Friday, August 20, 2010
Lunchtime Omelette by Janet
Homesick is a word that means more to me as time passes. It is so accurate. Distance from home is an ache, a malady, and in some ways it is also a beautiful gift. I hold my homesickness close to my chest after all these years, I don't cry like I used to at photographs of the ocean and my family. Missing home is something that you have to commune with once in a while, a wound that needs to be acknowledged and cared for, and when you do, there is a great and beautiful reward. The reward is the presence that you then bring when at last, you are home.
When I get home to California, I look forward to the people and places that I love, and I savor my time. All the things that I ache for are suddenly before me and I feel so, so grateful. The Pacific glitters like greatest jewel my eyes know. And my people, friends and family. When I hug my friends and tears rush up, I feel acutely how much I miss home. I miss the tender "ooohh" my friend Janet says when we first embrace. I miss my sister's ability to have a whole conversation while we are still standing in a hug, chins resting on each others shoulders. I miss the way Vanessa likes to hold hands while we walk. I miss the way my mom totally connects with my kids, she knows them as if she sees them everyday. I miss Rosina's laugh, she surrenders to giggle fits and I feel seven again. This is a short list, the people, the web of love and shared history is the gem, the sun at the center of my personal solar system.
The first friend I saw in Santa Cruz was Janet. Coral and I were invited to her house for lunch. She was slicing and stirring while we talked, and we were so happy to see each other again. Her husband Mark came home for lunch and we moved to the little outdoor table just off the kitchen. Janet put on the table an iron skillet containing a beaming, yellow omelette. She cut it into slices and the layers of color and vegetable showed through the edges. In the sun, fig trees and rose bushes draping around the borders of the garden, with my little girl and our friends, I was awash with love for life. And, love for eggs. Eggs are so purely nourishing and satisfying. This was a perfect lunch for kids and adults. And I think that sometimes a great, satisfying meal with only a little clean up and minimal fuss is important because it gives you more time to enjoy each other. An omelette is a great choice for such a time: breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Here is Janet's omelette (or torta) recipe and some omelette philosophy, in her own words:
The omelette or torta it is a great way to use up odds and ends in the fridge.
For this one, I sliced some dense, waxy potatoes thin and sauteed them in olive oil with some sliced red onion and red pepper flakes until everything is nice and soft.
Then I beat 4-5 eggs, added some sliced roasted artichoke hearts and poured the mixture into the skillet (cast iron) making sure there was some olive oil in the bottom.
Then, when eggs are mostly set, I took it off the flame, sprinkled the top with crumbled goat cheese, and put under the broiler a bit till set. I added salt to everything while cooking
Note: After adding the egg mixture to skillet, always turn the heat way down and let it cook slowly! No brown egg bottom for us! And, swizzle some more olive oil around the edges of the pan when the egg is mostly set but still a little runny on top, before placing in broiler.