As it turns out, I didn’t use either of the two cookbooks I bought, nor the shelf-full of cookbooks that we had, nor the NomNomPaleo app on the iPad. I decided that good cookery should involve spur of the moment inspiration. And by spur of the moment inspiration, I mean that my husband asked me to pick up milk and butter at Costco and I promptly brought home three gallons of milk and two dozen eggs, which I put into the refrigerator next to the three dozen eggs that he bought the day before. So the inspiration here is: I need to use up some eggs, y’all. I thought to myself: Frittata! I have so much French blood flowing through these veins, surely I will intuitively make an amazing frittata. Wait… is a frittata French? Let’s not look that up. Let’s just roll with it.
It was the end of the week, and I felt that Friday was an excellent day to begin cooking. After picking up the kids from school, we headed to the grocery store where I needed ingredients for my frittata… except eggs. I was so proud of myself that I decided I needed a reward. For attempting dinner Friday, I would plan on baking King Cakes over the weekend. I absolutely love to bake cakes, and even more I love to decorate them. For some strange reason they always come out splendidly, unlike my attempts at dinner. (This is also one of the reasons I was so pleased with my frittata idea. I mean if it’s mainly eggs and you use and oven, it’s BAKING, right?) So, with my mouth watering at the idea of my absolute favorite King Cake recipe, I turned down the baking aisle. Back to this ill-fated diversion in a bit.
The girls and I made it home, and I was congratulating myself and them on their good behavior as we shopped, probably due to the big bag of Pirate’s Booty I agreed to open for them to eat as we walked, but hey, I’m not above bribery. We headed into the house and I sat down with my oldest to help her with homework. My husband texted as he was leaving work and asked if I needed him to pick up anything from Trader Joe’s (which is directly below his office). I proudly told him that I’d made an HEB run with the girls, and I was all set. Then I stood up to double check my recipe and my heart dropped. I’d gone to HEB with the girls. I’d bought groceries. Groceries that included cream cheese for the king cakes. Groceries that were still sitting in the the back of my car an hour and a half later in almost 80 degree weather. (Hashtag: February in Texas). I went flying out to the car and rescued the groceries, decided that if the cream cheese wasn’t warm to the touch it was probably FINE, and put everything away.
I pulled up the frittata recipe on my phone and scanned down it once again. “Cook until edges start to pull away from the pan. 5-7 minutes.” Oh, awesome! This is going to take no time at ALL. I’ll just wait until Eric’s almost home and get it started, so it will be hot. He texted from a couple of miles out, so I pulled out the ingredients and started chopping onions. As I pulled out the spinach, my brain said: “Mmm… Spinach and feta… so good.” Wait. Feta. The feta I went to the store to get… but then I decided to make king cakes and… dammit. I texted Eric and asked him if he could pick up feta right as his key turned in the lock of the front door. He graciously offered to run get some, and I continued cooking. I had finished it all up and was feeling rather pleased with myself and impatient with him to get back, so I ran my eyes down the recipe again. “Cook until edges start to pull away from the pan. 5-7 minutes.” My eyes kept scanning to see if I had to let it cool. “Bake at 350 until set, 16-18 minutes.” ARGH! Eric walked back in with the cheese, and I sheepishly told him that dinner was going to be a while.
In the meantime, I poured the delicious eggy concoction into my Pappaw’s cast iron skillet and waited for the edges to pull away. The timer went off at 5 minutes and it didn’t look like it was pulling anywhere, so I sat down at the laptop to begin regaling y’all with this story of championship culinary skill. Some time later, Eric said, “Um, that smell is the smell of eggs about to burn.” Oh, FOR THE LOVE! I jumped up and went over to move the cast iron skillet to the oven. Funny thing about cast iron. It’s made of cast iron. Like all of it. Including the handle. Physics is real, y’all. Eric grabbed a dishtowel and gracefully deposited the pan into the oven while I shook my wounded hand all the way to the sink and plunged it into the cold water from the faucet.
Impressively, some pretty delicious smells started filling the kitchen. When the timer went off, I pulled out the cast iron skillet (using silicone hot pads– I CAN be taught!) The frittata looked fluffy and delicious. I cut into it and tried to scoop up the slice. Most of it came up. The rest was firmly burned to the bottom. With the second piece, I decided to get serious with it, so I grabbed the handle of the skillet to really get some leverage. Turns out physics was still working! (So “taught” might’ve been a strong word.)
I proudly placed the bottomless slices on the table before my family. After grace, my husband took a big bite, and said, “This is great!” You can’t believe a word he says, I think he’s trying to sleep with me. My oldest who exists on crackers and air exclaimed, “This is amazing!!!” Eric said, “She now officially eats more things that you cook than I cook.” I was feeling pretty darn fantastic about winning over the picky eater, until my youngest, who usually eats anything and everything, took one bite, looked at me with tear-filled eyes and spit a huge wad of half-chewed frittata onto her plate. To be fair, she was so exhausted from school that week that she had fallen asleep and had to be woken up for dinner. I’m sure that was it… it had nothing to do with the spinach that she sullenly stabbed with her fork for the rest of the meal.
- 75% of the family ate and seemed to enjoy it.
- I only made 25% of the family cry with my cooking.
- I just burned myself twice and the bottom of the entire frittata once.
Sure it was BASICALLY baking, but maybe I figure out how to cook after all. And also grocery shop. And read ALL the directions.
I’ve got this.