Back when I was pregnant forever, and having contractions that went nowhere, I tried the various stereotypical "ways to induce yourself" in the hopes of getting the contractions to continue and getting Thatbaby to make his way into the world. This is despite the fact that none of these induction techniques worked when I was pregnant with Thatkid.
I walked, I ran, I ate pineapple, I ate spicy food. I bounced on a ball for weeks. Knowing the eggplant is often touted as being the "last meal" before people went into labor, I even made Wizenburg's Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille. And dumped crushed red pepper on my serving. The ratatouille did not send me into labor, but it definitely impressed. This was my favorite ratatouille I've ever had. In part, it was the ease of the recipe. This was the easiest recipe I've encountered for ratatouille, with just adding various veggies. And the eggplant wasn't overpowering, as it often can be with ratatouille.
The other labor trick I tried was a pedicure. I had a 2:30 hearing, and since we all thought I'd be done with work weeks earlier than I was, there was little to do in the office and my boss told me I should just head home after the hearing. At that time, Thatkid would have still been napping at preschool, so I killed some time by getting a pedicure. When I picked him up from school he was so upset I had gone without him. I promised I would take him on a special pedicure date after the baby came.
While I have often painted his nails at home, this was the first time he had them professionally done. He loved every aspect of the experience. It took him a while to pick out his colors, but he finally settled on glittery orange and glittery purple.
He's so little, he could only dip his toes in the water, but he was so entertained by the fact that the lights kept changing colors.
He was pretty good about sitting still, only splashing a little when his foot got tickled by the pumice stone, which he loved.
And then he sat ever so nicely waiting for his nails to dry. I love the juxtaposition between his glitter nail polish and his super hero flip flops. That's pretty much my son to a T.
Roasted Eggplant Ratatouille (From A Homemade Life)
1 lb eggplant, sliced crosswise into 1-inch-thick rounds
1 lb zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced into 1/2 inch thick half-moons
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
5 roma tomatoes, seede and chopped
3/4 tsp salt
3 sprigs fresh thymes
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
- Preheat oven to 400. Arrange the eggplant rounds in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Pour 2 Tbsp olive oil in a small bowl and brush onto eggplant.Flip the slices and brush the second side as well. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from the oven and cool. Chop into rough 1 inch pieces.
- Warm 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat in a Dutch oven. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally 10-12 minutes. REmove it from the pan, taking care to leave behind any excess oil, and set it aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally about 6 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, salt, thyme, and bay leaf and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the eggplant and zucchini, stir to incorporate, and cook until everything is very tender, 15-20 minutes more.
- Discard the bay leaf and stir in the basil.