Let me start off by saying I have absolutely loved being pregnant. LOVED it. Seeing and feeling every kick and poke, hearing the sound of her heartbeat, documenting my expanding belly, checking things off my to-do lists, experiencing this miracle of life growing inside of me…all of it. I admit to being one of those people who just beamed for the past 9 months, was too excited to sleep (doesn’t look like I’ll be catching up on that anytime soon!) and continued on with late nights, social activities and rocked heels until my feet rebelled. (I swear my ankles are here somewhere…)
But now? Well, friends, now we’re just about at the finish line and while I am still thrilled to be soaking up every last ounce of this experience, I am soo ready for the next phase. Her tiny laundry has been done, mine and Hubby’s bags have been packed, I made a candy jar for the nurses, we’ve had our hospital tour and lamaze classes, chosen our pediatrician, perfected the nursery, set up the baby things, installed the carseat…we even sent Mo for a grooming and teeth cleaning. Did I mention I’m ready??? I fear this could be the one time being a good hostess works against me.
It’s kind of like, we laughed, we cried, I glowed, GET OUT!
I have to admit, I never agreed with people wanting to rush their babies exit towards the very end. ‘Let them arrive when they’re ready,’ I’d think to myself. But now? I totally relate to the anticipation! I just can’t wait to hold her, and love her and kiss her little feet when they’re out of my rib cage.
Although I truly believe our bundle of joy will be here when she feels it’s time, the planner in me can’t help trying to coax her just a little bit. Because mommy knows best, right?
So aside from
chugging sipping the suggested red raspberry leaf tea and popping the midwife-approved Evening Primrose Oil capsules and going for walks, even in the snow….and other activities I won’t mention because my family reads this blog…is a recipe for an eggplant parmesan known to induce labor within 48 hours IF you’re at your due date.
A friend of mine found this for me (Thanks Kim Bogert!) from Scalini’s restaurant in Georgia. It’s been a success by over 300 customers, proven by their wall of baby photos on display at the establishment. Perhaps the theory is that the little one will have a taste and think, “Wow, that’s delicious, I must come out now and meet whoever made that for me.” Or something like that.
I thought of making the trip down south, but with three days (!) until our expected arrival, I thought it was wise to stay local. Luckily, they give away their secret, so I was able to replicate this at home. Now let me tell you, I instantly wanted to rename this dish ‘labor intensive’ rather than ‘labor inducing’ because of all the steps and ingredients needed to execute it. I wondered if the sheer frustration of standing for long periods of time…and setting up each component…and waiting a whole hour for the sauce to simmer and the eggplant to drain its moisture…and the big mess all over the kitchen was what would drive some women into having contractions.
Nonetheless, you know I always welcome a challenge, and I also friggen love eggplant parm, so I really had nothing to lose by trying. I mean, even if a baby isn’t guaranteed tonight, at least I knew a yummy dinner was! Besides, if it happens merely by coincidence, the power of suggestion leads me to believe this just may actually make a difference.
Fortunately after all that effort, it tasted delicious! The sauce has a bit of a kick, perhaps going along with the idea of spicy foods moving the process along, and the variety of four cheeses added a really unique touch.
As for its success? I’ll report back after the weekend. Unless I’m in labor. Then I will most likely not update my blog in between breathing patterns. Stay tuned.
3 medium size eggplants
1 cup of flour
6 eggs, beaten
4 cups fine Italian seasoned bread crumbs
Olive oil for frying
8 cups of marinara sauce (see recipe below)
1/2 cup of grated Romano cheese
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 lbs of mozzarella cheese shredded
2 cups of ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
3 tablespoons of olive oil
8 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
1 cup onions chopped
1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
1/8 cup of fresh chopped sweet basil
Pinch of thyme
Pinch of rosemary
One teaspoon salt
One teaspoon black pepper
Instructions for Sauce:
Drizzle olive oil into a large pot and sauté onions for a few minutes.
Add garlic and saute for another minute.
Pour in tomatoes and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low then add crushed red pepper,
Cover sauce and simmer for about an hour.
Instructions for Eggplant:
Slice eggplant into ¼ inch rounds. I chose to keep the skin on for extra nutrients, but you can peel if desired.
Place the eggplant slices on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle with a little salt.
Cover with another layer of paper towels and hold it down with something heavy. This will drain the excess moisture. Let them set for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 375°. Set up an assembly line of your flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs.
Take your eggplant slices and lightly dust them with flour.
Dip them in eggs,
Then coat in bread crumbs.
Saute your eggplant slices in a hot pan of olive oil until both sides are golden brown.
In a baking dish, alternate layers of marinara sauce,
And parmesan and romano cheeses.
Continue layering until you fill the baking dish about an 1/8th inch from the top. Then, cover with shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake for 25 minutes. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.
Eat and enjoy before the baby arrives!
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