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February 2003 Issue
by Victoria Smith
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There are two hand-painted bird feeders hanging on either side of the cattery door. Mariann did them. They are beautiful. One looks like a little covered bridge, and the other looks like Frodo’s house. We fill them every morning. I filled them as Art was still plowing, and the birds milled around me as I did so. One little guy lit on the left arm of my red jacket. They land on my person quite a lot. Fearless little sweethearts, they are. One lit on the zipper of Mom’s jacket and scared the dickens out of her. All the fluttering wings in her face, you know. But she stood still and once I had filled the trays, the little bird flew right to his breakfast. They meet us on the porch, first thing, for breakfast. If we lived someplace else, who would feed them?

Also, Spring, Summer and Autumn are beautiful beyond belief here. Even Winter, in spite of the cold and the inconvenience, is gorgeous. This year, we have plans to add a screened room to the cattery, so that the troops can enjoy the good weather when it comes back.

Enough of the cold! (It’s supposed to hit –2 by tomorrow night!)

Here’s something hot to make us all feel better.

 

Moussaka (Vegetarian Eggplant and Cheese)

This Moussaka does not have meat - result is a complete vegetarian dish with considerable dimension.
  • 2 lbs. (about 4) eggplant - stems removed
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. corn oil
  • 4 cloves garlic - chopped fine
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese - grated
Cut each eggplant lengthwise into 3 equal slices. Sprinkle with the salt and let stand for 20 minutes, Dry the slices on paper towels to absorb the liquid that accumulates. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan and stir-fry the garlic over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and water and mix well. Simmer the sauce over low heat until it becomes thickened, about 15 minutes.

Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Dip the eggplant slices into the beaten eggs and fry over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Fry all the eggplant slices this way.

Assemble the moussaka in this manner. Put a layer of eggplant in a heatproof glass or metal baking dish.

Cover with about 1/2 cup of the cooked tomato sauce. Sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of the grated cheese. Cover this with another layer of eggplant, then sauce, then cheese. The last layer (there should be three) ends with the cheese. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 1/2 hour. Serve warm.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: about an hour
 

 

Vegetarian Meatloaf

  • 1 c. lentils - raw, brown
  • 1/4 c. wheat germ
  • 1 c. breadcrumbs - whole wheat
  • 1/2 c. brown rice
  • 1 onion - minced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 clove garlic - crushed
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
Cover lentils with water and cook on a low boil for 1-1/2 hours or until tender. Mash lentils coarsely and combine with remaining ingredients. Pour into well greased loaf pan and bake, covered, at 350 F for 45 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes or until loaf is firm to the touch. Serve with your favorite sauce.
  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: approximately 3 hours
 

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