I can remember a lot of stories about Mama being a tom-boy, growing up around all boys. That’s something else we had in common, I guess. I still cannot seem to live in a house that has more than one female! But that’s another story. As a child, she rode horses and bikes. She played football, basketball and baseball with her brothers. She wrestled with them and climbed trees with them.
Mama played marbles as a child. She was the county marble champion in the fourth grade. She won the girls match, then she beat the boy. So as rules go, she took his marbles. He ran home crying. Granddaddy explained to her that boys just were not as gracious at loosing to girls. She said that that was her first lesson in male ego.
Well, maybe a lot of that childhood was in preparation for married life. Moving to Rimini and having an instant family, she had plenty of challenges. Mildred Avin reminded me of an example at church the other day. Like most kids, Lee liked to climb trees. He did pretty good at the up part. The down part was his problem. One day he got stuck in the top of a tree. Mama took off her shoes, climbed the tree, and got Lee down. No small feet considering she was 8 1/2 months pregnant with me at the time.
She was also good at getting my brother so eat things he "DID NOT LIKE"! He was one of those kids that would not try anything... and he hated everything! He absolutely hated zucchini and would not go near it... but he loved Mama's Zucchini Bread! She never told him it was zucchini. Eggplant was another no-no for my brother's menu. When Mama made moussaka... Lee was in love! The ate three helpings! That was pretty good for a picky eater! Mama turned to Lee and said, "So you don't like eggplant. Hmmm?" BUSTED!!! LOL
2 large Eggplant, peeled and sliced**¼ cup cooking oil
2 pounds ground Lamb or Beef
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
8 oz Tomato Sauce
¾ cup Dry Red Wine
2 T Parsley, chopped
¼ t Oregano
¼ t ground Cinnamon
1 Egg, beaten
¼ cup Butter or Margarine
¼ cup All-Purpose Flour
2 cups Milk
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
½ cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Slice eggplant into 1/2" slices. Brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Brown in large skillet. Drain and set aside. In same pan, cook meat, onion and garlic until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain. Stir
in tomato sauce, wine, parsley, oregano, cinnamon and 1 t salt. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Gradually stir mixture into the 1 beaten egg.
Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, melt butter. Stir in flour and salt & pepper to taste. Add milk; cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Slowly stir into 3 beaten eggs.
In 13x9x2 baking dish, layer half the eggplant. Pour meat mixture over; top with remaining eggplant. Pour milk mixture over eggplant. Top with Mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and dust with cinnamon. Bake at 325 for 40 to 45 minutes.
**Substitution: If you don’t want to try the eggplant or they are out of season, you can substitute peeled and sliced potatoes.