Kicked in the Omelette
Have you read Julie and Julia, or seen the movie? Julie Powell, the author and star of the story, is one of our first famed food-bloggers. I read the book first and loved it; I love the candidness about her cooking failures and meltdowns. The movie leaves out a lot of those moments: throwing gelatin across the room, dropping the beef on the floor, and slinging out curses that would not make for a PG movie. Which is what happened to me tonight. I had a Julie Powell moment.
Even though it would have only been the second week of my Monday yoga class at my gym, I was in the mood for a more intense kind of workout. Word has been going around the blogosphere about how awesome Body Pump is, so I figured I had to try it. An hour and a half after finishing the class, I still can’t feel my legs!
MAN, what a workout! I have never been that great at using free weights and have never held a barbell in my life, so everything was a completely new experience. The instructor was awesome and super motivating, and it really helped that the class was broken down into working specific muscle groups by whatever song was playing. I probably have the weakest arms of anyone I know (i.e. cannot do 1 push up to save my life) so I kept to light weights, but even then by the 4th round of 3 difference bicep exercises I felt the buuuuuurrn.
Since I normally take a class on Monday evenings and get home later than other days, I pre-planned to make omelettes for dinner. But not just any omelettes!
When I got my first apartment right after graduating from Syracuse, my Mom hunted down a copy of an out of print cook book by Delia Smith: One is Fun. Many American’s don’t know of Delia, one of the quintessential British celebrity chefs. My Mom owns every one of her cookbooks; her recipes are my childhood favorites. I cannot recommend picking them up enough, especially her Summer and Winter collections. One is Fun is filled with meals to cook for one or two people, and I honestly couldn’t live without it. There is a recipe for Cheese Souffle omelettes which I perfected when I lived alone and I thought, “Perfect! How could I mess this one up?” Jinx?
I could hardly climb the 4 steps up to my apartment building my legs were so numb, and I threw myself into a hot shower. I have a horrible habit of not giving myself a break; Z suggested ordering food since I was exhausted but I, in all my grandiosity, said “No, I must make these amazing omelettes!” It all started out well, except I hadn’t quite planned the filling. I always have ingredients on hand for Greek things (spinach and tomatoes? yum!), so I figured a Greek omelette would do. I also had a tub of feta in the fridge, but forgot to note that it was fat-free. Fat-free = does not melt well. And meltiness is obviously half the reason to have an omelette, anyway 🙂
I had Z season the spinach and tomatoes, which were microwaved in preparation to be the filling. I whisked my egg whites and folded in my yolks. I did everything perfectly, until I took the pan out of the oven and tried to flip it onto the plate. Then, this:
There are two things that I hate to admit that I am: competitive, and a perfectionist. But I am both, and this thing I had hoped to call an omelette was unacceptable. The pictures looks better than it actually was, which was flat piece of egg with insides spilling out. In reality, not that bad. In my head, with my arms still shaking, my hair wet, and my muscles begging for protein, it was the end of the world.
I shoved the omelette pan at Z and told him “I have to take a picture of this failure” (which I did, see above). Then, I pulled myself together for round 2. But by that time I was so frustrated and just wanted to sit down that I shoved everything half-assed into the pan, then into the oven. I decided that the spinach filling had ruined it, so I would put it on the side of Z’s omelette and hopefully it wouldn’t fall apart. The end product looked nice…
…but the inside was RAW! (I am picturing Gordon Ramsey screaming “RAW!!!” at me like he does in Hell’s Kitchen when the chicken isn’t cooked all the way through. Scary! I might have nightmares tonight). I was about to shove it in the microwave to make it better, but then I just gave up. Acceptance of disaster. Failure. We ate in silence.
I have been pretty lucky with not having too many failures since I have started this blog, but my omelette attempt is the perfect example of how I mess up when I am trying to cook. I’m not paying attention, I try to do things too fast, and one thing gets messed up and life is over; it cannot be remedied! I realized after I calmed down and talked to Z that the 2nd omelette was an opportunity to make it perfect, but instead I had decided it wouldn’t be good from the beginning. When this happens, I need to learn to take a step back and cool down before trying another round, and maybe I wouldn’t have to write about not just how Body Pump kicked my butt, but how an omelette did too.
Here is the recipe for this amazing Souffle Omelette. (Thanks, Delia!) When done right, it is wonderful, and I thoroughly encourage you to give it a try. And don’t give up if the first (and even the second) come out a bit wonky!
[Meal costs: 4 eggs: free! We had a coupon. 1 tub feta cheese: $1.34 (half price). 1 box frozen spinach: $1. 1/2 bag carrots: $.94. 1 tomato: $.30. Total meal cost: $3.58 for 2 people! But cost of dignity adds up!]