7/8 grade garden cooking is all about eggplant. Left from last year, the garden is blessed with a happy eggplant bush that has been producing weekly softball-sized eggplants the color of grape jelly with forest green stripes. They are lovely and don't let any Jr. higher tell you they're gross.
Gardeners first made tempura eggplant with shoyu dipping sauce. For $2.29 batter from KTA mixed with water, young cooks sliced, soaked, and fried enough tempura eggplant to feed whoever was brave enough to try. Everyone that opened their mind to the food their friends grew and prepared were darn stoked.
We also made Baba Ghanoush; a harder sell but fun food to make. Day one, we lightly salted the sliced open eggplants and let them sweat for a few minutes to draw out some bitterness. We poked holes in the skin and baked the halves in a 400 degree oven for 35 minutes. Student gardeners removed the eggplant, dipped them in cold water baths, and pealed the skin. We mixed the roasted eggplant with quarter cup lemon juice, quarter cup tahini, two cloves garlic, and one cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in a blender. Blended till creamy, regfrigerated over night.
Day two, IPCS Baba Ghanoush was served with wheat thins and crackers. As many students as edible scoopers would allow got to grind the ghanoush, some saying it was too spicy (garlicy), others exclaiming its excellence.
For me, the sweet feeling of victory bubbles up inside when I watch kids who normally would never think of eating eggplant try it for the first time. Willingness to experiment with foreign purple foods like eggplant comes from knowing the food was grown on their land; picked that morning by friends or their own hands. Doesn't even matter to me if they like it (most the time they do) I swear I can see walls of food intolerance tumbling down with every bite they take.
Krista Joan says:
My mission is to teach, train, and testify in resistance to the white supremacy of my ancestors. My personal choices are political, powerful, and practical. Let's trash waste.