Well, I’m sitting here typing in my Recovery Socks after an injury-free, bonk-free 20-mile run! 20-mile runs always seem special, probably because I’ve only done a handful of them in my life. Usually every training program incorporates one or two, but I can think of at least three times when I got hurt before the 20-miler and never did it. So including the five marathons, I can probably still count on my fingers the number of 20-mile runs I’ve done.
It took me 2:39:40, a 7:59 pace, just barely faster than the prescribed 8:00 pace. I actually started out with a bunch of 7:30’s and 7:45’s, but three drink stops at the car for two minutes each pretty much erased those. I had minor issues with blisters, but changing my socks after 15 miles—I’ve never done this before—provided a lot of relief.
After my awful 18-miler, then a week off because of blisters and a few subpar runs since, my psyche really need a run like this one. Still, Boston pace is 45 seconds faster per mile, and I was pretty tired at the end of this one, so there’s work left to do in the nine remaining weeks until Wineglass. But if it were easy, everyone would do it.
Classic Eggplant Parmigiana
The most recent Fine Cooking has an interesting feature. Two recipes—the classic eggplant parmesan, and an updated one made by rolling a bunch of stuff up in zucchini strips. I’ve learned my lesson about trying to roll stuff up in the kitchen, so I opted for the former.
Before making this, Erin and I had pretty much come to the conclusion that we aren’t big eggplant fans. The texture is just so spongy and gross! And the skin is impossible to chew. But we decided to make it nonetheless, for a multitude of reasons, including but not limited to:
- we love Italian food and won’t eat chicken or veal parm anymore
- the eggplant skin is peeled in this recipe
- the eggplant is sliced thin and fried, with the goal of making it crispy instead of spongy
- homemade tomato sauce is boss
- we’d never tried it!
As you can see, the post-baking photo isn’t much to look at. And by the way, I hope you’re shielding your eyes from the brightness of the plain white pasta. We almost never eat it anymore, but since I had the 20-miler coming up, I wanted to minimize the fiber and the corresponding chances of any stomach issues like I had during my 18-miler two weeks ago. Plus, come on, we were giving eggplant a final try, so we figured we’d give it as much help as we could!
I made this little video (1 minute, 37 seconds) about the eggplant-frying process, since there’s an interesting technique of using two spoons to squeeze out excess oil. But one thing I didn’t make clear is the cardinal rule of deep-frying. Your oil must be hot enough, at all times! If it’s not, either because you didn’t wait long enough for it to heat up or you overcrowded the pot, then whatever you’re frying will come out all greasy and nasty. Not good eats. So here ya go, the second edition of NMA-TV, raw and unedited (as if that’s not obvious)!
So what was the verdict, you ask?
We loved it! Well, relatively speaking. It’s certainly not chicken parm, but this eggplant parm recipe has prolonged eggplant’s time in our kitchen. The eggplant actually added a nice subtle flavor to the homemade sauce and mozzarella and Parmigiano-Reggiano, something I definitely wasn’t expecting. I was kind of thinking it would be more of a space filler. Fine Cooking, once again, comes through in the clutch.