Home Grown Eggplant Parmesan

I love gardening because as much as I might think I’ve got the perfect formula of soil, weather, and plants you really never know what will grow best.  Having moved into my new home fourteen months ago, my wife and I just finished our first season with a new garden.  We started prepping it a year ago and quickly started to worry.  And so it was that I found myself last April looking at my back yard and at the tilled area of compact, clay-clumped, rock-ridden soil.  I just didn’t know what would work.  We had dumped pigeon manure in over the winter and eventually tilled that in with some top soil pulled from across campus.  I thought I might have a chance.  But then June hit.  Or rather, spring repeated itself with another month of March-like weather: cold and rainy.  (I doubt I need to say more as most folks on the Eastern half of the US suffered under the same rain clouds).  By the beginning of July, I thought my new garden was done for.  Everything I’d planted was still that same size and most of the seeds hadn’t sprouted.   

That is the thing with gardens though.  You never know.  At some point in June I had planted eggplants and peppers.  They barely did anything – I actually didn’t believe they were growing at all until I noticed in the third week of August the beautiful vegetables hanging off of them.  They snuck in somewhere between the busy days of Summer Challenge and vacation.  With the start of school, I watched the tomatoes and basil run their course but apparently forgot to check the eggplants and peppers. 

Just recently we had heavy frosts (and snow!) so I went out to the garden with our harvesting basket and save these wonderful red, green, orange and purple surprises.  To my surprise I had to go back for another, larger basket.  Two dozen peppers and over a dozen eggplants later, I walked in the door.  And tonight I am making one massive batch of homemade eggplant parmesan. 

I think working at Hyde affords me the same opportunity to be surprised.  Having just finished Fall Family Weekend, I see the similarities.  Students who I was not sure had been making progress suddenly produced the fruit of the long growing season.  Perhaps they, like my eggplants, just needed to send their roots deep and find the much needed nutrients. 

Dinner is served!