"Do you like eggplant?"
"I. . ."
"Listen to this. Slice eggplant into one-and-a-half inch thick slices."
"Slice it parallel to its equator, or parallel to its polar axis?"
"Slice eggplant into one-and-a-half inch thick slices. Salt each slice on each side, set aside and allow them to weep for thirty minutes."
"It's making me cry, just thinking about it."
"In a one-and one-half quart saucepan," and here she starts to list ingredients. Tomatoes, basil, cheeses, and I say,
"Aha! The cover-up. Disguise the taste of the vegetable!"
She continues with the entire rigamarole, ultimately "covering the slices with the sauce."
"And that," I say, "is eggplant parmesan. If you'd cover five slices of white bread with the same sauce, they would taste the same."
She keeps insisting that I should take an interest in cooking, learn a thing or two, "in the event that something happens to me and you have to take care of yourself." Well, it's the thought that counts; and it is a loving thought.