A poem to start off the new year (this tattered New Yorker page from so many years ago hangs by scotch tape to the wall beside my computer; I see it all day long):

Now, When The Waters Are Pressing Mightily

Now, when the waters are pressing mightily
on the walls of the dams,
now, when the white storks, returning,
are transformed in the middle of the firmament
into fleets of jet planes,
we will feel again how strong are the ribs
and how vigorous is the warm air in the lungs
and how much daring is needed to love on the exposed plain,
when the great dangers are arched above,
and how much love is required
to fill all the empty vessels
and the watches that stopped telling time,
and how much breath,
a whirlwind of breath,
to sing the small song of spring.
Yehuda Amichai (translated from Hebrew by Leon Wieseltier)

I have an MFA in Writing from Goddard College and two published books of poetry but I don’t think in poetic line, form, or cadence anymore. Perhaps I’d be better off if I did.

And, on a lighter note this Monday morning after the turn to a new year, here’s the eggplant recipe, requested by a faithful reader of my blog (thank you!). The recipe comes from Claire’s Corner Copia in New Haven, Connecticut:

Eggplant with Mascarpone

1/2 c. flour for dredging
3 eggs
2 T. chopped parsley
2 T. grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. oil for frying
1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch rounds
4 c. marinara sauce (I prefer Don Pepino pizza sauce)
8 oz. mascarpone or whipped cream cheese
15-20 spinach leaves, rinsed, drained, tough stems removed

Beat the eggs in a bowl, then add parsley, parmesan, salt and pepper. Dredge eggplant slices in flour (I use white-whole-wheat), then in the egg mixture, then fry in the oil for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Drain slices on paper towel.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour marinara sauce in a glass baking dish. Hold an eggplant slice in your hand spoon a tablespoon of mascarpone onto one half. Place 1-2 spinach leaves on top of the cheese. Fold the top half of the eggplant slice over the filling, pressing lightly to hold together. Set seam-side down on the sauce and repeat with all eggplant, making sure not to stuff baking dish beyond a single layer. Bake about 30 minutes, until sauce and cheese are heated through.

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