Secrets of Bachelor Kitchen, #17 in the series

“You can bake almost anything in a casserole dish between alternating layers of cheese and red sauce and call it a parmesan.”
 
It’sa tidy rule and it’ll work for just about any ingredient or leftover you find in the kitchen. Scrod parmesan? Jello parmesan? Mousepad parmesan? Sure, give it a try. My only additional suggestion is that you go to Google Translate and convert the word into Italian if you’re going to serve it to guests..
 
“Oh, it’s a little something my grandmother used to make for us every Sunday, after Mass. I think she called it Calzino Parmigiano.”
 
(“How about a Pizza Parmesan” you ask? Don’t be an ass. When is there ever leftover pizza in Bachelor Kitchen?)
 
This is my way of saying “Eggplants were on sale at The Market With The Great Produce Section today.”
 
I haven’t made an eggplant parmesan in a year or so. That’s my excuse: nostalgia clouded my judgment. When you make a Burrito Parmesan it’s a simple, straightforward assembly: sauce, a layer of pork burritos, mozzarella, sauce, chicken burritos, parmesan, beef burritos, sauce, mozzarella and a dusting of oregano, 40 minutes or so at 375. But eggplants need the full spa treatment. Two hours of peeling, slicing, salting, waiting, pressing out the nasty bitter ungodliness, dredging, and baking only put you at the starter’s line for the building of the actual parmesan.
 
But it’s worth it. One large portion for dinner tonight, one smaller portion for dinner on Sunday with a side of noodles, three portions for the freezer.
 
I’m not entitled to Normalcy just yet, but I’m trying to steal a little of it. I’m in the final act of writing my next book, and as usual, the general scene has been animated by whoever Tim Burton tapped for “The Corpse Bride.” It was a compressed schedule to begin with. It’ didn’t help that it took me a whole week to get back to a regular schedule after passing through 12 time zones in one day, either. I started the project deep in the soup and have been treading carrots and celery ever since.
 
Several basic elements of the daily schedule tend to get sacrificed when I’m in true Deadline Hell. Cooking real, proper food is usually the first thing to go. I can remember to defrost a piece of meat, and I can even remember to grill it up with some vegetables. But just as often, I feel the pull of the drive-through. Or, if I’m very, very disciplined, a can of soup (it’s applying heat to ingredients; that’s technically cooking, right?) or supermarket sushi (it’s not cooking, but it’s always fun to eat with sticks).
 
At some point, though, I need to check myseld into Deadline Rehab. This Tortured Artist thing is great when there’s an audience around who can fully appreciate The Horrifying Burdens Of My Genius, of course. But a man who hasn’t cooked even a stir-fry and a basic sauce in two weeks’ time…can he even call himself a man?

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4 thoughts on “Secrets of Bachelor Kitchen, #17 in the series”

  1. So it is like a lasagna with out the the lasagna?

    I look forward to future installments in this series.

  2. Being Italian, I am a bit spooked by the mere thought of a Calzino Parmigiano. Other than that, another great post!

  3. Ahh, the Eggplant. I think this is the greatest tribute to the French, who in their infinite wisdom (as usual, with anything culinary) named the vegetable “Aubergine”. How can you not love something with a name like that? So, Aubergine Rustica a la Romain. A polyglot bit of gluttony.

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