Eggplant - Eggplant was sent by the gods to test us. It will soak up oil like nobody's business and it tastes terrible when undercooked. To successfully prepare eggplant: Cut the eggplant into pieces - small to medium chunks are best. If the eggplant is big and tough-looking, you can sprinkle it with salt, let it sit and blot the resulting liquid from the surface. If you've got a fresh, firm, cute eggplant from the farmers' market, however, don't bother. Start with a small bowl of olive (or canola) oil at your side and with a heat-proof brush. Heat a frying pan to medium-hot, brush it with oil, allow it to heat slightly, and then add the eggplant. Cook it until the surface of the eggplant is a medium brown, then brush some more oil in the pan, and turn the chunks on another side. Continue brushing and turning until all the sides are beautifully browned. Now cover the pan, turn the heat to super low, and let the eggplant steam itself until it collapses. Above all else, the flavors of cooked eggplant should be sugar & cream, not acid & oil.
Broccoli & Cauliflower - Eat the stems too! Cut the florets from the stem, then peel the tough skin from the stalk. Slice or dice the tender 'inner' stem, and use it along with the florets.
Chard - Chard is two actually vegetables: the leaf and the stalk. Separate the leaf from the stalk by holding the stalk with one hand and ripping the leaf away with the other, moving from bottom to top. At a certain point, the stalk will come off with the leaf. Cut the stalk in 1/2-inch slices. Blanch the greens in salted water and remove, but keep the water. When the greens come out, add the stalks to the same water. Blanch until there's no crunch. Dress the greens with olive oil, garlic and parsley. Dress the stalks with a vinaigrette.
For the ultimate peach pie: Cut peaches into thick slices and place in bowl. Mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 2-3 Tbsp flour. Toss with the peaches until well combined. Add 1/2-3/4 cup heavy cream.
Make (or buy if you must) a double pie crust. Put one crust in a pie pan and fill it with the peach mixture. Roll out the top crust and use a water glass to cut a big circle in the center. Place the crust on top of the pie and crimp the edges together. Bake at 375˚ in the lower third of the oven for the first 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 350˚ for another 45 minutes or so. Try to let it cool before you devour it.