I’ve had a little ankle surgery. Just a small arthroscopy. Cleaning out the gutters, according to the doctor.

To get ready, I made one of my favorite freezer-friendly meals. It’s vegetarian, sort of a pain to make, but worth the effort. When I posted the recipe on Food52, I called it Swearing Like a Sailor Eggplant. The eggplant has been gorgeous this year and I suggest you put a baking dish full in the freezer. It’s a fantastic vegetarian offering and super for a potluck. I freeze it in small gratin dishes, just enough for the two of us.

But now that I’m five days past the operation, I’m having trouble sitting still. Who am I kidding? I couldn’t sit still for 48 hours.So, standing on one leg, two days after surgery, I baked Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies for my friend, Claire, who is at summer camp. I had a lot of fun putting together a care package, remembering receiving boxes when I was at Camp Osoha in Northern Wisconsin, and adding important items like nail polish and hair accessories.

The next day, fidgeting beyond belief, annoyed that I had to sit down, I made a three layer carrot cake. Stop judging. I woke up from anaesthesia thinking of carrot cake, and Stella’s recipe is so perfect, so delicious, so absolutely wonderful, I had to make it. And all the accessories, too, like carrot roses and buttercream.  I followed the recipe nearly exactly (I had no whole wheat flour, so subbed half and half oat and all purpose flour) , and got some coaching from Gail (@TheToughCookie) and Stella (@thebravetart) on Twitter.

Yes, It was a little crazy. Baking, frosting, and decorating a three layer carrot cake, but I consider this bait. Come on over for a visit.

Five more days until I can stand on two feet. I think I’m done with the baking heroics, but believe me, canning starts in earnest next week with peaches and tomatoes ordered, and recipes at the ready.

PS My blueberry pie filling recipe and story ran in today’s New York Times. I just love Shannon Jensen’s photography.

26 thoughts on “one-footed-ness”

    1. I grate summer squash, then squeeze out the liquid and freeze, ready to make into fritters or a quick bread. Also, scoop out the flesh and make a filling like the eggplant filling, put back into the squash and bake.

  1. I understand not being able to sit still. My husband calls me “pert,” short for “perpetual motion.” I hope you hang in there so your ankle heals properly.

    The blueberry pie filling sounds divine. I already copied the recipe. I may even use it for huckleberries. How great to have your recipe in the NY Times. Congratulations!

  2. Oh, how I can relate to your current situation! I had foot surgery a few years ago. I’d stand in the kitchen on one foot, other one on the counter to keep it elevated. Look forward to hearing about your canning adventures next week. I’ll think about you while I can tomatoes from my garden today. BTW, gorgeous cake 😉

  3. Loved the blueberry pie recipe, but I tripled it — and only got 4 quarts instead of 6. Any idea what when wrong????

    1. The recipe can be doubled, but not tripled. When you have that large a batch, in order to get it to temperature, too much of the liquid cooks off, leaving you with a lower yield. Remember, safe canning often means multiple batches.

      1. In that case, I’ll do a double batch in one pan and a single batch in another. It seemed such a waste to fill the canner with THAT MUCH water to do 2 or 4 quarts!

  4. Hi Cathy –

    Any reason not to roast the eggplant rather than boiling them? Just curious…

    Planning on trying this with eggplant and tomatoes from my garden – I’m actually almost overrun by eggplant this year!


    1. Because you want the skin to remain (mostly) whole, for stuffing, I think boiling is easier. But I could be wrong! Why not give the roasting a try and let me know?

  5. Di they at least give you one of those nifty mobility scooters? I can picture you banging around the kitchen on it, making 8-point turns while the dog freaks out.

    I made a French-style berry-on-pastry-cream tart the other night. Might be my absolute favorite, and better than cake I think.

    1. I do have a mobility scooter! I wish I had a horn. I do make many pointed turns, the dog hates it, and I wish it was an All-Terrain-Vehicle, as I’ve been stuck in the house for a week. But oh well.
      I’ve always been more of a tart or pie person, but this cake is pretty divine.

  6. Loved the Blueberry article and your blog. Wonder if you have any pie tips using frozen cherries or blueberries? Do you have more control with your canned filling? Thanks, Barbara

    1. Hi Barbara, Definitely, there’s more control with a canned filling than frozen fruit. I always had runny pies using frozen fruit, but got the best results using the same (essential) recipe for cherry, peach or berry pie even when using frozen fruit. Use the fruit as close to frozen as possible, rather than letting it defrost completely, refreeze the uncooked pie for one hour before baking, and start baking at 425° – really high – for the first 25 min.

  7. Hi Cathy! I should be convalescing with you – my shoulder needs surgery – but I am putting it off as long as I can – a decision I know I will regret but will just have to live with. Life is just too busy!

    I am just cracking about about that cake! Love it. Can I send my DC nephew over for a slice :-). And I can’t wait to read your latest NY Times piece – love blueberries!

    Thanks for the inspiration by the way – for that Food52 Yotam Ottolenghi eggplant/polenta recipe yesterday – I made it last night! Will check out your other freezer-friendly eggplant recipe as well. Got to get ready for the hectic pace of the coming school year…

    Convalesce quickly my dear!

  8. Heard you on The Splendid Table podcast, gotta try those Sunshine Pickles. Wish I could relate to the perpetual motion bit, but I’ve at least got a lot more stamina and energy since losing 75lbs (and still counting down). Your website makes me wish I could retire and cook all the time! Thanks mucho!!

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