There was a time, not so long ago, when my typical weekend mornings involved preparing a big breakfast of fresh fruit salad, bacon, sausages and freshly made waffles (gluten and dairy free, of course) to feed my hungry gang. My kids were fairly early risers. The youngest would trundle, down to the kitchen, still looking sleepy, around 7 in the morning. Then one by one, the others would drift down by about 10, just in time to help set the table. That was before my children started hitting their teen years.
Over the last few years, breakfast slowly turned into early brunch, served by about 11am to accommodate the sleepy-heads. When early brunch morphed into late brunch that didn’t finish until after 1 in the afternoon, I stopped cooking for the masses on weekend morning for fear I’d never leave the kitchen. :S
The current routine around my home on weekend mornings is that everyone fends for themselves for breakfast and /or lunch. I just provide plenty of options.
One Sunday morning few weeks back, I was sitting in my kitchen, enjoying a rice & coconut milk cappuccino when my 16 yr old son, Dyson asked if he could make himself an omelet for breakfast.
(Now, I have, on occasion, been told that I tend to behave a tad bit possessive about my kitchen. I’m not fully convinced but I am trying to be more aware of my behavior…)
I quickly told to myself that my first born was probably going to be leaving the nest sooner rather than later and I want to make sure he has enough confidence in the kitchen that he’ll be able to eat well. I figured, if I played my cards right, this could be a great teaching/bonding opportunity. In my most easy going mom voice, I said “Sure!”
Dyson began rummaging through the fridge and came up with a carton of eggs, several containers holding a cornucopia of leftovers, a box of fresh mushrooms and a massive hunk of cheese. (Not everyone in my family needs to follow a gluten & dairy free diet. I’m the only one, which comes with a learning curve about cross contamination for everyone in my house. I’ll write a post about this soon!)
I just sat back, watched, waited and enjoyed my cappuccino. I didn’t have to wait long before the conversation to begin..
Dyson: “Can I use these onions?”
Dyson: “What about the peppers and zucchini?”
Me: “Go for it!” I know my kids all have pretty mature palates so by this time I was intrigued.
“What ‘cha makin’?”I said.
Dyson: “There’s this diner that makes this thing called a “Roman Omelet”. It’s pretty good.”
Me: Not wanting to seem too enthusiastic, I said “Cool”.
Dyson continued to poke around in the fridge. A left over mild Italian sausage and a bit of marinara sauce was added to the growing bevy of omelet fixin’s. I watched, proudly as Dyson’s mis-en-place took shape.
Me: “How does this all go together?”
Dyson: “I want to cook the mushrooms. Then I want to put all this stuff in the omelet.”
Me: “Sounds great. Feel free to be generous with the mushrooms, I bought extra.”
Dyson aka “The Mushroom Fan”: “Excellent.”
I watched while my son rummaged for a pan. He went for the cute heavy, orange enamel covered cast iron, a great little pan, but way too small for what he had in mind. I know my kids hate to be micro managed, so I had to tread delicately.
Me: “You gonna cook a bunch of mushrooms?”
Me: “I’d go for the big nonstick, they’ll sauté better if they’re not crowded. Let it get nice and hot before you add some oil.”
Dyson: “I’m gonna use butter.”
Me: “Ok, but add some olive oil to raise the smoking point so the butter won’t burn.” I could tell I was appealing to my son’s love of chemistry. “Then sauté them until they squeak. They’ll release their liquid and it’ll cook off so they won’t make your omelet soggy.”
Dyson: “Cool. Thanks.”
I continued to watch as Dyson swapped the pan and put it on the stove and fired up the burner. He proceeded to cook the ‘shrooms (exclaiming that they really do squeak-he thought I was joking). When they were done, he looked at me and asked “now what?”
Me: “grab a bowl to hold the mushrooms. Add all your other filling ingredients, except the cheese to the bowl so the heat of the mushrooms will take the chill off the other stuff and the omelet won’t take long to heat through. Then you can scramble your eggs in another bowl. When you’re ready to add the filling to the omelet, put the cheese down first to let it melt, then add the rest.”
Dyson: “Oh, ok.”
I watched with pride as my first born put together an omelet that looked worthy of any diner menu.
I sipped my cappuccino and thought, he’s gonna do just fine.