Story About Not Cooking

Monday, May 26, 2014

As far as I can remember, I couldn't wait to grow up. That's probably something I share with all the kids in the world. I would walk in my mother's high heels at the age of four, destroy her makeup and make a clown out of myself when she wouldn't be looking. I would pretend I spoke English and speak in an imaginary language to myself. The world of adults always seemed so appealing and I was counting the days - or years - until I would grow big and be an adult myself.

Twenty-something years later, here I am. Well, one might argue about being big - just the other day I realised that all this time I've been secretly hoping I would get a few more centimeters, but apparently at the age of 25 you've reached your final height. Bummer! I'm not feeling that adult either, but this number is scarily high (truth to be told, I'm actually closer to my 26th birthday than I am to the 25th) and I guess 25-year-olds ARE adults. Even those who are still studying. Even when their income is a scholarship, and not a salary for something they do. Because they don't have a job.

I'm not regretting this, though. This wasn't supposed to be a post about how there is time for being responsible and how childhood should be enjoyed. I did enjoy, but I love this much more! Ok, maybe I'm not a member of the real world yet, because I don't work, but still, the majority of time I decide for myself and it feels just great. Not that mum doesn't know best, of course. She does and always will.


Anyway, when I was younger, I couldn't care less about two things that I thought come naturally as you grow up. So I thought it would happen to me too. The two things are politics and cooking, and not caring about them is perhaps equally irresponsible. I've been old enough to vote for seven long years, and I think I've finally come to terms with the fact that I will never ever find it interesting. In fact just the thought of it makes me sick - maybe it would have been different had I been born in another country, but that little detail of my biography I cannot change, as well as the mess I grew up in thanks to politics. So when it comes to the guys in suits who pretend to care about common people's interests while all they do is become richer and richer, it's easier for me to pretend they don't exist and try and live the happiest life I can. Irresponsible? Yes. Less stressful? Definitely.

On the other hand, as for the cooking, I am proud to say my views on this matter are improving. Taking baby steps, but still! One depressing fact is that my mother is the best cook there is, and it's not because she's my mother, so I feel that no matter how hard I ever try, my children will never be able to say the same for me. Most of the times I don't even feel like trying. And I never thought cooking can be fun or creative. But thanks to the Internet Almighty, lately I've been discovering some really simple, yet interesting recipes, and this spring I actually started to play around. (N.B. I could've also taken some simple recipes from mum, of course, but I've never been into it, as I said; and blogs just don't let you not try their ideas out!) It's not much, but it IS fun - not to mention that overwhelming feeling when I create something edible, me, who never thought it could happen! Ok, it's not really like that, it's not that I cannot cook anything, but now I feel more ready to enter the kitchen and make something out of nothing (or out of ingredients :)). 

The recipe for this simple but really delicious meal I found on Mooshema blog - an amazing Serbian blog on healthy life, work out, recipes... Only made it once but it definitely wasn't the last time! (However there are a lot of new things to try out too - I'm a kitchen newbie :)).

So, who says pizza has to have a dough crust? Or has to be large?

Ingredients (enough for a dinner for two):
1 middle-sized eggplant
1 tomato
cherry tomatoes 
olive oil
cheese - you can use whichever you want, I used mozzarella and homemade smoked cheese
spices - whichever you like, I used German mixture of herbs

Cut the eggplant into equally sized rings and sprinkle them with salt on both sides. Heat the oil and then fry the chopped garlic (decide on the amount yourself, I love garlic so I put a ton. Oh, I used to hate this kind of recipes where there would be no exact amounts, but this one does not really require them.) Add chopped tomato - in the original recipe it said you should peel it, but it can also be done without peeling. I didn't have a tomato so I used cherry tomatoes for this sauce as well. It worked. 

Soon enough you should see everything become a mushy mass, add spices and it's done when it really is a sauce. In the meantime, press the eggplant rings gently with a paper napkin to remove the water. Heat the oven. Spread the baking paper over the pan (less messy!) and sprinkle it with olive oil. Put the rings onto the paper and put them in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes  (I did it in the 150 degrees C temperature, but it took more time, so it'd probably be a good idea to raise to 175-200)

Take out, turn upside down, add sauce and cherry tomatoes on top of each ring and put back in the oven for another 10ish minutes. Finally put the cheese on top and bake just until it melts. If you wish, you can also add more spices. And voila! Eggplant pizza is done!

What about you, do you like experimenting in the kitchen or prefer relying to mums and food delivery? Do you have any simple recipes to share with me? Feel free to comment and post links to some recipes! And of course, if you decide to try this one out, let me know how it worked :)

Love, T

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