19 March 2013


Last night, I surveyed the situation and found myself with a sick husband, two hungry kids, and an empty fridge.

After some rummaging, I found the following:

  • half a can of black beans
  • 1 small, forgotten green pepper
  • 3 good potatoes, 1 squishy potato
  • 2 limp, tiny leeks
  • 1 carrot
  • half of a cucumber
  • 36 eggs

That's right.  36 eggs.  We eat a lot of eggs and have them delivered by the flat-full every week.  They arrive covered in feathers and muck.  It's kind of great and kind of gross.

I wanted to prove that I was totally capable of single-handedly taking care of morning and evening routines at our house...even if the main cook was sequestered miserably in the back room.  I kept thinking about this radio program I used to listen to when we lived in Seattle. People would call in and report the pathetic contents of their "empty" refrigerators and a famous chef would calmly explain to them how to make a gourmet meal out of nothing.  I wanted that number.  If I emphasized that I was calling from the Congo, I would be sure to make the cut.

Image from here.

I decided there was one solution:  french fries.  When crisped up in some oil and salt, even a squishy potato can be reborn into something delicious, right?  I followed the Martha Stewart pre-soak process and got the fries going in the oven.*  I ignored the unbelievably annoying behavior that arises from post-homework, pre-dinner children.  I tried to figure out what goes with french fries.

Which brought me to the holy omelet.  A little fancier than scrambled eggs and a perfect hiding place for some slightly old cheese (hey, I cut off the moldy bits) and those two tiny leeks.  As I've repeatedly stressed, Johan is the cook in our house.  He is the one who knows things about eggs.  So, I turned to Cup of Jo for assistance.  This article, in fact.

And, now, I'm convinced that I am some sort of omelet savant.  The recipe was that good.

I mixed up the rest of the vegetable remnants from my house into some sort of black bean salad (using Smitten Kitchen - who else? - as a guide), set everything on the table, and lit some candles.  And by "candles," I mean "iPad" - on which we all watched Barbapapa.  Sometimes, it truly is okay to watch TV while you eat.  Last night being case and point.

Eating ethereal eggs + cheese + french fries while watching bizarre French cartoons with quiet, chewing children is an experience that every mother should have when her partner deserts her for a stomach virus.  I highly recommend it.

Image from here, here, and here**.

And this morning, I know three things:

  • I need to go grocery shopping.
  • I'm really happy Johan has rejoined the land of the living.
  • I make incredible omelets.

* I would like to note that nobody makes fries like Adam Sensamaust.  Nobody.  Even Martha Stewart.
**Read more about Barbapapa amazingness at the incredible blog, "Vintage Books My Kid Loves".


  1. Hey, a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. And then - Road trip! Shoprite!

  2. I love your writing. And the bits of hard truth peppered throughout, like "the unbelievably annoying behavior that arises from post-homework, pre-dinner children." Don't I know it!

  3. 6:00-6:30 is prime chasing, poking, and general button-pushing time at our house, Jennifer. Yours too? =)

    And yes, Gretchen, mom's who don't normally cook must rise to the occasion, however pathetically!

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