Saturday, November 30, 2013

In the Kitchen

 I surely enjoy spending time in the kitchen.  Matt does, too, probably even more so than me.  I never cease to be pleased by the creativity and satisfaction found in making a meal from scratch.  In many ways it has spoiled me!  I am used to being able to make things JUST to my liking and with the freshest ingredients possible.  That makes it harder to enjoy soup from a can and the like!

Cauliflower pakoras alongside curry.  I think pakoras are amazing.  Amazing.
Unbrie cheese with spicy pepper jelly, just-picked carrots, and some of the last of the 2012 applesauce.  Carrots that are fresh like that just taste totally different in a very good way.  Matt's making cheese for part of the Thanksgiving feast.  I am really, really looking forward to it.
Another batch of hot sauce with some of the cayenne peppers we grew this summer.  Its been a while since I had red cayennes to work with.  I invariably end up harvesting more green than red because of the end of the growing season.  As a result this is the most beautiful, tasty hot sauce I've made in what seems like quite a while.  I have to wonder if I think it tastes better just because it is prettier.
Quiche with homegrown spinach.  Its so nice having spinach in the freezer.  We tried to start a late season crop, but dilly-dallied too long in planting and the little tiny spinach plants didn't make it.  Drat.  But, at least we've got the freezer supply.
A vanilla variation on the three ingredient ice cream recipe (banana, vanilla extract, peanut butter), with the last of the roast pears and caramel sauce.  I think I might even like the vanilla one better.  Or maybe that was just on account of it being covered in roast pears and caramel sauce.
Yum.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I am Thankful

I am thankful for all the good that fills my life.  I have so many blessings--big and small--to be grateful for.
I am thankful for the wonderful family I was born into-- where my sisters are my friends, my mom and dad always made me believe I could do and be anything I wanted, and there was no shortage of cousins and aunts to play with and visit.

I am thankful for the wonderful family I am marrying into--where I met the hilarious brothers I never had and found a second set of parents who have always been so kind and generous with me.
I am thankful for Matt my magnificent companion in all our endeavors, who fills my life with love and joy and delicious things to eat.

I am thankful for my spunky, free-spirited friends who dance, climb, adventure, and play with me.
I am thankful for Montana.  There is no where else I'd rather be.

I am thankful for libraries with their endless books to read and information to discover.
I am thankful for sunshine and rainbows.

I am thankful for mountains and the good tidings them bring me.
I am thankful for live music and the transcendent glee that fills me up when I lose myself in dance.

I am thankful for the national parks--the precious cathedrals of nature--and all the good folks who have fought to ensure the preservation of these astounding places--especially the wilderness mystic John Muir and the dedicated ornithologist and editor George Bird Grinnell.
I am thankful for a house and tiny scrap of land to call our own and do what we will with.

I am thankful for Kurt Vonnegut the brilliant satirist who still holds the title of being my favorite author of all time.
I am thankful for my chance to make this world a better place.

I am thankful for living with a man who loves to cook and bake.
I am thankful for random acts of kindness.

I am thankful for knowing how to sew and mend and all the money its saved me and fun its given me.
I am thankful for my blog-friends and all the support and inspiration I've found in the blogging world.

I am thankful for trees for all the shade, food, oxygen, and homes for wild critters that they give--not to mention the beauty of the forest.
I am thankful for my childhood which I feel was a pretty darn good one.

I am thankful for bees and all the hard work they do keeping our food crops pollinated so that we have yummy things like strawberries, cherries, tomatillos, corn, and on and on and on.
I am thankful for the time I was able to spend experiencing the world abroad--no matter how brief it was life changing.

I am thankful for the Grateful Dead in all its incarnations from the original members to Furthur.
I am thankful for the stars and moon, comets, shooting stars, planets, and the rest of the ballet of the cosmos.

I am thankful for wool and its amazing ability to keep a body warm.
I am thankful for my job where I learn something new every single day.

I am thankful for being an American with all the rights and privileges that goes along with it.
I am thankful for a warm cup of tea on a cold, snowy day.

I am thankful for the changing seasons which each are awesome in their own magical, miraculous way.
I am thankful for audiobooks which make car travel and doing the dishes much more enjoyable.

