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Wednesday, June 8, 2011


"Always wear something sensible when cooking at the barbecue" 
~Lady Godiva~

One of the joys of summertime is yard sale-ing. We pack a lunch, a thermos of lemonade and start out early.  In our area, all the little towns have a city-wide garage sale day, so our hunting is concentrated to a small area, it really saves on expensive gas.  We have a list of wants and were pretty fortunate to cross several off our list this year.  A Boston rocker (wanted one of those for years), a small wing-back loveseat (watch for a post on that later),  some wrought iron hinges for our back door, we even found a pretty set of hand-wrought  fireplace tools for $20 that we were just looking at in a catalog the day before at a much higher price.  Sometimes we find something we never realized existed.  Like this cute little grill that looks like a toolbox.  Just the thing for packing in the trunk and using at picnics and tailgating parties.  It even has a cute little Scotsman on it.  It must have been made by the same company that manufactured those pretty little red plaid thermoses and picnic sets.  Here's our favorite grilling  recipe:

Grilled Eggplant Sandwiches

Slice  an eggplant into 1/2" slices, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasonings, salt and paper.  Slice an onion into nice thick slices.  Grill until nicely browned and softened.  Butter (we use an heart healthy olive oil based margarine) a nice crusty loaf of bread such as French or Italian. Sprinkle with Italian seasonings.  Layer the eggplant, onions, slices of tomatoes and some fresh basil.  You can top this with fresh mozzarella if you like (it's good, but not vegan, alas!).  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil over all.  Wrap in tin foil and place on the grill.  Bake until the crust is toasty and the cheese melts and the vegetables are warm and meld together.  If you don't have a grill  (or it's raining)you can broil the vegetables in the oven.

This is one of our favorite summertime meals.  And it is especially thrifty because we grow all of the vegetables in our garden.  As a matter of fact, we grow specific heirloom varieties, such as Princepe Borghese tomatoes, cioplianni onions, and an old variety of eggplant just so we can get an authentic taste.  It is wonderful!


  1. Open it! I wanna see inside! How cute is that??

  2. It has a nice chrome grill inside Matty. Doesn't look like it has ever been used. Must have gotten the outside scratched up sitting in the garage. Not very big, but you could grill up some hotdogs on it. The legs fold up so it can lie flat in the trunk. Can't wait to try it out!

  3. Dear Jane,

    What great finds! I'll have to try grilling the eggplant they were giving out at our favorite thrift store (though I'm sure it won't taste as good as home grown!).



  4. Hi Jane, what a wonderful find! I love the grill, what a clever idea. We don't have very many garage sales in our area, and I miss them. Here, when someone has something to sale, they bring it to the parking lot of our local mom and pop grocery store. I guess it is kind of hard to advertise and many of the homes in our small town are hard to find, tucked in here and there in the back woods. We don't have a lot of subdivisions. Sigh! But on the other hand it is also nice not having so many subdivisions. Yahoo! :) I'm glad you had such a nice day! I have never tried eggplant sandwiches, but my niece was just telling me yesterday that someone had made one for her and how delicious it was. I am going to have to make one soon. Have a restful evening ahead! And I just want to say thanks again Jane for all of your kind comments, they really are a highlight in my day and I appreciate them so much. Delisa :)

  5. That sounds SO tasty... and simple for a summer meal! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Marqueta, you'll love grilled eggplant. Mine wasn't homegrown either. The plants are just a few inches high in our garden. We won't have eggplants until August. Gardening in the north!

    Hi Delisa! We don't have subdivisions around here either. Thank goodness! When we lived in WI that's all the had. We were looking for a cute little town to live in, but all the had was highways with one subdivision after the other. This little area of the world is like stepping back in time. There aren't even any fast food joints. That's why a well packed picnic lunch is essential. But the do have diners. And one of them makes the best toast ever!

    Morning Brenda! Thank you for the lovely e-mail! The recipe is indeed simple, quick and tasty.

  7. I LOVE the grill!!! What a fun find. Those kind of odd things make my day when out "thrifting". I've done a lot of scavenging but have never seen one of those. Now I have something new to watch for - just to see if I see one.

    (Would be fun to tag along with you and enjoy your lemonade and lunch.) (-:

  8. You'd be a very welcome companion Sandy! It would be really fun in August when they hold the garage sale trail all along the coastline of the thumb. We have so much fun going down little dirt lanes to little lakeside cottages built in the 20s and 30s. It's like taking a trip back in time.

  9. I'm not sure which excited me most, the adorable grill (complete with Scottsman) or the delicious recipe! Oh my goodness...

    Blessings, Debbie

  10. It's really the cutest little thing, Debbie. Never thought I'd get excited about a grill!

  11. I've never seen a grill like is really neat.

    I love eggplant. Thanks for the sandwich recipe!

  12. what a good find! I love garage sailing! Going out this morning hope I find some good stuff like you did

  13. You're welcome Shara!

    Happy hunting Vickie!

  14. dear jane,
    great grill!!what a nice find!! i like grilled eggplants,thanks for the recipe.
    have a wonderful day,