坚持两周, 我冰箱里的蔬菜抽屉, 在杂货店的日子里装满了东西, 缓缓流出.
胡萝卜配纸袋午餐. 蘑菇, 芹菜, and zucchini complimented several evening stir-fry meals served over rice or noodles. The seedless oranges and Red Delicious apples vanished as mid-morning and afternoon snacks.
The vegetable rolled back and forth each time someone in search of food opened the bottom drawer, 除了茄子什么都没找到, 很快又关上了抽屉.
Knowing that a return trip to the grocery store to restock our fare would be irresponsible without cooking this sleek dark-purple vegetable, 我决定在星期六晚上完成这项任务. 这种蔬菜谁也不会碰, this vegetable that refused to wilt or wither its way to the trash can, this vegetable that occupied 太 much space in the refrigerator drawer would become Eggplant Caviar, 这道菜比任何鱼卵都好吃. 我得把剩下的蔬菜都吃光.
The best pan for this task was the 16-inch frying pan buried in the back of my cabinet behind several more useful-sized pots and pans.
“噪音!我像一个高尔夫球手一样喊道:“加油!!” Then I squatted and pulled the rimmed pan by its handle from among its counterparts causing a clang and clatter that would have startled my 12-year-old son Nick when he was a toddler.
我把平底锅放在炉子上, 从最上面的橱柜里拿了一把刀和一个餐盘, 把我的切丁台放在洗碗机上方的柜台上.
“你在做什么??” he asked, seeing the green pepper, onion and eggplant lined up for chopping.
“茄子鱼子酱，”我指着食谱回答道. “蘸酱可以和饼干一起吃. 我有全麦sal泰恩就像你说的那样. 和黄油饼干.”
“妈妈，我不叫它们sal-泰恩 了,”他说. “我可以帮助?”
Back when my son was a little boy who mispronounced the word saltine, finding a way for him to assist me cooking a vegetable like eggplant was difficult. 他站在椅子上，够到工作台面. 几乎没有合适的工作. The risk of danger prohibited him from chopping vegetables with sharp utensils or working with heat over a hot stove. 他只能在一个碗里测量和搅拌配料. To assert his authority over the task, he would add extra spices to the mix when I wasn’t looking.
现在他即将成为一个青少年, hg888皇冠手机版肩并肩地在袜子脚上准备晚餐. 我还在切蔬菜，而他在混合配料. But seemingly overnight, he had graduated from a bowl on the counter to a pan over the stove.
“Sure, you can help,”我说, relieved to pass the bulk of the chore on to somebody else. “准备好蔬菜了.”
青椒是一种浓郁的森林绿. 用一把钝刀, 因为那是hg888皇冠手机版所有的, 我把辣椒硬皮切成细条, discarding the seeds and stem on top of a grocery bag on the counter. I then chopped the uneven strips into smaller pieces like confetti. 用同样的钝工具, I scraped the chopped vegetable from the dinner plate into the pan where my son waited to begin cooking. 我用一个中等大小的洋葱重复了这个任务, 把它丢弃的棕色皮扔到垃圾堆里, 白色, 把刺鼻子的方形放进锅里.
My son added olive oil and garlic to the mix and increased the gas flames underneath the pan until the vegetables sizzled, 把辛辣和生涩变成愉快和sautéed.
我从他肩膀后面望过去，看见锅里冒出了蒸汽. 我想把尼克推到一边，然后接手, 把暖气关小, 搅拌混合物，防止洋葱烧焦. I was just about to step in when Nick adjusted the stove himself and added a slight flow of chicken broth to get the simmer under control.
尼克用塑料搅拌蔬菜, ochre spatula at the stove while I tackled the awkward eggplant with my insufficient 太l. 我的刀刃太短，不能做这项工作, 但hg888皇冠手机版拥有的其他餐具都无法完成这项工作. I adjusted the knife’s position each time the blade slit into the vegetable but stuck, 被刀柄的边缘拦住的. Good-bye you plain, purple vegetable that’s been in our refrigerator forever.
After creating rings of eggplant stacked like pancakes on the side of the plate, I cut through the edges of each slice and delicately peeled away the black skin, careful to separate the tough peel from the spongy meat I wanted to keep and cook. 在所有的皮都被丢弃之后, I lay the beige circles one at the time on the open side of the plate and began slicing each in a graph paper pattern, dropping the resulting squares of eggplant into the mixture being stirred by my son.
“hg888皇冠手机版需要的是一些音乐,”他说, temporarily leaving his post to find a pop station on his red I-Pad touch that he placed on the counter, 离冰箱比离炉子近. We listened to a singer I had never heard before release his emotions and somehow – abracadabra – carry away my worries about the eggplant, 太.
My child worked at the stove, and I erased final evidence that the raw eggplant ever existed. I threw away the grocery bag filled with the inedible vegetable scraps and wiped the counter with a paper towel after spraying the surface with cleaner. Lifting the kitchen faucet handle and nudging it few times to adjust the running water temperature from scorching to tolerable, I rinsed the dirty prep utensils and dishes and placed them one by one out of sight in the dishwasher.
“I’m going to add more olive oil,” Nick said as he worked behind me. “hg888皇冠手机版有辣酱吗??”
“No, 我得把这个加到购物清单上,”我说, 继续在水槽和洗碗机之间移动盘子.
“让我看看能找到什么,”我说, scanning the different spices on the shelf and reaching for a familiar choice. “那红辣椒片呢??”
While I rummaged through a utensil drawer to find a measuring spoon, he jumped ahead and started sprinkling the dried herb over the pan. 他还随意地加入了牛至和罗勒.
我绕过柜台，坐在凳子上. 尼克继续把茄子做成一道不可思议的菜. He added canned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and more rogue spices. When he declared the recipe was ready to try, I opened the crackers. We both chose the butter-flavored and ignored the whole-wheat saltines.
hg888皇冠手机版搬到了客厅. Nick put down a yellow placemat on the coffee table and served the caviar in a pottery dish I usually reserved for company. He set the crackers between us and scooped a helping of the appetizer onto a plate for me to try first.
然后hg888皇冠手机版坐在那座破房子的两端, 棕褐色的沙发上, each of us blankly putting dip on our crackers while watching a re-run detective show on TV, 享受着鱼子酱, 让茄子永远不会消失.
A former newspaper journalist, 卡洛琳Kalfas writes in Woolwich Township, NJ. Her work has appeared in various newsletters and the 2018 and 2019 editions of Bay to Ocean: The Year’s Best Writing from the Eastern Shore Writers Association. 她是N大学的毕业生.C. 罗利州立大学.