Eggplant Parmesan

Today…I broke my Fast. I tried yesterday – because I was taking Abby and Braedon to go get Pancakes at a Fort Worth traditional breakfast spot – but that didn’t work out so well. We went too late. The country sausage patties they prepared sometime in the morning – were a flat crust of nothing. I mean it…absolutely no sausage left in between the crusty top and bottom. Eggs – overcooked horribly. And, when I asked for some hash browns with grilled onions, jalapenos and cheddar cheese – it came out – cold hash browns, with some translucent something resembling onion – some cold pickled jalapeno slices straight from the jar – and cold shredded cheese.

I was distraught.

After all – if I was going to break a true prayer and fast once a week – to enjoy a meal with my family…this was true Hell.

Especially if you love food, love Jesus Christ, and are taking this one moment in time to just enjoy your family over a great breakfast at one of your favorite traditional standbys.

Moving on.

I then thought…”Well, since I’ve tried but failed…I’ll have a Vietnamese Coffee when I get Abby a Bobba Tea (one of her wish lists of things she wants to eat.)”

Sugar – after a lack thereof for a week or so – is like drinking or eating the nastiest substance in the world – and hits your blood system so hard that you find yourself walking around in a drugged haze asking your grandkids…

“Who am I? Where am I?”

“You’re My Mimi. And, you’re acting weird and embarrassing me.”

Two sips – Mimi down. So, even though embarrassing my kids and grandkids doesn’t even make the list of things I just would never, ever do…I realized that the dose of sugar was either going to make me vomit or give me a migraine of massive proportions – ruining such a nice weekend. I threw the coffee away – not up.

Physical activity was the only way to solve this blood sugar issue. So, Abby and I went thrifting. Straight down the street to the North Arlington Goodwill Store. This was also in response to her telling me…

“Mimi, I need more girl time.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, I’m a classic overachiever…(she’s 10)…and I could also be considered a workaholic. I’m always reading, thinking, working, being creative…my brain never stops. I need some girl time – at least once a week or so. A mani-pedi….maybe some shopping.”

“Abby girl, you’ve come to the right spot.”

“Maximum spoilage?” That kid is so sweet and adorable.

“It’s what I do best.”

After getting Abby started in the “Home Goods” section of Goodwill, and successfully curbing the natural reaction of vomiting  to crusty sausage and a nuclear bomb of sugar – (can’t even think of it now) – Abby kicked into full girl mode and even let me buy her some clothes that were a find – to keep at my home. She’s set up – big time.

On our way home – we followed the blazing gold Estate Sale signs. “Mimi, where are we going now?”

“Honey, you are going to an Estate Sale!” And, she did. We ran straight into my favorite people – shopped and sat and visited.

“Do you know everyone?”

It’s Sunday now. And, after such a dismal attempt at breaking my fast for one day – I decided – today, I’ll have Eggplant Parmesan. Why? I made it…it’s in my freezer in a small to medium portion size…I know what exactly it’s made of…and honestly…

…I just can’t stand taking a one-day break on a long fast and prayer commitment – and it be a nasty, tasteless fail. I could have just stayed fasting – praying – and kept it going – and been much better off for it.

So, after covering the kiddos – I nuked that Eggplant Parm and ate it. It was delicious. One meal – I’m so ready to fast and pray again. Anyway…

…I can’t eat Eggplant Parmesan and not think of the “Eggplant Parm Incident of About 2006 or Thereabouts`” The one where I had just come back from spending about 10 days in Paris – walking the city, touring museums, eating in markets and cafes, strolling in fashion and looking good – kinda speaking French – and enjoying some Joie de Vivre!

I come back to Texas after my stint in Fraco-phile Heaven – and my family wants to take me out for my birthday.

That’s right. It’s my birthday. I can have any restaurant I want. But, I don’t want any restaurant – I want to cook – and I want to make Eggplant Parmesan.

(Note to Reader: I’m still in a Parisian state of mind. I’m walking in heels all day inside my house, wearing scarfs, hair in big mode – full makeup. I’m a woman of taste and fashion inside of my little world.)

I announce to my family…”No, I want to cook for my birthday. I want Eggplant Parmesan.”

The kids start for the garage door to jump in the Tahoe. I announce…”No. The grocery stores is only 3 commercial blocks away…it’s ridiculous to drive a big car down the road. I’m going to take a nice walk and grab what I need for some Eggplant Parm.”

They don’t want to enjoy my stroll. They are children and they have to walk 3 blocks. They…are…out.

