This morning I made myself an omelet. It was an unhurried, conscious act of self-care. I’ve been eating a vegetarian low-carb diet. I still eat eggs and cheese because no one has to die for those. I’m not getting preachy about it – I just never really liked meat.
But this omelet – 3 large eggs, butter, pink Himalayan salt, herbe de Provence and 2 campari tomatoes wrapped around a triangle of garlic herb Laughing Cow cheese. “Vache Qui Rit”. The Cow Who Laughs. This omelet was everything right with the world.
The process is meditative. Waiting for the butter to melt just so. The soft sound of the whisk whipping eggs to a golden froth. The patience of letting everything rest in the small, shallow pan until it is ready.
I cleared the table and ate slowly and alone in quiet.
I cook for everyone every day. I embrace and thrive in the role of being a creative nourisher. I’m not a chef. I’m not a professional. But I understand what keeps my little family happy and strong. We eat dinner together nearly every night and we rarely go out. Omelets are special to me. Omelets are the doorway.
I didn’t grow up around my mother for most of my life. But when I was 18, I moved in with her. I was away at college most of the time, but when I was home I would make her breakfast. She always wanted an omelet with everything – which meant whatever we had. Ham or bacon, onions, mushrooms – light on peppers and cheese. Buttered toast. Hot chocolate.
And no matter what passed between us before or what was going on, the world would just stop so we could eat our omelets and talk and laugh. We’d sit in the living room of her little trailer, forks clicking against pink plates with little blue bonnet-wearing geese painted on them. There was no formality. Nightshirts and bare feet on the couch. Usually a B horror flick from Showtime running in the background or MTV when MTV was actually music videos. Making fun of celebrities and singers. One time she asked me if David Lee Roth had a potato in his pants and I shot hot chocolate out of my nose.
Omelets are a barometer of the heart for me as well. As I fell in or out of love with men I cooked for, the omelets would reflect it. I know that still to this day I cook with emotion more than skill. I may know the techniques, but I follow intuition and bend the recipe rules. So when I would start to feel caged or diminished by someone, any dish I made for them would be derailed. The omelet would be too salty, overcooked, flavorless and once ended up on the ceiling hanging there in a drippy, sad metaphor.
But this morning’s omelet was about me and this moment in my life when I choose to nourish myself with my favorite things. Solitary joy. Creating something with love. Savoring it with gratitude. I’ll be cooking for everyone else later.