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Last night I made my slowly becoming Infamous Eggplant Stacks for my mother’s birthday dinner. It wasn’t my best eggplant stack. I made the sauce from freshly picked tomatoes I bought at the farmer’s market and it was delicious but I quickly ran out. It boiled down so much that I should have used the rest of the tomatoes. That’s one of my biggest problems as a cook, sometimes I overestimate how much food will be made. I’d rather have the opposite problem.

Anyway, this wasn’t the main event. The main event were Julia’s Vegan Tiramisu cupcakes. I thought the center, which was Kahlua and coffee grounds was going to be disgusting, like eating the dredges of your coffee cup. But they weren’t. Somehow it got lost in the goodness of the rest of it.
This wasn’t even what I meant to write about tonight. What I really wanted to discuss was how even a simple meal of leftover vegetables and pantry raiding can turn out amazingly delicious with a good mixture of herbs and spices and creativity. Because I had some breadcrumbs left over from last night I decided to bread the sweet potato slices I was going to roast. Mix in tarragon, red pepper, black pepper, salt and some garlic powder.
I also made some vegetarian baked beans with sauteed onions and more of the same herbs and spices. These, along with freshly made basmati rice, were so good I could hardly believe it was just something I threw together because I was hungry but the pantry was close to bare. Really, this meal was so cheap I could have it for a month and not spend more than $25. It was also so good that I could want to eat it for a month. That is a good thing because I am about to be poor and still have to eat something.
By the way, have you ever noticed that the really delicious indigenous foods from other countries emerged from the poorest citizens, who had to make do with what they could, and had to learn how to make it taste the best it could? These are my new role models.