I bought these neon eggplants because they were cool looking. They weren’t neon though. More like a pale whispered purple – a gentle pink. I don’t have the words. They were beautiful. I didn’t want to cook them because I knew the gorgeous color would fade into something ordinary. And in the end, the black and white versions won out.
My friend asked me if I knew what the eggplant symbolized.
One day I was at a friend’s house, just hanging out. Her sister was visiting. We were sitting around the kitchen table and some movement upstairs got their attention.
“Moolie?” The older sister asked. Then she got up to tend to something.
I learned that Moolie is a not nice nickname used by Italians for Black people. The mother was Italian. The father was Black. They affectionately called their dad “Moolie.”
Other than that, I hadn’t heard anything else about eggplants.
You know when a person begins like that, “Do you know what [insert anything that you’re about to be embarrassed by] you know the explanation to follow is something that will make you feel like an ingenue.
“Didn’t you notice it was one of the new emojis?”
“I did. I thought it was cool because it looked like the neon eggplant, not the traditional eggplant.”
She said nothing. I guess I was hopeless.
We didn’t eat eggplant growing up in my family. That became something I liked when a friend prepared it for dinner one night. Eggplant Parmesan. Delicious. But isn’t anything fried and wrapped up in cheese. On my own, I never think to batter and fry anything. When eggplant and I got together again, my preparation was pretty basic.
- Cut it in half
- Score it
- Salt it and let it sit for 20 minutes
- Soak up the moisture
- Coat it all over with olive oil
- Season it
Step 6 is the fun. The mystery. The reason why if I had a restaurant it would be called “One Time” because that may be the only time you experience something because I might not be able to repeat it.
I don’t have any pictures of how these from this particular shoot turned out. I’m sure they were good.