Mary Ferrante (nee Taormina) was born this day one hundred and four years ago. A hundred and four…

Little Grandma is still active, still cooks, still cleans house. She’s still sharp as a tack and still speaks her mind. She’s great. And a great cook!

Here is one of her recipes we make all the time:

Little Grandma’s Eggplant Appetizer

  • 1 Med. eggplant
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives (black optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups thin spaghetti sauce
  • 3 TBS. Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBS. Sugar (less ok)
  • Chunks of Locatelli – to taste

Cut eggplant the size of French Fries. Place in colander salting each layer. Cover and weigh down to press out water.

Sauce:

Boil celery about 10 minutes. Add olives and boil 5 min. more. Set aside.

In sauce pan add 1 cup Spaghetti Sauce – thin with water from celery. Make 1 1/2 cups all together.

Add vinegar, Sugar and boil 4 min. Add cheese.

Dry eggplant on paper towel. Fry in very hot deep olive oil. To keep oil hot put a few eggplant in then after that put 1 piece in as you take each browned piece out. When all are fried, put in sauce. When sauce comes to a boil remove from heat. When cool, garnish with basil and mint.

(We made this at Easter and the first thing out of her mouth was “I usually add a little mint to this.” We hadn’t added it that time…)

Happy Birthday, Little Grandma. We’re having eggplant tonight in your honor!