Thursday, January 9, 2014

Living Ratatouille - serves 4

Picture of Ratatouille Recipe

"Getting a blog post from me is almost like receiving a monthly Birchbox.  Only it's been nearly a year since you delivered."  This is from a friend of mine who shared with me over the Christmas holiday that I never blog anymore.  Well, things have been somewhat, how can I say it, CRAZY.  Also, I felt that I needed to get a really good story in to tie in a recipe and I just wasn't feeling it.  Until today.  So to give you a little background and to put it simply, my husband is the MASTER OF PROCRASTINATION. If you don't need something done, call my husband.  If he could make money at it, I'd be living in my dream house, in my dream country, driving my dream car, with Juan Pablo from the Bachelor.

The siding of our house has been rather, altered to the point that "critters" have been making a home for themselves in our attic.  This has been going on for over a year.  Now, mind you, over a year ago I have asked (which now it has officially become nagging) if we could get this fixed.  Not exaggerating, we've had woodpeckers that peck themselves silly on our pipes, squirrels, mice, birds and rats.  They have scratched, clawed, chirped, given birth, had parties and I think have even played a game of toss in our attic.  Now, fast forward to last week.  Thursday, my cleaning lady screams,  "Errreeen, Errreen", to which I come running downstairs.  What?  A bird?  In my house?  IN MY HOUSE.  Cleaning lady is screaming, kids are running around and I'm thinking, "please don't s*&t" on my couch".  We open all doors and finally the little bird flies out. You would think that husband would get a clue.  Saturday comes up and I, with my cup of coffee and off to the gym, open the door to not be greeted by Juan Pablo, but non other than a (cuss word ending in "ing") possum.  I screamed, splashing coffee everywhere all the while the possum (ugly creatures) screams.  I open the garage and the thing runs out.  Of course, who would have it that my soon to be ex-husband is out of town fishing.  After my threats of leaving him, he FINALLY calls an exterminator, which happens to be his cousin.

Now it's today, Thursday and cousin, the exterminator, has just left my house.  I now have an idea for a recipe.  In his words, and I quote, "INFESTED".  He even took pictures.  He showed me a tree LIMB, pecans, nests and an ancient rat trap (like over 50 years) with the CARCASS of a rat still attached, and so much poo I can't even describe without grossing you out even more.  I am grossed out beyond measure at this point as I'm sure you are too. (Kind of makes you hungry, doesn't it :) )  Cousin then proceeds to tell be that not only is the siding the cause, but the screening, that goes behind the siding, is completely gone.  "We're looking at about $180 to get rid of all this, the cousin special."  Wow! Awesome!  Oh wait…. he goes on…. "we worked out a little deal that I can get some landscaping (husband is  landscaper) for trade.  And, he's buying my kayak." "Buying?", I say.  He thought it was going to be like $400-$500…. so $180? Hmmmm…. well, to end this rather quickly, I did the math, as I'm sure you have as well.  So, in honor of my husband, cousin exterminator is not only getting rid of the rats, but he's fixing the screening AND trimming all of our trees to help keep this from happening again.  Cousin exterminator will have the best yard in his neighborhood and  I'm his new best friend, ever.  Because not only is my husband a good landscaper,  I want my husband to think about vermin's every time he puts that kayak in the water.


1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups medium diced eggplant, skin on
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup diced green bell peppers
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1 cup diced zucchini squash
1 cup diced yellow squash
1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature.