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Picnic at the Park

16 Mar

The weather was in the seventies today, so Daisy & I met some other mothers and babies at Glasgow Park. This was my first time there and I think I have a new favorite park. There are separate play areas for small and big kids, porta-potties, green grass – everything you want at a park. I took a blanket and we sat down and had a picnic. Daisy ate squashed blueberries and quartered grape tomatoes and I had a PB&J.

Trying a grape tomato for the first time.

Daisy tries a grape tomato and gazes out at the swings.

After lunch, Daisy played “with” the other babies and tried to eat the grass and leaves. There was a four-month-old there and that little guy was just so squishy and adorable and still. I’ve forgotten already what it’s like to have a little little baby.

Daisy tried out the swings for the second time in her life, and this time she loved them. Her first ride in the swing did not impress her at all. She enjoyed them so much this time that she was swinging for an hour! We followed swings with one loop of the walking trail at the park. The trail is very popular, and for good reason. It’s lovely.

This outing reminded me why I love being a stay-at-home mother so much. At any other point in my life, 2:30 on a Thursday would have found me at a desk in an office building, either staring at my computer screen or sitting through a meeting. But on this Thursday, at 2:30 I was walking with my baby in the stroller, enjoying the first warm day of the year together.

Sliced eggplant about to be roasted.

Sliced eggplant about to go in the oven.

Tonight I am making eggplant parmesan with two of the eggplants I bought yesterday. The recipe is Lighter Eggplant Parmesan. It is different from traditional eggplant parmesan recipes in that the eggplant is roasted instead of breaded and fried. I coated the tin foil with olive oil before I put the eggplant slices on it, but I still had problems with them sticking. Maybe more olive oil next time?

I also had my first experience with different oven rack heights affecting the pans differently – my bottom pan browned much more than the top pan. I fixed it by moving the top pan to the lower rack and browning it a little extra. It’s still surprising that a few inches higher or lower in the oven makes such a difference.

I served the eggplant parmesan over gluten-free noodles and it was delicious! It’s not like my father’s eggplant parmesan, which is fried eggplant drowning in cheese with a touch of tomato sauce – completely delicious and unhealthy. This version is more tomato and eggplant heavy, but I still really like it. Definitely a make-again dish.