Everybody has a weakness.  I don't mean a weakness for the good stuff...chocolate, a good sale, pretty shoes...a good sale on pretty shoes!  I'm talking about the things that give us the willies...leave us cold...the things for which we have little to no tolerance...the things we are scared of, the things we can't stand.  We all have our own personal kryptonite.  For The Fonz, it was liver. The sight of it, smell of it...the very mention of the word caused every bit of cool to vanish from his body.  For vampires, it's sunlight, garlic, holy water and wooden stakes through the heart.  (Think Bella Lugosi...not Robert Pattinson.)  My friend Randy has this thing about cheese....don't understand that one, but it means more cheese for me.  Indiana Jones had a thing about snakes..."Asps!  Very dangerous, Indy!  You go first!"  His friend Sala was no help!  Superman, of course, had kryptonite.  For's eggplant.

I's strange but if you're just now figuring out that I travel with an entourage of strange, you haven't been paying attention.  It's just a vegetable, right?  Technically, it's a fruit...the seeds are on the inside but I'm not going to quibble over that.  Calling it a fruit doesn't make it any more desirable to me.  I was forced to eat it as a kid and what happened next, was entirely unpleasant.  What happened after the unpleasantness was even worse.  And I'm going to leave it there.  That's my past and while it may have hurt me then, it can't hurt me now.  It does, however, keep me from eating eggplant. 

I will be truthful with you.  I have had it one time since the incident from my childhood when I truly enjoyed it.  It was in a roasted veggie salsa, for lack of better wording...lots of garlic and tomatoes and onions and it was all pureed together.  It couldn't be distinguished by sight...or by taste, but then again, it had been so long since I'd tasted eggplant, I don't know that I could have identified it by taste.  I tried to cook it for my cousin's wife, while they were here visiting a couple of years ago.  She doesn't eat a lot of meat, so I wanted to make a big pan of roasted veggies to go with our meal to make sure that she had plenty of variety.  I bought a couple of eggplants to go in the mix...thinking that it was time to be a grown up and get past the "fear" of this vegetable.  I chopped it up and had to throw it away.  I couldn't do it.  I just couldn't do it.

It snowed a couple of weeks ago and I stopped in at a local Italian place for lunch.  It was deader than three o'clock in there, even though it was normal lunchtime...that's what a sudden snow WayDownSouth will do!  One entree intrigued me...Sicilian Penne Special...penne with pot roast, tomatoes, Parmigiana and....eggplant.  So I ordered it.  It was pretty and it sure did smell good.  The eggplant was in larger chunks than I thought necessary, but that's why God invented knives.  I left most of the eggplant in the dish...I did eat a couple of pieces.  The whole thing was under seasoned and it left me rather disappointed.  I was hoping that it would be so good and that it would change my mind and mindset, but it didn't.  Sigh.

I can look at eggplants and not shudder, so I guess that's something.  I did manage a couple of bites, so I guess that's something, too.  I ordered it of my own freewill, so I guess that's nothing to sneeze at.  Small victories, I suppose, and as far as I'm concerned, you have to take them where you can find them.  It could be worse...I could melt like The Wicked Witch of the West when she gets hit with a bucket of water.  They would not be as friendly to me at Publix if I melted in their produce section every week!

Oh, eggplant....I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!