I am thankful for bread in every way, shape, and form.
I am thankful for that big, blue Montana sky that seems to stretch beyond infinity.

I am thankful for fireflies which seem like a little bit of magic in insect form.
I am thankful for geysers and hot springs the power and beauty of which astonish me every time.

I am thankful for tiny babies and how they warm my heart--be it watching the wee bunnies chasing each other around in the grass or cuddling the precious infants of my friends and family.
And so many more things than I could every realistically hope to list.  Happy Thanksgiving.  May we all always have so many things to be grateful for.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Simple Woman's Day Book for November 26, 2013

A Simple Woman's Day Book for November 26, 2013


Outside my window... one of the neighborhood blue jays landed on the porch railing.  He walked the whole length, knocking off the snow as he went.  We've seen them in the tree tops all around the yard, but never quite so close up.  What magnificent birds.

I am thinking.... about 
airships.  You know, like blimps?  Matt read a book about them and has been talking about them for days.  I gotta say it does sound awesome to fly just 1,000 feet above the ocean at 75 mph with the windows open.  But, you know, the potential to burst into flames is a pretty big negative.

I am thankful for... Matt waking me up with a warm cup of black tea on the bedside table this morning.

From the kitchen... come the sights and smells of a Thanksgiving meal slowly coming together.

I am wearing...  a bright (and I mean bright) green and pink flowered dress from the Montana Vintage Store and a sweater from the last clothes swap. 

I am creating... a better waist closure on the blue dress.  Following the advice of my mother I am going to try velcro instead of hook and eye closures.

I am going... to not travel this holiday season.  I'm not sure I've ever done that before.  I always go somewhere.  But, I am staying home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas for a change.  And I am looking forward to it.

I am reading... The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and The Land of the Painted Caves by Jean Auel--the last book in the Earth's Children series.

On my mind... food and family.

Around the house... the first Christmas packages have arrived.  Thanksgiving is almost here.  I guess I might set up the Christmas tree soon.  

One of my favorite things... peace and quiet.  Don't get me wrong I immensely enjoy a rockin' concert or ruckus dinner party, but, oh, that peace and quiet.

A few plans for the rest of the week...I don't have to work the rest of the week until Sunday evening.  There will be Thanksgiving meal with Matt' family tomorrow and whatever my little heart desires on Friday and Saturday.  Likely Scrabble, sewing, cooking, and a little bit of organizing will be involved.

A small window into my life...
Setting the table for dinner with friends last week.
 This format come from the Simple Woman blog.

Roast Pears with Caramel Sauce

My mom gave us some pears she wasn't eating fast enough.
Matt had been wanting to make caramel sauce based on the recipe from Modern Sauces by Martha Holmberg which we'd checked out from the library--slightly tweaked to eliminate the dairy elements.
It was amazing.  Like Matt.

Monday, November 25, 2013

You Can't Kill Mint

More than a month ago we harvested our mint.  I freeze it for making tea with.  I've dried it in the past, too, but I like the frozen leaves better.  It faster, just as easy, and I think the flavor retention is better.  Mint is probably Matt's favorite tea.  We grow three varieties, but freeze them all mixed together.
As we were pulling the leaves off the stems and packing them into ice cube trays for freezing I noticed that one of the stems had a flowering head on it with tiny, delicate, purple blooms.  I thought they were quite pretty.  I slipped them into my "dandelion vase" with a bit of water so I could enjoy them for a day.  I was quite certain the tiny flowering head would be dried up by the day's end.

But, oh, I was wrong.  It was quite the opposite, in fact.  Instead of shriveling up the flowering head sprouted a new mint plant.  The growing mint has a long skinny root and is on its fifth set of leaves.  I'm just going to leave it and see what happens--for curiosity's sake.  The tiny little green shoot on the coffee table makes me smile.  We'll see how long it lasts in such a tiny little vase with only water for nutriment.
I've always heard that you can't kill mint--that it will spread and take over the garden if you let it.  I guess this is a good demonstration of that resilience.

