This is a very complex and advanced vert skateboarding trick, much like its predesscor the Handplant. If you don't know how to do a Handplant then don't bother trying this trick until you can.

Once you reach the coping lean forward as you would for a Handplant, but tuck your knees up to your chin. At the same time do the following:
A. As you should already know, don't bail.
B. Place your front hand (left for regular, right for goofy) directly in front of you on the coping.
C. Grab the board in an indy grab as you leave the coping, but this time keep your knees tucked up to your chin.

All you need to do to pull off the Eggplant is keep your knees tucked. You should already know how to dismount from a Handplant, so all you need to do is keep those knees tucked and off you go. The only thing that differs an eggplant from a handplant is the tucking of the knees (you look elongated, like an upside down Eggplant).

Good luck, this is a very difficult trick, though it is still one of the most basic of the plants.

Hmm, Webster 1913 says eggplant is "allied to the tomato". How can vegetables form alliances? Webster means related: eggplants are related to tomatoes, bell peppers, and Irish potatoes. I read somewhere that eggplants are technically considered as a berry, which seems counter-intuitive, but hey, if tomatoes are fruits, why not eggplants?

Thai has the relationship between eggplants and tomatoes built in to the language: eggplants in general are ma-kheua, while tomatoes are ma-kheua thet, thet being one way of saying "foreign"; so, tomatoes, to the Thai are foreign eggplants. Something similar happens with asparagus, by the way, which is known as no-mai farang; no-mai is bamboo, and farang is a westerner, so asparagus is westerner's bamboo.

Eggplants are native to Asia; traders brought seed westward to Europe about 1,500 years ago. Before it gained in culinary popularity, eggplant was termed "mala insana," which translates as "mad apple," owing to the belief that eating eggplant would lead to madness. Thomas Jefferson, who experimented with many varieties of plants in his Virginia garden, is credited with the introduction of eggplant to North America.

The eggplants most commonly used in Italian, French, and Mediterranean cuisines are large, inky-purple and glossy; they are tear drop or globe-shaped. These eggplants are said to contain bitter juices; thus the slices are sprinkled with salt to draw out excess moisture and bitter liquids from the flesh. Certainly the slices shed quite a bit of moisture when salted, but I've never had the courage to actually taste it to see whether it really is bitter. Joy of Cooking says only older eggplants are bitter these days, and as long as you buy an eggplant whose flesh bounces back when lightly pressed, you don't have to salt your eggplants.

French, Italian, and Greek preparation methods often rely on frying eggplant slices, which can result in an oil-sodden mess, as eggplant absorbs oil like a sponge. Instead, try lightly brushing the slices with oil and broiling or grilling till golden brown; it's much less oily that way. Another excellent preparation method is to bake the eggplant whole until the skin is dark and the flesh is soft; then, discard the peel and mash up the flesh. This is the basis for the luscious dip baba ganoush.

The many varieties of Asian eggplants do not require salting, and are used in many different ways. I particularly like the long purple plump zucchini-shaped eggplants which some people call Japanese eggplants; try slicing them in half lengthwise, brushing the cut surface with a mixture of light miso and mirin (or sake, according to sensei) and grilling till the topping bubbles. (It's called nasubi dengaku in Japanese.) Or cut them up and throw them in green curry.

Thailand has several other types of eggplant as well, most of which have a matte as opposed to a glossy skin. I've written elsewhere about the strange and bitter pea eggplant which graces bowls of green curry. I am also very fond of a small round green and white striped eggplant about the size of a golfball and containing many seeds; this one too is added to green curry, or eaten raw with tasty dips. Thai eggplants also include a long green variety which is used in dips or cut into strips and fried.

When Jean-Alfred and I were living in Africa, most of our business entertaining was done at home. One of my standby dips to serve with before-meal drinks was “false caviar”, which I now know is baba ganoush, a "go back for more" mixture of roasted eggplant and tahini. Sneff has covered this, as well as his own recipe which highlights smoked eggplant.

One Saturday morning when I was preparing for the party that night, Jean-Alfred asked if I was planning to make “that nice dip you do.” When I told him I didn’t have any eggplants on hand, he offered to go to the market and buy some. Then he asked, ”What is eggplant?”

Jean-Alfred was French; English was his second language. His English was good but not perfect  :   he didn’t know what an eggplant was.

”Yes, you do”, I said, “it’s black and shiny and looks like a big egg.”

”But that’s AUBERGINE”, he sputtered. “I HATE AUBERGINE!”

I remembered this story last night when I was making ratatouille for a potluck. I ended up with one eggplant and a few tomatoes in excess, so I made a quick casserole for myself. In deference to Jean-A’s sensitivity, I’ve named it:

Eggplant and tomato bake with cheese

One large eggplant
Table salt
plain white flour in a plastic bag
One medium onion
Bland cooking oil (quite a bit)
One large tomato
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Scant handful of breadcrumbs
Several pats of butter
Grated parmesan cheese
Cutting board and knife
Fry pan
Baking dish

Slice the unpeeled eggplant/aubergine into 1/4" slices, stack on a plate, salting liberally between layers. Leave the plate on the kitchen counter so the slices "weep". Meanwhile, thinly slice the tomato and mince the onion.

After 20 or 30 minutes, blot the individual slices of eggplant on a paper towel. Toss in the bag with the flour. Start browning the slices in hot oil. Eggplant soaks up oil like you wouldn't believe, so use a bland vegetable oil. Olive oil would overpower the dish with it's flavor.

Put a layer of eggplant in the oven dish, then a layer of raw tomato. Soften a tablespoon of onion in the oil and sprinkle over the tomato. Cover with a thin layer of mozzarella.

Repeat this until you have used all the ingredients. Hopefully, it will come out even. Top with a gratin of breadcrumbs, bits of butter, then a layer of parmesan.

Bake in a 400F. oven for 20 to 30 minutes. Serves two.

Egg"plant` (?), n. Bot.

A plant (Solanum Melongena), of East Indian origin, allied to the tomato, and bearing a large, smooth, edible fruit, shaped somewhat like an egg; mad-apple.


© Webster 1913.

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