Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Alternative Christmas Tree and Lazy Moussaka

 It's only been a week for us as downtown residents but it may be that's all it takes for me to establish myself as the local nut. Let me explain. There are some rules to condo living it seems, one such rule dictates the installment and removal of Christmas trees. Not one needle can be dropped on communal territory and no trees may be discarded either in the garbage room or left outside the property for pick up. So what are we to do? Well, we could of course wrap the tree well so as to catch all wayward needles and investigate where we might take our tree once the twelfth night is upon us. However, that seems like too much work for us folks. Last year, we took a vacation right after Christmas and decided to go the alternative tree route. Having a house back then, it was easy to haul in a large piece of ply, slap on a coat of blackboard paint and chalk on a simple tree outline, staple gun on the lights and voila. With no one home to vacuum the needles and haul the tree out on pick up day, our alternative tree was perfect. This year I had it in my mind that a branch in a pot would be our alternative. Today, I headed out to the local park to scavenge around for a fallen twig or two. (Here comes the local nut status part.) I didn't find a twig or a stick, I found half a tree! Okay, maybe not half a tree, at least that's not how it started out, but let me tell you, once I left the park and hit the streets and the closer it got to rush hour, the bigger I swear that branch got. What was a 10 minute walk to the park felt like a 10 hour walk home.When a young boy asked his dad what the heck that lady was doing with that stick, I knew things were not looking good for my rep here in town. As I wrestled twisted trunk and long unruly branches between pedestrians, around corners, across streets and ultimately through the apartment front door, wrapping a real tree and driving to a recycling depot didn't seem like too much work after all. I have yet to get the branch up to our apartment, it's hiding out in the back of our enormous truck (seems we don't do things small around here!) Tomorrow I shall enlist the help of Tim and Elliot, more as lookout patrol members, don't need the neighbours thinking I'm nut's too.

As you can imagine, all of today's shenanigans left me quite spent of ..um...pride?...no energy, that's it, so what is a girl to do but take a short cut in the kitchen. Lazy Moussaka was born. It is basically sort of Moussaka ingredients, kind of put together in, well, the laziest way possible. Enjoy.


Lazy Moussaka

enough bolognese sauce for 4, use your favourite recipe
1 aubergine, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
olive oil
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1 package goat cheese

Turn on your broiler. Place the aubergine slices on a baking sheet and drizzle on some olive oil. Evenly sprinkle on the black pepper and cumin. Place under the broiler and cook until starting to brown slightly. Turn the broiler off and leave the aubergine in the hot oven to continue cooking slightly.
Prepare your bolognese sauce or reheat if you happen to have some lying around(?).
To serve, place one aubergine slice on your plate, top with some sauce and sprinkle on some of the goat cheese. Repeat with two or three more slices of aubergine, layering with the sauce and goat cheese.
Top with some fresh oregano and cracked black pepper.

How lazy was that, I didn't even give you a sauce recipe! Tell you what here's a link to a good one, that's the best I can do tonight, tree wrangling is exhausting work.

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