Eggplant is probably the quintessential vegetable in our times. Most recipes call for eggplants and it is also the most accessible in the markets. I love eggplants. If I don’t have anything to cook for the day, I’ll just get some eggplants and I can make it into omelet. Fast and easy and delicious too. There is a variety of eggplant though that will be tough to make into an omelet. It is the Filipino eggplant I featured in the picture. They are so skinny so not much meat inside. But they will be good in making “pinakbet”, “bulanglang” or “dinengdeng”. I’m sure almost everybody heard of “pinakbet” maybe “bulanglang” too, but “dinengdeng” maybe not. It is just a simple type of cooking in the Philippines, associated with poor poeple or farmers, but in reality it is a healthy food. All you have to do is boil about 2 cups of water and then flavor it with fish “bagoong”, a type of sauce made of preserved anchovies or some other type of fish. Then drop all the vegetables you want to put in like the Filipino eggplant, sliced into two, peeled and diced pumpkin, cut up long beans, and “saluyot” leaves (molohia) or “malunggay” leaves (moringga). Sometimes to add protein, a can of sardines will do or grilled fish, tilapia or milkfish will also be good to add flavor.

I can’t help but missed my formative years where if not for my grandparents, I would not appreciate eating vegetables. They also taught me how to appreciate the life of a farmer maybe indirectly as I watch their daily lives doing what they do best which is gardening and being self-sufficient. Maybe those memories helped me to be good in my gardening today.

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