Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The KidAdult at Camp and Eggplant Parmesan Reinvented

My youngest child is no longer a little or a middle. He has now grown into a KidAdult and is away at camp for the next month.


A month without my baby. Double GASP.

He was accepted into the CIT (counselor in training) program at the same camp he has attended for the past 5 years. Only this time it is for 4 weeks instead of 2 and he is in a leadership position.

The first 13 months of his life he did not leave my side. He was "one of those babies". The ones who refuse a bottle, refuse to sleep and refuse anyone except his mama. He nursed, he slept (sometimes) and clung to me like a shipwreck survivor clings to a life raft. Maybe he was afraid of his hair.

Some days I dreamed of the day he would sleep through the night. Or at least stop nursing. Or at least let someone else hold him. Eventually he discovered activities he could enjoy his own. I should have known it was the beginning of his independent and adventurous spirit.

Now he is at camp.  For 4 weeks!

He has been excited for weeks. WEEKS! He packed himself, made lists of things he would need, even shopped at the last minute for toiletries. By himself. He also assured me and TBHITW that he was fully capable of doing all of this himself, knew everything he needed to know and didn't need our help in anyway.

Except for one thing. He wanted to make sure that we would email him everyday. EVERYDAY. The camp holds 'mail call' every morning and delivers packages, letters and emails to the campers. He also asked me to make sure nanna and pop-pop and all his aunts and uncles had his email address "just in case you know, like maybe they would want to write too. You know, like just maybe and you should write too mom cuz you'll be like bored and stuff, you know?"

My baby still needs me. :-)

I am on a caprese kick. Ever since buying that log of fresh mozzarella cheese I have been dreaming up recipes. Here is my version of a lovely summertime Eggplant Parmesan - lightened up and perfect for a summer dinner with friends.

Caprese Eggplant: serves 4

One large eggplant, peeled and sliced (in the round) into 3/4 inch slices
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 cup plus panko crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive or canola or vegetable oil
Caprese Mozzarella roll (see yesterday's post titled Caprese Pizza) sliced thin
1/3 cup tomato sauce (use your favorite pizza or marina sauce, freeze the rest)

Place flour in large plastic or paper bag. Add eggplant rounds and shake to coat.
Whisk eggs in a shallow pie plate
Combine panko and parmesan cheese in another pie plate.
(this is your breading station)
Preheat oven to 375.
Remove eggplant rounds one by one and dip in egg, then in panko / cheese combination. Place on cookie sheet. Repeat until all the eggplant is coated.

Pour oil onto a rimmed cookie sheet, place in preheated oven for 3 minutes. Carefully place eggplant rounds on cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until underside is golden and crisp. Flip.

Continue to bake for 7 more minutes.
After 7 minutes, remove from oven and top with 1 tablespoon tomato sauce and a slice of the mozzarella / caprese roll. top with another teaspoon of sauce.

Return to oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until sauce is hot and cheese is melted.

Serve with a mixed green salad. And don't forget to love on your KidAdults or littles or middles. They grow up so fast.

A Cook's Notes: Proof - this meal is now one of TBHITW's and my favorite summertime indulgences.


  1. That looks amazing! I may have to conquer this mozzarella roll thing when I get home!

  2. We are planning on using eggplant for our State BB-Q veggie've given me some ideas for presentation- thanks!

  3. Oh, that you would come and cook for me! I love to cook, but I get interrupted too much while I am in the store/office and when I am not there I am in a garden or mopping a bathroom or mowing. I need a wife!

  4. You son sounds like my youngest. She was, and has always been, Mama's Girl. In her poem to her father for Father's Day she thanked him for always being their for her mom and for taking care of me. For some reason she worries about her mom. Of course she was the absolute worst to deal with during the adolescent transition. All my years of studying adolescents didn't prepare me for her, LOL! My oldest was a piece of cake compared to her. I guess the more attached they are, the harder it is for them to separate. Enjoy you boy! I have a feeling he will always be somewhere close.

    As for that eggplant - maybe that will dinner tomorrow night. It looks incredible!

  5. Geeze - I should spend more time proof reading! That would be "Your son - not you son." And being there for her mom - not being their for her mom!

  6. Kathy - who doesn't need a wife???

    Nancy - he is a study in contrasts - but then, what teenage boy isn't? One minute he is completely independent and self-sufficient, the next he is right next to me needing me to mother him. No matter, he is what he is and I love him. Motherhood!

    And no worries on the proof reading, this is an informal forum!

  7. Keep cooking like you do and your baby will need you for a long long time! :)

  8. That picture of him with his crazy hair is awesome. I think it's adorable that he wants you to email him EVERY DAY!

  9. Otin - he is the only one of my children who is interested in cooking himself. He makes a beautiful Bechamel sauce and the best mac and cheese this side of the Mississippi - but of course I have to do all the shopping for ingredients. It's okay to be needed, that's why I became a mom in the first place.

    Unknown - when he was born the doctor and nurses were all crowding around him and laughing and cooing and I kept saying 'give him to me, give him to me' .. they had never seen hair quite like that on a newborn - copper penny colored, long and sticking straight up like a rooster.. LOL. It's still a beautiful color but he keeps it military style short. BOYS!

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Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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