Now – you have to realize – there had been a lot of changes in my neighborhood over the past 10 – 15 years – and some seedy elements have moved into the vicinity – not too far from my home. But, I wasn’t thinking about it that way. After all, I had walked through the Pigalle area of Paris – and right past some, glaringly obvious cabarets. Anyway…me and my big hair, screaming red lipstick, bigger than yo’ face black Audrey sunglasses, ginormous fake fur, black patent killer boots with the big silver buckle thing on the side…

…all that and a bag of chips…walk out the front door and down to the main street…feeling happy about my birthday…(singing…”Eggplant, Eggplant – here I come – going to make some Parm-e-san!” and straight to the traffic light. Pushed the crosswalk indicator thingy. I’m standing there waiting.

A middle-aged, white man – in an Escalade and suit – pulls up. Smiles at me. I smile back. I’m thinking…”Do I know this person?”…”Oh, crap! I don’t know who this is?”…”Crap”…”Maybe this guy needs directions.” I’m so stupid.

“How much?” he asks.

I’m stumped, “How much what?”

“How much? He starts looking around. Get’s hurried…watching the light. “HOW MUCH?”

It hits me. “You think I’m a hooker?”…”YOU THINK I’M A…I’M A…HOOKER?”…”YOU ARE TRYING TO…WHAT…WHAT IS YOUR NAME?”…”I’M GETTING YOUR LICENSE PLATE NUMBER AND CALLING YOUR WIFE, YOU NASTY, DISEASE RIDDEN, CHEATING ASSHOLE, PIECE OF S&%#!!!!!!!”

That man who is somebody’s husband can’t get the window up fast enough – and like a dipshit actually waits for the light to turn…obviously freaking out…because I am yelling all of this through his window. He can’t get away fast enough.

I hope he crapped his pants.

Anyway – I stop by Starbucks on my way to Tom Thumb…ask my favorite barristas…”Do I look like a prostitute in this outfit?” And, Sebastian says…”Girl, you look fabulous…you look gorgeous…you don’t look like a prostitute…but if you did…you could charge a lot of money!” I think that was supposed to be a compliment.

That only pacified me long enough to get my Iced, Vanilla Latte and head over to Tom Thumb. I wasn’t okay. I tell my encounter to the next person I can tell who understands me…(my butcher)…

“Blaine, do I look like a prostitute in this outfit?” (Blaine is the butcher in the meat department who I’ve known forever – and he isn’t French – but, he’s from Louisiana and he’s Cajun. That’s close enough for me. During my Martha Stewart years – I’d have him trim and special cut everything – and we talk food and recipes. He understands life.)

Blaine the Butcher started laughing so hard that he had to sit down on the floor in front of the meat case. Choking on spit and sputtering, trying to compose himself, he turns purple. This made me laugh so hard that I sat down on the floor in front of the meat case with him. Had a good, long laugh.

Blaine starting saying stuff like…”Hey, Miss “Cherry”, you better get yo’ ass out there and walk. Don’t want yo’ pimp to come in here and say…’Where’s my Bitch with my money!”…then, he starts going from there. Wants to know if I have a pimp scan code on the back of my neck. Decides it could be the fake fur – like I’m some Pootie Tang Wanda Sykes “Biggie Shortie” reject. It was probably the boots. They were great.

He tells the guys in produce – they just laugh and laugh…and then, hook me up with my Eggplant Parmesan groceries – added a nice spicy Cab – and send me out the door. “Happy Birthday…just remember – GET THE MONEY UP FRONT!”

It was a long, birthday walk home in my sexy boots and fake fur. Felt like the Green Mile meets Leaving Las Vegas meets Pretty Woman. I still wanted Eggplant Parmesan…had a bag full of purple eggplants and stuff…the sass had just been obliterated. I felt like I needed to scrub down with a loofah the size of a school bus. Instead, I got busy on my phone.

Walking through the door, my family asked…”What time do you think dinner will be ready?”

“Not quite sure, but I’m thinking it will be about 45 minutes from time we load up the Tahoe, drive to Downtown Fort Worth and sit down for our reservation at Del Frisco’s.”

I did wash my hands. After all…I sat down on the floor in front of a meat case in a grocery store…and that can’t be good.

I did re-lip up and powder my nose from the walk. But, I didn’t change.

Not this girl. Not one dang thang.

Now – sitting here 100 years later- just finished the Parm – going between the Cowboy game and an English historical restoration show. Just finished a beautiful picture of flowers for Abby – colored with my watercolor pencils and oil pastels.

Everybody in the house is happy, having a nice weekend –

Making a list of breakthroughs, blessings and alignment to God’s will. Back to Fasting and Praying.

Got some mountains to move with the Lord.

A sense of humor and good attitude will take you far. Life is good.

Joy is a great thing.

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