Eat Your Veggies

This spring I will visit my adorable almost one-year old niece. I've been thinking about what to bring her and decided to make her some veggies since she's the only baby I know who actually likes eating her broccoli.

May I introduce: Madame Aubergine, the adorable pea-pod triplets Henri, Jaques, and Felix, Grand Mere Carotte, and Tante Tomato. They will soon be joined by Monsieur Brocoli.

This nutritious bunch would have not come into being without the generous contributions of these fellow bloggers who shared their patterns.

The pea-pod triplets are based on a pattern by Yarrn. Grand Mere Carotte is part of a collection of Easter themed patterns by Midnight Knitter. Madame Aubergine's pattern was provided by Lion Brand a long time supporter of our team.

I more or less made up the tomato on the fly. It's a basic amigurumi ball

For the Fruit

  • Chain 2
  • 6 sc in first ch.
  • 2 sc in each stitch - 12 st
  • *sc, 2 sc in next stitch* repeat - 18 st
  • *sc, sc, 2 sc in next stitch* repeat - 24 st
  • *sc, sc, sc, 2sc in next stitch* repeat - 30 st
  • Crochet 3 rounds of sc in each stitch
  • *sc 2 together, sc, sc, sc* repeat - 24
  • *sc 2 together sc, sc* repeat - 18
  • *sc 2 together sc, s* repeat 12 (at this point you probably want to start stuffing the tomato before the opening gets too small)
  • *sc 2 together* repeat 6
  • Sew up the top

For the leaf

  • Chain 2
  • 5 sc in first stitch
  • Crochet 2 rounds of sc
  • 2 sc in each stitch - 10 stitches
  • *sc, 2 sc in next stitch* repeat - 15 stitches
  • *sl, chain 8, sc in 7th chain and work a total of 6 sc back down the chain, sl, sl* 5 times.

Sew the leaf to the top and embroider the face onto the tomato.

Have fun

Fresh from the Garden

I know it's more the exception than the rule, but I've managed to cultivate a bit of a garden out in Brooklyn, and this time of summer is always my favorite because of all the things that come in from my summer garden.

My favorite recipe that is almost completely made from things harvested from my own garden is a type of Eggplant Pasta.

I start with either 1 large or 2 medium eggplants, peeled and sliced vertically into long slices. Lay them out on a wire rack and sprinkle liberally with kosher salt(any coarse grind salt is OK). This helps suck out the extra moisture from the eggplant, and with as much rain as we had this early summer, it's probably a necessary step! Let the eggplant sit for about 30 minutes, while the salt draws out the excess moisture, before you blot the slices with paper towels to remove whatever salt and liquid is on the surface.

Then, it's just a matter of slicing the eggplant into thin, pasta-like strips. That's right, the eggplant is your pasta in this dish!

Coat a medium saute pan with either 2-3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or 2 tbsp EVOO + 1tbsp butter (no margarine!)

Once it gets to medium heat, toss in the eggplant pasta and saute until it just starts to turn translucent around the edges.

Now here is where you start the sauce. I grow cherry or grape tomatoes in my own garden, because they tend to do better -- both in producing and flavor -- in my tiny backyard with only partial sunlight. Gather however many tomatoes from the vines that you can, cut them in half, and toss them into the pan with the eggplant. Keep stirring for about 5 minutes.

I also like to get fresh basil from the garden, cut it into a chiffonade (you can do this by stacking the leaves on top of each other and then rolling them up really tight, then just slicing the roll really thin.) and toss it with the eggplant and tomato as well.

In the end, just add salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and Parmesan cheese to taste. Serve hot and scarf down! From the garden, to your belly, in roughly 30 minutes or less!


Izile's Oddities