Posted by: canthold | July 19, 2007

Ratatouille

My eyes are a little teary still from cutting a giant red onion for my summer gazpacho. I make it every year and have learned to only make a half-batch because nobody eats it except me. The ingredients are from the local farmer’s market, which takes place every Thursday.

I’m happy to report that the farmer’s market is quite popular. Which means crowded. This is a good thing on so many levels, but it also means navigating through people who don’t pay attention to where they are going so I have to be especially diligent that they don’t run over my kids. There are people that put their kids in the giant SUV strollers or jogging strollers so they are quite a hassle to contend with as well, but mostly we just try to go through as quickly as possible and be done with it. I either work directly from a list or I keep a $20 in my pocket and we leave when it’s been spent. This pays for the kids to take a turn in the bounce house and get kettle corn, too.

In addition to my gazpacho, from a great recipe book, by the way, I made ratatouille. Yes, it was inspired by the movie. My husband and I took the kids to see the movie and we all loved it. I had no idea that seeing rats in the kitchen would make me squirm the way I did, though. You see, we’ve had mice visit our humble home on a few occasions, mostly while we’re on vacation and for a bit afterwards.

I normally don’t kill anything, (except spiders, but that’s a self preservation thing. They’ll kill me if I don’t get to them first, I swear.) (And I have to add, that we have millions and billions of them. I’m not talking about a stray one here and there. If that were the case, I’d catch and release.) Killing the mice has been a very difficult thing for me and if there were a way that I could avoid it, I would. Because of the way our house is built, it has been very difficult to seal up so they can’t get in. I can’t really explain this very well, but I’m still investigating further options. My next one is keeping my house spotless – especially the kitchen. This one is hard for me because I’m always behind the eight ball in the cleaning department. I’m working on it, though. (Baby Steps!) My last, most desirable option is to talk my husband into getting me a cat. Not only do I want one very much, but I’m actually a cat person in a dog person’s clothing. My cat, PC, lived to 23 and was more significant in my life than most people ever will be.

I think that my youngest daughter is going to get a kitten for her birthday in August, and it will end up mine. I’m fine with that. Anything to get a cat into our house for me and the mice.

To make the ratatouille, I had to buy three eggplants. The first two were for letting rot in my refrigerator and the third was for cooking. The version that I made was very good. I sprinkled a little shaved Parmigiana Reggiano on top and (!Smack!) wow. My kids wouldn’t try it, of course, since it had tomato sauce in it and it’s on their Do Not Eat Under Any Circumstances list. The recipe called for a can of diced tomatoes and being a frazzled mom in a grocery store with two kids who are fighting in the aisle while choosing, I bought crushed tomatoes instead, which is really just tomato sauce. I don’t know what kind of difference it would have made. Since I liked it, I’m not complaining. I’ll do it a little differently next time. I wonder if my husband will try it when he gets home.

My kids helped with everything from wielding sharp knives to cut squash to standing next to the hot stove to dump the vegetables into the skillet. (The recipe called for a saucepan, but I preferred to use my jumbo skillet instead. That might have made a difference, too. Can you tell I’m not a fancy experienced gourmet chef?) All’s well that ends well. No one was hurt in the cooking of either dish.

At the end of it all, making ratatouille, gazpacho and ice cream in a ball, I’m pretty wiped out. I don’t feel like tackling the disaster in the kitchen, but I don’t want little mice in there, either. Even if I could imagine them cooking up some fancy meals, I doubt I could bring myself to eat any. And we all know, that’s not what they’re really doing.

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Responses

  1. […] Link to Article ratatouille Ratatouille » Posted at Can’t Holder Tongue on Friday, July 20, […]


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