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I drizzle olive oil across mashed potatoes and set the pan in the oven to broil. I make a promise not to burn this like the eggplant.

I might have sacked the sad looking slices but one taste proved that the high heat had bust open the flavor of the spices I had dusted across them. I scraped the pan and stirred the now stewed eggplant into the sauce of my Shepard’s Pie.

The blackened eggplant deepened the color of the mixture and created a surprising richness, igniting the flavors of onions, celery, garlic, tomatoes and ground beef with an exotic earthiness.

I thought of the time I made Moussaka when Charlie was a baby and added in nutmeg and cumin to the salt, pepper and garlic powder.

Rule of thumb in the kitchen as in life: make mistakes magical.

When the potatoes were golden brown, I pulled the pan from the oven and set it on the dinner table.

I have never made Shepard’s Pie but with some leftover mashed potatoes on hand and wanting some comfort, it sounded right last night.

That’s awesome that you made this, husband said.

What? Say that again, I thought. Did you just say it was awesome I made this?

I did.

Thank you! The kitchen was warm with the oven’s heat and now, so too, my heart.

Let your mistakes work in your flavor.

Photo credit: Unsplash

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