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Potato Shortfall

Overall the 2013 was a smashing success.  We expanded the garden again.  We grew things we'd never tried to grow before.  We had plenty of rain and sun.  But, as with every year there were some things that didn't go as hoped.  We had a pretty disappointing potato harvest this year.  That is the way it goes sometimes, I guess.  We had our best ever crop of onions and summer squash and our worst ever for potatoes and tomatoes.  Unfortunately for me I simply adore potatoes and tomatoes.  So, I am disappointed.
Roast Veg:  onion, carrots, squash, three kinds of potatoes, and beans--all homegrown--with balsamic vinegar, oil, and salt.
We harvested our first potato from the 2012 crop on September 2nd and we finished eating the last of our 2012 potato crop on February 20, 2013.    That is six months of homegrown potatoes!  Well, this year we harvested our first potato on July 25th, hoping for enough to make some creamy new potatoes and peas.   The plants hardly had any potatoes on them though so we didn't harvest again until October 19th.  We finished eating the last of the 2013 potato crop two weeks ago.  That is just over one month of potatoes.  We didn't even make it to winter let alone into the new year.  But, it is what it is.

Kennebec - 9 lbs, 10 oz
Norland Red - 3 lbs, 4 oz
German Butterball - 3 lbs, 8 oz
French Fingerling - 1 lb, 12 oz
All Blue- 4 lbs, 14 oz
Yukon Gem - 3 lbs, 5 oz

Grand Total - 26 lbs, 5 oz
Last year the grand total was 107 lbs, 3 oz

We have a theory on why the crop was so lackluster this year.  See, when we moved in most of the garden space was just being used as a dumping ground for grass clippings.  This year when we planted the spuds they went into the ground in just such an area.  We're thinking perhaps the soil is too nitrogen rich still at this point on account of the years of grass clippings to encourage great root growth.  The tops of the potatoes were thick and green and very healthy looking, but under the soil there was very little action.  We're moving them back to our plot at the community garden next year.  Potatoes do super there.  We're going to plant the leafy greens in the nitrogen rich soil since they should do well under such conditions.  Of course, this is all speculation on our part.  Maybe it just wasn't our year for potatoes.
Breakfast Hash: potatoes, onion, pepper, zucchini, and corn--all homegrown--with homemade hot sauce.
I told Matt we might have to break down and buy some potatoes though.  I already miss having them around--mostly for breakfast.  I would eat potatoes with breakfast every single day, I think.

Scrabble Dorks

Matt and I really enjoy playing a game of Scrabble.  We've been known to play more than one game in a single day, in fact.  What can I say?  We're Scrabble dorks.  During the spring and summer we only manage to sneak in a game every now and then--frequently on the picnic table while camping.  We're too busy with the garden, camping, tie-dye vending, family reunions, birding, and other fun outdoor activities to spend much time around the game board.  But, with the start of autumn and winter we are once again in our prime season of game-playing.

We started to keep track of our Scrabble scores in a spreadsheet towards the end of 2008.  I can't say we've recorded every score, but its got to be pretty close.  We only record games where it is just Matt and I too, for consistency's sake.  We took a few moments yesterday morning to update the list as the scraps of paper used as score sheets was really piling up inside the game box.  We've now got 113 games recorded and compared some statistics this morning and, I must say, Matt and I are amazingly evenly matched.

We each have won 56 games with one more where we tied.  I thought that was quite surprising.  I knew we were pretty close in skill level, but to be exactly even-steven in wins and losses was pretty interesting to me.  It seems unlikely.  Matt has the highest score between the two of us at 430.  But, while I might not have as many really high scores my average score is higher than Matt's.  But, I've never broken 400.  My highest score is 345.  Matt has more Bingos than me at 11 to six...but sometimes even a Bingo doesn't guaranteed a victory.

Scrabble is such an interesting game, in my opinion.  I know quite a few people who would disagree.  When I was younger I thought it was boring as all get out.  My mom loved it though, so I played.  It has apparently grown on me.  Now I think its such an interesting challenge--to stretch my brain to fit this random mish-mash of letters together into something meaningful and worth a lot of points.  I learn new words constantly as a result.  Two letter words and words that use a 'q' without a 'u' are prime examples of my expanding vocabulary.

Sometimes its hard and other times the words seem to just spell themselves.  Some boards are better than others and those first few words played can sometimes make or break the enjoyability of the rest of the game.

