Dinner prospects couldn't have looked better.
I had chicken jus, chicken fat, and a fresh chicken of the woods mushroom harvested from the woods behind T&F HQ. I also had a can of coconut milk and an heirloom eggplant from Allandale Farm -- a Louisiana Green -- plus plenty of spices, fresh cilantro, scallion, and my go-to dried noodles. By all accounts, it should have made for a bangin' curry.
It was not, and I blame the Louisiana Green. The eggplant was gaggingly bitter and made my tongue prickle and itch in that special eggplant way. I would have just eaten around it, but like a skunk that's been hit by a car, its influence had spread.
The whole beautiful thing tasted as bitter and as mushy as the eggplant. I ate the noodles with as little of the sauce as possible and, out of respect for the slugs whose food I'd stolen, picked out the pieces of the mushroom with a pair of chopsticks. I was so disgraced that I couldn't even bear to empty the pot for another day, and so it remained on the stove, full of horrible curry, haunting me. It's final resting place was not my stomach, but the trash can. Hence the above photo.
Ironically, I had picked up the eggplant while researching an article on the resurgence of heirloom vegetables. My slant had so far been positive, but now I might reconsider.
It was definitely the worst tasting, highest quality food that I've ever eaten. In that one sense it takes the cake, though I wish I had taken a piece of cake for dinner instead, and I hate cake.
Recipe: Ruined Curry
Directions: Combine the freshest, most flavorful, heirloom, organic, local, seasonal vegetables possible with spices of your choice and equal parts coconut milk and chicken stock. Add a nasty eggplant. Serve over noodles. Throw away.