Egg Plant Parm

I have lots riding on tonight’s dinner. I love to grow eggplant but have never cared much for eating it. Nancy has assured me that she’s got this eggplant parmesan recipe that I will love. What I didn’t appreciate was just how much time and effort she would be putting in to making it or that she would be using that great, fresh tomato sauce she whipped up a few weeks ago. In my mind this was going to be slicing up some eggplant and pouring a jar of Ragu over it but she literally has hours in it so far; peeling, slicing, and then pressing the slices overnight. So I’m in the trap. I guess if I don’t like it, the answer is to quit growing it. For sure I can’t say it tastes bad. I’m also thinking that if you sprinkle it with hot peppers and plenty of parmesan cheese, how bad can it be?

Three weeks into it, the Virgin Mobile broadband network is getting the job done with the minimum capacity, 300 mbytes per month, being more than we actually use. The only issue is that the signal strength is always weaker than I’d like. It’s consistently “one bar” and I’m sure that manifests as slower data rates than possible. I did a bit of research to see if there’s a way to enhance the signal and there might be a solution. Turns out there are external antennas available with nice signal gain. One in particular looks great because it has a magnetic mount, perfect for attachment to our steel roof and the roof provides a perfect ground plane for the antenna. It claims a gain of 9db which is on the order of 10x amplification. I don’t know whether that equates to 3 bars or what but it has to be better than what we have now and it’s worth the $40 it cost (including shipping) to find out.

My grass plugging experiment has worked out well so far and I added another 3 trays of plugs to the project – 18 plugs per tray. That takes care of another 100SF or so and I think that will be it for a couple of months. I want to keep on top of new weed growth and if I get too much started, the weeding will be overwhelming in July and August. The first batch has been in for a month and the runners are closing up the spaces in between the plugs nicely – much quicker than I had remembered. If the new plugs do as well, the entire area should be fully covered by Labor Day. We’re finally getting a break from the dry weather so I don’t have to nurse it along water wise. We’re back in that pattern where it’s raining all around us but somehow missing us.

Good news – the egg plant parm was excellent. I didn’t have to fake it at all. I had tried it before and it was always too mushy for me but the way Nancy fixed it solved that problem totally. The nice thing about the plants are that they handle heat very well so next year……………..

Good news and bad news on the antenna. It came today, a few days before I expected it. The bad news is that the signal is still only one bar; the good news is that I found another location in the house where the signal is consistently 2 bars and sometimes 3 when attached to the antenna. It means rearranging furniture – that would be heavy furniture – and I’m not sure whether it’s really worth breaking my back for a couple of bars. I’m going to try it for a week or so in my old location with just the single bar displaying and see if there’s any improvement in the data speed. Nancy tried it already and she’s convinced it’s faster.

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