Matt has been reading up on Scrabble contests and official Scrabble rules--some of which, by the way, are quite fascinating.  (Did you know you're supposed to hold the tile bag up above eye level before drawing replacement letters at the end of the turn?)  I don't think we're quite at that level yet, but it has been very interesting and motivating reading.  He learned that the most Bingos in a row in a game is seven.  That means some Scrabble wordsmith played all seven tiles for seven turns in a row.  I don't make a Bingo in one of seven games!   But, practice makes perfect!

Fortunately, since Scrabble is Matt's favorite board game we get lots of practice.  Maybe one of these days I'll break 400.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Casting A Vote - Inspiration Thursday

"Every time you spend money you're casting a vote for the kind of world you want." -Anna Lappe

So let us all vote wisely, my friends.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

65 to Snow

Yesterday was unseasonably glorious.  The sun was shining and it got up to 65 degrees F.  I went for a nice walk on my lunch break because it was just too lovely to resist.  I didn't even need a coat-- just my long-sleeved shirt and I was perfectly comfortable.  There was talk that it would snow--up to three inches--overnight.  Matt and I made a friendly bet on it.  I won when we awoke this morning to bare ground and no snow.  But, it did start snowing mid-morning.  It didn't stop until well after mid-afternoon.  Light, fluffy flakes that whirl on their way down and completely obscure the prominent landmark of rimrocks just under a half mile north of us.  It is a very white world out there at the moment.  I find the contrast between the two days rather amazing.  Most of the students in the library would seemingly choose a less favorable word than "amazing."  Oh, have they been grumbling all day.  I keep reminding them that it is November 20th, after all.  I'm not so concerned myself.  I grew up in eastern Montana where winter literally can last for six months.  Snow almost never lasts long in Billings.  It will be clear again in a matter of days I am sure.  I don't love the cold, but I do love the change of seasons.  Its always seems so miraculous and magical.

At Grandma's House

I went to a family wedding on my mother's side over the weekend up on the Highline.  It was considerably colder than down here on the south-central plains.  It snowed each day I was there--not much, but enough to cover the ground with white and make my breath come out in puffs of steam.  My sister and I made snow angels.  I got to catch up with my mom, niece, several aunts and uncles, my grandparents, cousins and second-cousins.  On the way home we popped in and saw my paternal grandmother and aunt as well.  They'd moved to a new house since the last time I had visited so it was swell to see their new place.  It was all around a wonderful weekend of family time.  So much of my extended family lives in the state, but it is a darn big state and I don't make it up to the Highline to see them all that often.

Being at my maternal grandmother's house was a completely delightful blast from the past.  I hadn't been there in years, I guess.  My niece and another young relation were playing dress up in the very same clothes I can remember my sisters and I costuming ourselves in as little tykes.  Oh, how we played dress up for hours at grandma's house.  I could still identify the most highly sought after garments.  I had to wonder if they were still the ones most favored by the new generation of little tykes.   There was still the blue and white shag carpeting in the basement.  The grand piano still dominates the living room. The upstairs hallway was lined with the photos of my mom and her siblings that I'd examined in great detail as a youth--noting the big glasses, funky fashions, and hairstyles of the decades when they were younger.  The twin beds in one of the spare bedroom still have the same matching navy blue comforters.   The bright orange rotary phone still hangs outside the laundry room.  We thought that orange phone was the coolest.  I still do.

I should have made a point to visit the root cellar.  I always thought it was cool and creepy as a kid.    It was so dark and smelled of earth, but was loaded with goodies, like Grandma's incredible raspberry jelly.  Maybe next visit.  My grandma's was the only root cellar I'd ever been in until the one at The Museum of the Rockies.

Its amazing to me the details that get imprinted in the mind.  Its equally amazing how much things change and how much they stay the same.

Pepper-Lime Sauce

This sauce is so lime-packed that when I reheated the stir-fry at work on lunch break one of my co-workers came into the break room to ask what I was having.  She could smell the lime from her office down the hall.  So, I guess, if you don't like lime you can read no further.  I, for one, love that citrus flavor--a burst of sunshine for my taste buds.

