Eggplant is in season. As a family that eats locally and seasonally that means that we must embrace eggplant. And while I really enjoy this dense meaty vegetable, I have a very hard time selling it at my dinner table. This past week, my curry with eggplant had the guys leaving skid marks in the driveway on their way to In and Out Burger.
So, I continue my search for family friendly menu items that incorporate eggplant and at the same time, respect my kids tastes as long as they in turn, respectfully try all dishes. Although many readers of this blog are from countries outside of the US, my eggplant challenges allowed me to focus on something that is uniquely American.
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble; and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” –First Amendment to the United States Constitution
The First Amendment of the US Constitution creates what are known as the Five Freedoms and what are often called the foundation of what has made this country unique. The tie with eggplant? I found eggplant an excellent venue to discuss the Five Freedoms in our home.
Freedom of Speech
We are blessed with the right to say what we want to say but it’s imperative that we remember that we remain accountable for our words. And it’s also imperative to remember that this is not just our right but everyone’s regardless of our interest in what they are saying or our alignment with their position. And, as the linked article points out, the First Amendment doesn’t guarantee the right to not be offended.
Freedom of Religion
This country was founded by those who felt they were under religious persecution and as such, the first 16 words crystalize religious liberty as an inextricable right.
Freedom of the Press
A free and lively flow of information enables a society to keep others honest. One of the things that I am most concerned with in today’s society is our self-selection of our media which has a tendency to restrict flow and is often inclusive of those who think just like us.
The last of the five freedoms, the right to petition, is one way that Americans make their desires known. It grants us the right to ask our government to correct things that we believe should be changed.
Have you ever used food to squeeze in a lesson?
- 1 cup teriyaki sauce (I use TJ’s soyaki)
- 2 Tbs Nama Shobu
- 2 Tbs oyster sauce
- 1 Tbs honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbs chile garlic sauce
- 4 medium eggplant
Whisk the first 6 ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Cut off the tops and bottoms of each eggplant, then cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Cut each half into wedges so that the bottom skinned edge is approx. 1.5 inches wide. With the knife, make four or five slashes into the flesh of each piece. Do not cut all the way throught. Place the eggplant into the bowl with the marinade. Toss to coat and let marinate at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375. Place eggplant pieces skin side down on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place into overn for 30 minutes or until flesh is very soft.
My 7 year old actually said, “mom, when you are the captain of a vegetarian club, you should share this recipe.”