My Spirit Vegetable

Madelyn Bullock
is a Brainfood graduate who completed the Kitchen All Stars program in 2013, Box Project in 2014, and worked on our Brainfood Homegrown production team for summer 2015. Madelyn is a senior at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School and she wrote the following personal statement as a reflection on what she's learned about herself in the kitchen and garden.

Food is my life. If  I were a vegetable I would be an eggplant. A vibrant purple with an absorbent flavor. There are so many possibilities for me, but not everyone knows how to use an eggplant. The power an eggplant holds is broad and unclear. My flavor fits in everywhere, but first let me make you a snack. 

An eggplant largely sliced and plated to perfection to get exactly what you need topped with a little salt and eaten right there. I like to call this snack The Truth. If you are hungry for more eggplant always has the potential to comply. Slice your eggplant and then coat it with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and some parsley then allow it to marinate and take in all the differing flavors then, combined with heat from being slowly roasted brings forth a mature flavor. All the seasonings and liquids I soak myself in add layers of experiences and the more an eggplant absorbs, the finer it becomes and I am still marinating. 

Even with those two diverse flavors, eggplant still has more to offer. I can leave you wanting more. An eggplant can resonate with anyone and adapt to anyone else's flavor. Eggplant can be put on a pizza or in a stew. I can fit in with Lloyd or Akua, very different people and very different flavors and yet, I still belong. Even though eggplant is underappreciated, it can still play a part in any dish and even be the main course. Eggplant brings everything together because it has no specific place it belongs. Eggplant goes everywhere; it has the possibility to do anything.


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