pass on to my children and one day make with my grandchildren to connect to my Grandmother wherever she may be, passing on the love that I feel for her to them through our Easter nests.