2012/09/06

Say what? (FFwD: eggplant “tartine” with tomatoes, olives, & cucumbers)


Warning: the post you are about to read may have excessive periods of rambling and be totally unrelated to the subject matter at hand. I won't be offended if you just look at the pictures and scratch your head in confusion...

As a lifelong resident of Upstate NY, I have noticed that there are some very clear divisions between “Downstate” and “Upstate” – of course, what is “Downstate” to me is probably still considered “Upstate” by the “Way-Down Staters”. Since I live within an hour of the state capital (which is Albany, not New York City – in case anyone is confused), the world of “Downstate” is often portrayed in the shadow of state politics – where at times, it seems like it’s a constant battle between “Way Down State” (i.e. NYC & surrounding areas) and the other 99% of the state.

I tend to ride the road of team neutral, so often times I just shake my head and wonder why can't we all just get along?


But sometimes, just sometimes, something so insanely absurd happens that you are reminded not to take it all so seriously. Like when something so right goes terribly wrong.

This past weekend, the first ever Bacon Fest was held in the city of Hudson, NY. Now, while I consider Hudson to be "Downstate", I realize that most people would consider it to be "Upstate" - which thereby sets the stage for what happened next.  

Now, what bad could ever come from a festival of bacon where a portion of the proceeds are ear-marked for a regional food bank, you might ask? And what could possibly go wrong with a little bit of publicity from The New York Post?  


That's a great question.   

Here's the answer - the festival ran out of bacon three hours into the event - six hours before the event was scheduled to be over. Event organizers planned for 500-1000 people (uh, it was bacon, hello - don't you think there might be some takers on that one....) and the crowd swelled to over 3000. And they ran out of bacon. Latecomers didn't get their bacon. And the event was tainted with the stench of bad publicity.  

Poor planning was blamed for the lack of bacon (do ya think?) and "Downstate" was blamed as the source of the surge.  

Oy.  

I am just glad that I was 90-something miles North - safe in the confines of my own house. I don't like being around angry, hungry people so much. And from what I understand, there were mobs of them. Which put into my head images of angry locals chasing away the out of towners with bacon less BLT's. Once that image was ingrained in my head, things seemed much less ominous. (Just to be clear, there were no reported cases of sandwich chasing. Purely a product of my warped imagination.)

 
I am not sure what any of this has to do with anything. It was just on my mind and I had to get it out there. Brain purge and all that. Thank you for hanging in there with me...

Eggplant. What to say about eggplant?

I roasted it and put a salad of cucumbers, olives, tomato, basil and balsamic on top of it. It was a great way to use up a ton of the CSA veggies that are piling up in my fridge. I served it alongside roasted radishes, roasted squash/ zucchini, a whole grain ciabatta and some rice.

The Dude liked it and didn't even complain about the hunk of animal that was nowhere to be found in the meal. (I can get away with almost anything as long as rice or pasta show up on the table).

The End.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. Other interpretations and actual impressions about this dish can be found on the site...

32 comments:

  1. Well this looks mighty fine. Did that hold together or did you have to eat with knife and fork? Next time there is a crazy dish I am emailing YOU for inspiration

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  2. I'm impressed, Cher. I couldn't muster up enough enthusiasm to make this one. We're also preparing for a big Elton John theme party on Saturday for my birthday, so we're making all kinds of other stuff. I have to say, 70s food wasn't overly inspiring - LOL!

    Have a great weekend!

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  3. I wouldn't step foot anywhere near a Bacon festival. Even here in flyover Cincinnati, the peeps go nutso for bacon. Crazy, freaked out nutso. Even if they didn't *run out* of bacon, there would be riots over waiting on line. Actually, your NY baconfest was all the news amongst my Cincinnati Facebook foodie friends. You know how we're (food bloggers) all done with bacon maple cupcakes? Well, it's still manna from heaven here. {Sigh}. Me, I like your tartine.

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    1. I would be afraid to be there too. If I want bacon ice cream, I'll make it myself!Thank you very much. Crowds kind of freak me out, country girl that I am...

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  4. The Dude ate this without a complaint? I think we'd have a revolt if I served this for dinner...LOL. Happy Friday, Cher!

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  5. lol! I lived in NYC for many years, and everything was upstate to me! Also - I think a lot can go wrong with publicity from the Post!!! Poor bacon fest.

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  6. I like how you used Kalamata olives (I used black myself). And, it's odd how territorial people can be. Folks from Alaska call everyone else "the lower 48".

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  7. I wonder how even the dude liked this one and I didn´t ... nice pics Cher! I love your bacon ramblings and brain images. Have a great weekend!

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  8. Ooh, I'd be a "Way Down Stater." I didn't know that. lol I have family in Peekskill, which we always called Upstate. There's Upstate, and then there's UPSTATE (I'd prefer italics there, but can't seem to make it work). Love the idea of a bacon fest, though. Poor, baconless bacon-fest.

