Were it not for a fateful Saturday afternoon hawking wine & paella pans in the basement of Spanish Table years ago, I might not have met mi compañero de alma -- and were it not for falling for a literary-inclined chef, I might never have encountered Elizabeth David.
Now, I can't imagine life without either.
An excerpt (preferably read-aloud) from Ms. David's culinary manifestos is usually a good cure for decompressing after a hard day at the office, so to speak, especially when dinner is dawdling on toward 9:30 while some Sardinian polenta recipe refuses to firm up.
So it seems perfect that while walking in circles amidst the newly chic outcropping of condos sprouting from the concrete in downtown Portland, we returned to an old-familiar in the Pearl, Blue Hour, for an omelet & a glass of wine. As a rule, I very seldomly order breakfast dishes when dining out, but after passing our plates across the table I definitely regretted not following my love's lead.
Taleggio & truffle tucked inside a crepe-like buttercup yellow envelope -- sensational! With each forkful, I felt perhaps a bit like Ratatouille's seemingly icicle-hearted critic, Anton Ego, melting before a classic dish, elevated- yet tied to the apron strings of memory.
And while spring seemed miles away from the bitter wind that swept us into this lofty space, the neatly coupled daffodils on the table & towering vases of golden forsythia brought me several months closer. I was reminded to remind myself of one glorious vernal Sunday morning that Ken & I spent on our little back porch in Madison Valley:
We cracked the shells into a skillet, tuned toward that perfect
music of browning butter, egg
A recitation of Elizabeth's essay on the porch --
"It should not be a busy, important urban dish but something gentle and pastoral ...
almost primitive and elemental..."
An omelet in each hand two glasses of rose balanced
between us, overlooking our lilac tree in full bloom
the quiet concerto of honeybees drunk on sweetness,
hemming us into the morning with their wings.
I hope that a few gloriously golden-yolked local eggs (truffle or not) will inspire some poetry of your own... Bon Appetit!
OMELETTE MOLIERE from Elizabeth David's An Omelette and a Glass of Wine
Beat one tablespoon of finely grated Parmesaen with 3 eggs & a little pepper.
Warm the pan a minute over the fire. Put in half an oz of butter. Turn up the flame. When the butter bubbles & is about to change colour, pour into the eggs.
Add one tablespoon of very fresh Gruyere cut into little dice, and one tablespoon of thick fresh cream. Tip the pan towards you, easing some of the mixture from the far edge into the middle. Then tip the pan away from you again, filling the empty space with some of the still liquid eggs. By the time you have done this twice, the Gruyere will have started to melt & your omelette is ready. Fold it over in three with a fork or palette knife, & slide it on to the warmed omelette dish. Serve it instantly.