Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Guess Who is Coming to Dinner?

My husband makes lovely anniversary plans -- usually at the bucolic local Ashby Inn, in Paris, Virginia, and once, even, in Paris, France. This year trumped: an evening in Glacier Bay National Park, anchored in the South arm of Fingers Bay. We had gotten to the park rather later than we hoped, as the tide flowing out of the strait was so strong we would have used more fuel to putt against the current than prudent. So we hung out on the south side of Lesmeseurier Island, where some humpbacks graced us with a little show, and the otters watched too.

After a brief stop at the ranger station, where we availed ourselves of a fine lunch (salmon cakes, halibut chowder and sweet potato fries, yummmmm) at the beautiful cedar lodge, hiking through the rich, moist forest under the tall hemlock canopy.

Back aboard, we charted a course up to a safe anchorage from which to make our way further into the park, in hopes of making it to a glacier in the morning. The park is vast, and with only 25 pleasure boats given permits to be in at a time, rather empty. We see the occasional tour boat, or research vessel, but mostly, intrepid kayakers, as we sit in our cozy pilot house with cameras and binoculars and charts.

After anchoring, we crack champagne for the occasion -- both getting to Glacier Bay and another year of marriage -- in a bay rimmed with snow-frosted peaks. On shore an adolescent grizzly bear, oblivious to our fete, poked around on the beach looking for an easy meal. For our dinner, I gave a couple of exhausted looking eggplants a curry bath, and they perked up rather nicely.

Eggplant Curry

2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1" rounds. layer in colander, salting each layer, and set aside
1/2 red onion, minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 rib celery
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup water
2 Roma tomatos
2 teaspoons curry powder (McCormick's is fine, a mellow spice is perfect for this dish)
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Peel slice and salt eggplants, and set aside.

Mince onion, garlic, celery, ginger and tomatos, assemble ingredients.

Rinse and pat dry eggplant, then cube to 1 inch cubes. Sautee onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon oil, cook until soft but not browning, add celery, ginger and stir to combine. Add spices and cook 3 inutes more so spices release their flavor.

Add eggplant and stir to coat with spice mixture, cook five minutes more. Combine tomatoes then add water and chicken broth. Simmer 40 minutes until eggplant is soft.

Serve over rice with chopped cilantro. (We only had frozen cubes of cilantro, which I stirred in at the last minute, still perfect. Sprinkle with feta if you like. Choose a light red or a rose if you care for wine, not too chilled.


No comments:

Post a Comment