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    1. That's okay, I am sure the folk up in Plattsburg and Malone probably consider the Adirondacks Downstate :-)

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  9. Our tiny little town had a BBQ festival and ran out of tickets by which you could actually taste the bbq, and had only a couple o vendors because of some ridiculous new rules on selling food on the street designed to protect the local restaurants located on the street where the festival was held...none of which sell bbq. Sigh. Not the result of bad publicity but sadly I've taken to avoiding any of these sorts of food festivals since the planners seem to only want to use them to draw people into an area to shop, not eat the food they are showcasing. Sorry for the rant. Your tartine looks great - especially those super ripe tomatoes!

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  10. I embrace both the north and the south. I live in Westchester County and summer in the Adirondacks. New York is a wonderfully diverse state. More so than my native CT. Have you tried to get on the Dorie site today. I can't get it to load?

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  11. I think there's definitely a connection to be made in your post - now I want to add bacon to the "tartines" next time. Yours look good. I like the chunkiness of the salad.

    I can relate to the downstate/upstate thing a little - I balk when people say that Vancouver is part of the Pacific Northwest. We're at the very southwestern edge of the province. Is the rest of British Columbia invisible? ;)

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  12. Funny story about bacon Cher! I guess the fact of the benefit for the food bank got lost in the baconless rampage:) Your tartines look delicious.

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  13. You almost lost me in the first graph but I re-read it and, of course it may perfect sense. Is there something here that reeks of bringing home the bacon but forgetting to put it in the pan? No, that doesn't work, does it? Being an Iowa girl always a bit of a "porker" myself, a little chubby, I think a bacon shortage is serious stuff. Loved your pretty Eggplant tartine and your entire meal sounded delicious.

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  14. Coming from NJ and having lived on Long Island for 20 years…I consider everything outside of the City and Long Island to be upstate!! I don’t think I would ever enjoy a bacon fest…but my husband would be in heaven!
    Your tartines look lovely…beautiful photos!! Glad you enjoyed them!! Happy Friday, Cher!!

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  15. The tartine looks fantastic:) It sounds as if you had a delicious feast with all the roasted veggies. Hope you have a great weekend:)

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  16. Your dish looks terrific. I agree, staying away from the bacon-fest seems prudent. Anything with bacon makes people crazy!

    I liked this too, and learned a bit about baking eggplant, so it was fun!! Looks delish!

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  17. I love how you think on your feet my friend, so cool and collected :D
    Beautful!

    Cheers
    CCU

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  18. What a very entertaining post, Cher, I enjoyed reading it - you do not know that yet but by reading your posts, I always get the feeling that I "am doing something" to improve my rather inadequte English language skills, in a good way...

    And your aubergine tartine look like a little bit of summer goodness on a plate, wonderful!

    Have a great weekend!

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  19. Okay, I am way confused on the upstate downstate thing in NY! My chances of getting it right are nil, I'm here to tell you. But as long as you have it down, that's all that matters. Oh, no on the bacon woes! Your eggplant dish looks stunningly beautiful. Just screams summer!

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  20. Great post Cher, funny as usual. Your tartine looks so good. We enjoyed this and have been enjoying the leftover topping on just about any slice of bread I eat. Have a great weekend.

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  21. ouch! or should I say oink! it's probably a good thing they ran out. in this day of eating the whole animal, that leaves a lot of pork chops leftover. and BTW, I like the rustic look of the big veggie chunks on your tartines. Thanks for the nice welcome to FFwD!

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  22. I think I've told you before, but you crack me up. Love the bacon ramblings. Also, the your serving plate for the tartines is quite pretty. Brilliant vinegar swap. I didn't think about it until I read that you used balsamic, but I think that's a better choice, less sharp that plain old red wine vinegar. Hope you have a good weekend, and maybe have some bacon...

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  23. Oh dear - poor bacon festival organisers. It ain't a bacon festival without the bacon. Nice tartine - I will try it this coming week now that I am back from vacation.

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  24. I love eggplant recipes and this sounds like a great and easy one!
    Glad you were no where near that bacon mess..it might have gotten ugly

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  25. Um, how can you have a bacon festival and run out? It's like the one ingredient that no one (other than the vegetarians) ever says "go light on the bacon or, please leave it off it doesn't compliment my dish" - anyhow, I would have the same feeling. The tartine's are gorgeous! Love the photography!

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  26. After reading about your brain purge on the subject of bacon-less BLTs I'm thinking wouldn't a few crispy pieces of bacon be good on top of your eggplant tartines? that's how my brain works;-)
    Photos look colorful and lively with the fun plate;-)

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  27. This recipe looks delicious! It has all the flavours I love!
    I love your photos, so colourful!

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  28. Yours looks prettier than mine! I could swear your eggplant is actually bread...

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  29. Fun post. It's always so entertaining to hear what's going on in other parts of the country.

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  30. Funny story. I once went to an oyster festival that only had one lone stand selling oysters. I was none too impressed so I feel for the masses who did not get their bacon.

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