Pepper-Lime Sauce
1/2 C lime juice
2 T tamari/soy sauce
1 T honey
1/2 t crushed red pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
Combine all ingredients and stir well.  Use as a marinade or stir-fry sauce.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Bean Jar Bomb

I opened one of the food cupboards looking for the rice container.  I poked around in there the whole while thinking I needed to take a moment to tidy up that cupboard at some point.  Jars and tins had obviously been shoved in willy-nilly.  It was crowded and hard to find what I was looking for.  I left the cupboard door open while I poked around in the other food cupboard.  That was my second mistake.  The first was not just tidying up the cupboard right the moment I saw it needed done.

As I rummage around in the second cupboard without warning the jar of Red Mexican Beans slipped off the overcrowded shelf of the first shattering with great dramatics on the counter below.  Glass and beans went every where--and I mean everywhere.  I wasn't so distressed by the mess.  Accidents happen.  But, oh, I was so sad to lose those beans.  Some were salvageable, but most were too mixed up with the shards of glass to be saved.

While all food waste is sad its interesting to me how much those beans mean since we planted them and raised them ourselves.  Its not like we had so many to begin with.  The ones saved from the jar bomb though are wonderfully creamy and tasty.  At least I didn't have to throw all of  them away (with all the shards of glass we didn't think they should be composted).  And lesson learned:  If the cupboard is chaotic take a moment to take care of it...or at least close the door so things don't jump off the shelves.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wat, Wet, Wot W'et, W'at

It is variously called wat, w'at, wot, wet, or w'et.  Basically its a thick stew from the Ethiopian food tradition.  After talking to some Africans attending the college where I work I went on a fun little quest for recipes--chapati bread, injira, and wat.   The wat, it turned out, was a real winner.
Since its a type of food--stew--rather than a particular dish it seems that the varieties are endless.

I've read that one of its hallmarks is the use of the spice berbere--which I have yet to locate locally--so I cannot speak for the authenticity of my recipe.  However, even without the berbere the blend of spices in this  is pretty spectacular.  Matt and I are hooked already.
Red Lentil Wat

1 C dried red lentils
2-6 C mixed veg, chopped (carrots, squash, peas, potato, tomatoes, etc)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C tomato sauce
2 C veg stock
1 T paprika
1 t ground ginger
1 t tumeric
1 t garam masala
1 T cayenne pepper
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
oil

Saute onion in a dab of oil over low heat.
When onions start to get translucent add the garlic and saute another minute or so.
Add veg stock, spices, and tomato sauce.
Bring to a boil.
Add lentils.
Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are cooked and the stew has thickened.
Serve with flatbread or rice.

In this wat we used chickpeas instead of lentils and left out the cayenne pepper since we were having dinner guests and couldn't remember how they felt about a little heat.  The basic recipe is so easy to play around with.   The spice and vegetable combinations are easy to adjust to suit personal taste preferences as well as what is on hand and in season.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Come Up With a Smiling Face - Inspiration Thursday

I stumbled upon this poem in a book about random acts of kindness during the Great Depression called A Secret Gift by Ted Gup.  The first stanza was all that was referenced in that book, but when I looked it up in entirety I discovered that the whole thing is pretty grand, especially, in my opinion, line six from the first stanza and lines two through four in the second.  Life is full of challenges and set-backs, along with the joys and triumphs.   Despite all the travails though I do honestly believe that life is still good--that troubles are what you make them and that the only thing to do is to keep on trying, to come up with a smiling face, and to make the most of all that has been.
How Did You Die?           
             by Edmund Vance Cooke

Did you tackle that trouble that came your way

With a resolute heart and cheerful?
Or hide your face from the light of day
With a craven soul and fearful?
Oh, a trouble's a ton, or a trouble's an ounce,
Or a trouble is what you make it,
And it isn't the fact that you're hurt that counts,
But only how did you take it?

You are beaten to earth? Well, well, what's that?
Come up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there -- that's disgrace.
The harder you're thrown, why the higher you bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye!
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts,
It's how did you fight --  and why?

And though you be done to the death, what then?
If you battled the best you could,
If you played your part in the world of men,
Why, the Critic will call it good.
Death comes with a crawl, or comes with a pounce,
And whether he's slow or spry,
It isn't the fact that you're dead that counts,
But only how did you die?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The All In A Day Nightgown

I only own one nightgown--a vintage flannel, floral number I acquired at a long-ago clothes swap.  That nightgown is so cozy and comfy its unreal.  Due to its solitary existence in my closet and its great feeling of comfort on my body the gown sees a lot of wearing and, consequently, a lot of washing.  So much so that it is nearly transparent in large portions of the upper back and shoulders.  I've mended it a number of times.  Over the weekend it was suggested--separately by both Matt and my mother--that it might be time to retire it altogether.  There was a rip between the shoulder blades that was easily five inches long.  The surrounding fabric was wafer thin.  It didn't seem like a patch would hold back the tide much longer.  All good things must end sometime.
One of the many patches on the old nightgown.
And so I made a new floral nightgown.
This would be the first project that I started and finished in one single day.  I decided to make it, cut it out, and sewed it all up on Saturday evening.  I've never done that before.  Yay.  And it felt pretty easy--even gathering and attaching the sleeves was a snap.  Considering I'd only done it once before I was pretty pleased.  I rather like gathering, I've learned.
The night gown is the "chemise" that goes along with the pattern I used for my Little House outfit--  Mccalls M4548 Misses' Early American Costume. The fabric was something my mom gave me some months back when I raided her craft room.
The new nightgown is no where near as cozy and comfy, but I am hopeful that with proper breaking-in it will be soon enough.  My mom sent me home with a piece of flannel she found in her stash.  I plan to make a second.
A new nightgown + A lapful of critters + A cup of hot black tea =  One very happy woman.  (Photo credit to Donette Johnson)
I am not sure what I will make with the remnants of the old nightgown.  The lower portion is in pretty good shape though so I bet I will find a use for it somewhere.  I have a wool skirt I like to wear under my dresses as a sort of petticoat in the colder weather.  I am thinking maybe a flannel petticoat is just the thing.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Fiery Eggplant-Peanut Soup

Sometimes when Matt cooks he likes to pretend he's on his own cooking show.   He'll prep all the ingredients in little dishes on the counter before he begins the actual cooking.  I have to agree with him that it is both efficient and attractive to have the small bowls of chopped veg, grated ginger, blended spices just ready to go.  This was how our first batch of Eggplant-Peanut Soup came to be.  We've since made, I think, three more batches, but only the first got cooking show treatment.  Even without the fancy prep work though the dish is fantastic.  It still tastes pretty fancy, decadent, satisfying.
We first started experimenting with this soup recipe because we had quite a number of eggplants from our garden that had been harvested before the first frost and needed to be eaten.  It was a nice surprise how many eggplants we ended up with, actually, because we thought there we only three of them on the plant.  But, since the eggplants were growing at the community garden this year I guess we just weren't paying close enough attention to them and the fruits they were putting out.  In the end, there was something like a dozen of them.  I don't know how we missed them in our observations of the growing plants.  But, hey, I'm not complaining.  I really enjoy eggplant.  The more the merrier.
Firey Eggplant-Peanut Soup
1-2 pounds eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 t salt
5 large shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (a large onion, diced, makes a fine substitution)
1 jalapeno or other spicy pepper, minced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1/4 t ground cayenne
1/2 t ground turmeric
1/2 C tomato sauce
1/2 C diced tomatoes

5 C veg stock
1/4-1/3 C peanut butter
2 T lemon juice
oil

Toss the eggplant with the salt in a colander.
Let it sit at least 30 minutes to soften and release extra water.
Rinse eggplant and drain well.
While the eggplant is doing its thing preheat a large pot and start the shallots/onion to caramelize in the oil, cooking about 20 minutes until they are tender and browned.
Remove, set aside, and start sauteing the eggplant, adding more oil if needed.
Cook eggplant 10-15 minutes, until starting to get tender.
Add in diced tomatoes and cook for another few minutes.
Add the shallots/onion back in to the pot as well as the spicy pepper, ginger, tomato sauce, and spices.
Stir well and let heat through.
Add the peanut butter and stir until it is completely blended into the soup.
Simmer another 30-45 minutes until the eggplant is very tender.
Add in lemon juice.
Salt to taste.
Serve.
We made it three times in the same number of weeks.  It was just that good.