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.


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!