Bon Appetit, Madame Guillotine

Prise De La Bastille 300x224In honor of Bastille Day, everyone should overthrow their government (even if it’s just for a day).

If you’re not up for that, try my Revolutionary Ratatouille (anthropomorphic rat not included):

  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Big Onion
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 Fresh Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 Cups Diced Eggplant
  • 1 Big Finely Sliced Zucchini
  • 1 Bag of New Potatoes

Crush the garlic cloves and dice the onion, then simmer them over medium-low heat in some olive oil.� Stir continuously, lest the garlic turn brown.� When the onions are soft, throw in the diced Eggplant (I find the thin Japanese Eggplants cook more evenly) and throw in all the tomatoes.� Grind in some fresh pepper & sea salt for good measure.� Stir everything together, then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes.� This gives the eggplant time to soften up & absorb the flavor of the garlic/onion/tomato.

While it’s simmering, get slicing on that zucchini.� It has to be sliced thinly and evenly; think semi-transparent slices.� If it’s too thick, it will taste gross.� Add the Zucchini when the eggplant/tomato has simmered long enough, and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

Now’s a good time to boil some water for your potatoes.� In this case, the spuds are the base of the dish (pasta also works, but it’s not as good).� Potatoes are heartier and absorb more of the flavor of Ratatouille.� Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes- if you’re not sure of whether or not they’re ready, try to stick a fork in one (if the potato is soft, it’s ready to eat).� Drain the water and quarter the potatoes with a fork or other pointy thing.

Before you ladle on the ratatouille, put some fresh herbs (like rosemary, basil, oregano, whatever you’ve got on hand) and let them sit for a minute in the stew- if you put them in earlier, their flavor gets lost.

Pour the Ratatouille on the potatoes, serve with a nice red wine, and get ready to depose the broccoli crown, chop some heads of lettuce, and let the cat out of the baguette.

Tile be seeing you…

Img 40441 224x300For anyone who’s keeping score, tiling my bathroom floor was completed today; a scant 7 weeks after removing the old floor.

Not that I’ve been working on it for that long.  Cutting and laying the tile (a relatively simple task) only took 3 days; acquiring the tile and investing the time presents the greater challenge.

My advice to would-be tilers is only this: buy as much extra tile as you can afford.  It pains me to think of the cost of all the tiles I broke in cutting, but a worse fate would have been to run out of tiles before the mortar has a chance to dry.  Out of 3 cases of tile, only 3 tiles remain unused.

It also helps to have a second bathroom.  God, how I wish we had a second bathroom (tiling, grouting and sealing takes about 3 days to cure; at no point during that time can the bathroom be used for anything).  If you are unlucky enough to have just one bathroom, the restrooms at Kohl’s are very tidy.