Eggplant Parmigian and sweet memories.

When I first met the love of my life, like a giddy school girl I wrote this list of all the things we had in common. One of the items on my list was that we both had a special “Great Aunt” with whom we had a deep bond and by whom we had been thoroughly spoiled! Mine was Aunt Adele, my maternal grandmother’s sister. His was Aunt Rainey, his maternal grandfather’s sister. During my high school years, when Aunt Adele would spend her snow bird days in sunny South Florida, she would regularly take my parents, sister and I out for dinner. And if it was an Italian restaurant, she would order Eggplant Parmigian.  Fast forward past dating, a wedding day,and a toddler and a baby, and Paul’s dear Aunt Rainey had established a similar tradition with us. And whenever we would venture out to an Italian Restaurant, she also would always order Eggplant Parmigian. And now, that I am old, and gray (not entirely) I also have developed a love for Eggplant Parmigian. But my favorite part of making it is always remembering these two amazing ladies, who touched and changed our lives forever.

So here is the recipe, for those who want to give it a try!
 2 Eggplants
A lot of breadcrumbs (Costco’s are great!)
4 eggs
some milk
a lot of oil (vegetable, canola or coconut- olive oil makes it too mushy)
 lots of sauce
First you need a 6 year old who LOVES to bread!(really, breading is not my favorite, and the kids love it!! Let go of perfectionism, and let them have at it!!)
Preheat oven to 350
Peel and slice up the Eggplant.
Scramble the eggs and mix with a little milk.
Find a child who is eager, and step away. You can clean up the mess in one easy swoop later!!
Pay no attention to the messy kitchen in the background. I *do not* clean as I go to avoid eating at midnight, or having to start cooking dinner during lunch. This makes my mom crazy. Sorry mom.

Heat up the oil on medium high, test the heat with some bread crumbs to make sure they sizzle. Brown on both sides, then place on paper towels on a plate to soak up some oil. I just layer paper towels,eggplant, paper towels, eggplant until they are all cooked and I have the leaning tower of eggplant!

Next find a 9×13 pan and add your favorite sauce  as your first “layer.”
(My sauce recipe is at the bottom)

Then add some delicious eggplant. (seriously, the hardest part is not eating them before dish is assembled)

Next ladle on some sauce and sprinkle some cheese

Then another eggplant layer. Wash, rinse, repeat, until you have used all the eggplant or run out of room in your dish! Then bake for about 30 minutes or until it’s all bubbly and browned to your liking.

Somehow in the craziness, I did not get a final picture! So maybe the next time I make it I will add one on, assuming I can figure that out! Sounds complicated! But I could not delay as I hate to deprive the world of this deliciousness one more day! So here ya go! Also, you can alter this in several ways. Some people prefer to bake the eggplant instead of frying. I prefer to Google things like “The health benefits of frying” or use coconut oil, so I can feel good about myself. 🙂

Oh and this is my sauce:
Saute 4 cloves of minced garlic in olive oil (or coconut) till light golden brown. Add 3 or 4 large cans of crushed tomatoes. Then add one tablespoon of : sugar and basil and teaspoon of salt. Add more or less of any seasonings to taste. Fresh basil is even better! And we use Kosher salt.

In a pinch you can substitute garlic powder for sauteed garlic. Like when you want to make tortilla pizzas really bad at 10 o’clock at night??? Open the can, dump in the seasonings, and stir! Your welcome!

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