Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Countdown

In one week the week of all weeks will have arrived. Sitting on my counter are three - so far - bags of grocery supplies. Recipes are tucked inside the bag and spices have been gathered. Menus are formed and activities planned. Let the fun begin! This is an incredible time for our family. This week, family will gather from Ohio, Michigan, California, Washington and Colorado. There are four generations to hug and kiss and bask in the glow of shared activities. There will be an Asian grill, a Texas barbecue, a tailgate party, a Beach bums baseball game to be enjoyed and more! Every night over drinks and apps there will be an ongoing cornhole game that pits in ever changing permutations and combinations all family members.

After dinner we'll pit men against women in a gin game called Slip Ass - there I said it! Facing each other across the table a couple plays a gin game. Scores for the round are tallied and whichever side wins slips to face a new opponent. My Dad - The Iron Duke - is the master of the game and teaches the uninitiated. His team of men receives admonishment and coaching from him throughout the evening. Believe me you don't want to let him down. Even the youngest generation participates. Cammie learned years ago and plays well. Eli anticipates the time he can stay up to play. After being snuggled in bed he sneaks down to sit on his dad's lap and help his Dad play. He asks when he can stay up to play. His Momma and Daddy assure him he needs to be older than he is. He goes after playing cards with a vengeance. Mom and Dad have a deck of cards with 26 pairs of trout flies used to play Go Fish. Before he even had hopes of reading Eli learned all of the cards by name! He could look at the card and announce the name of the fly.

Since we have so many little guys aged 6, 3 and 3 months lots of time is spent in child thrilling activities. Gabe and Eli love soccer and baseball so there will be lots of that and Mira will be cuddled and passed from person to person to meet and greet her family. Cammy will bring a friend who has some history with us and knows the drill of the Henry week. We'll have a bonfire one night with somemores. We can canoe and paddle and swim and the sun worshippers will be risking melanoma.

The food is incredible. We start the week with Mimi and Bobo's Tony Packos hot dogs and pickles with beans and Mimi's potato salad and brownies. Various people take nights and plan meals for the family to enjoy. I am generally the culinary risk taker. This year the Asian grill will be my personal challenge. It will be comprised of three entrees with sides and a souffle cake dessert. The entrees will be smaller more so people will have bites of different things rather than a normal portion. Should be great fun. My Dad makes an incredible brie with nuts and sweet topping. I found a recipe for an Asian version with macadamia nuts which should be great. I'll share the recipe later.

So for the people who always require a recipe I'll share a dish I made last week for Lee from the garden. It was a great meal shared with laughter and new tastes. An ode to the week to come with my precious family!

Eggplant with Summer Squash

2 medium eggplants peeled and sliced lengthwise

2 eggs

panko bread crumbs

1/2 salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

vegetable oil

2 summer squash cut in chunks

1/2 onion chopped

1 clove of garlic minced

1 green pepper cut in med chop

2 roma tomatoes cut lengthwise and then sliced in medium chunks

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. capers rinsed and drained

1 tsp lemon zest

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp. herbes de provence

salt pepper

2 T. butter

Heat pan and add vegetable oil to 1 inch depth in a large frying pan. Bring the oil to a high temp. Beat the eggs and add 3 Tbsp. of water and combine thoroughly. In a shallow dish put the eggs in another dish place the panko and salt, pepper and garlic powder, mix well. Dip the eggplant in the egg mixture then dip in the panko and then fry in the oil. When one side is brown turn the eggplant to the other side. Alternatively you can place the eggplant on a greased pan and spray with a little PAM. Bake in a 425 degree own until done. Flip over once after about 15 minutes. The eggplant is done when a fork easily pierces the crust and eggplant beneath. Keep warm.

While the eggplant cooks, heat a large pan with a Tbsp of olive oil. Add the onion and saute about 5 minutes then add the garlic and squash. Saute until tender. Add 1 tsp of herbes de provence, lemon zest and juice, and capers with pepper and salt. Toss gently and add the knob of butter to melt and combine with the juices and herbs to make a butter sauce.

Put some eggplant on a plate for each person. Top with the squash and serve. It's really yummy and so rewarding thinking that most of this came from your garden!


  1. Have a wonderful week with your family....I wish I was a member, not just for the embracing warmth, but for the FOOD!

  2. Second time to post this comment....great menu...can I become a member of the Henry family? HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK