I shook the frying pan and jerked it towards me so the omelet would perfectly flip. I saw the omelet fly up about three inches from the pan. As it landed back it broke into two. One half splattered on the stovetop, the other on the edge of my non-stick pan. As I tried to clean the stove, warm egg yolks drizzled all over my foot. That had happened many a Sunday mornings.
While other people go to church or have brunch at a trendy bistro, I am at home practicing how to make the perfect omelet. I have read in an old French cookbook that before attempting to make a soufflé, one must have made one thousand perfect omelets. I have made about a hundred omelets and only thirteen of them were perfect, the rest was curdly or disfigured. My weekends are usually mellow. I had stopped going to bars and clubs on Saturday nights because I discovered that as I get slightly older I had become a morning person. I had lost interest in cocktails so I switched to whisking eggs Sunday mornings.
I only cook for myself. Like any other day of worship, one must look their best. I wake up around 8 a.m. put on my favorite deep v-neck shirt, lounge pants and head straight to my morning date, eggs, salt, parsley and maybe some Fontina cheese. I am a purist when it comes to cooking. The first time I saw a picture of a cheese omelet, it was in a magazine. The picture had a caption that said, “Eggs cooked with love and devotion.” When I read those words I immediately knew which came first.
I loved cooking. Cooking loved me. The affair wasn’t at all smooth. The first time I made New York Cheesecake for my family, the texture was sandy. My older brother told me, “I give it a grade of C.”
“I’m gonna burn your clothes tonight.” I whispered to myself. But I never went on with my plan. I believed in karma and I felt guilty for having evil thoughts. I was afraid the God would burn my future dishes as punishment.
My sisters encouraged me to be a good cook because they needed my skills to attract boys. They would ask me to bake cupcakes and pretend that they baked it themselves. But I gladly obliged because I would eventually use that ploy for my own quest for validation.
I have been single for a long time now. I date once in a while but my dates never go past the third date. The men I dated probably figured out that I was not yet ready for a long-term commitment maybe because my eggs are not yet perfect. That was when I decided to master the craft of the omelet. I may not be with Mr. Right but at least I would be spending my mornings with one of the world’s most perfect foods. Relationships happen when it’s supposed to happen. I’m not really the type of person who believes in the saying, "everything happens for a reason," but I do believe that everything you do right now is a dress rehearsal for future drama. Cracking the eggs, whisking, and flipping are all tests of patience and discipline, the necessary virtues for a successful relationship.
I had been getting frequent headaches that went from the back of the neck all the way to the skull so I went to the doctor for a check up. After some tests, it turned out that I’ve had unhealthy levels of cholesterol and my blood pressure was way too high. The doctor said that I should avoid fatty foods including eggs. My world shattered, I had to part with my long time Sunday companion. The doctor recommended that if I could not resist eggs then I should have only egg whites or Eggbeaters, the egg substitute. What’s the point of having an omelet if you’re not going to have the yolk? You cannot call it an omelet if it’s only made with egg whites, even if you call it high protein. A yolk-less omelet is a soul-less omelet.
When the doctor told me that I had to avoid eggs, I felt like I was being denied the right to vote. He did say though that I could have two per week. But my plan to practice making omelets in preparation for my future relationship was now ruined. It would take me years to master the omelet if my eggs intake would be rationed. I was hoping that my future long-term relationship would be divided into the omelet years and the soufflé years. I guess I have to think of a new dish for the new chapters.
If my cholesterol level wouldn’t go down, I would be put on maintenance medication like statin, the cholesterol reducing medication. I read that it has some side effects like Neuromuscular Degeneration, which causes nausea, loss of balance and slurring of speech. I already have a strong Filipino accent imagine how I would sound if I slur my words. So I was left with no choice but to change my diet.
My daily breakfast now consists of oatmeal, with a teaspoon of roasted flax seeds, green tea and I drink lots of juices, like cranberry or carrot, juices high in anti-oxidants. I used to look forward to waking up and making omelets. There’s nothing like seeing and tasting an omelet that’s so yellow and so soft with the melted cheese oozing when you first cut it with the fork and the toasted baguette with butter and marmalade on the side.
Though I feel healthy with my new breakfast menu there’s no drama in preparing oatmeal, whether it’s steel cut or rolled. You just boil water; pour oats, cook for a couple of minutes and voila, a high fiber breakfast proven to lower cholesterol but there is no foreplay in the preparation. Making omelets is sexy and when it’s perfect, the tasting experience is orgasmic.
My kitchen is not as vibrant as it used to be. You don’t hear the splatter of the oil on Sundays. The jar of kosher salt just sits in the pantry slowly becoming a rock formation. The stove and the floor have not been touched by cholesterol in a long time. On the refrigerator door there’s a picture of an egg and below written, “The Incredible, Edible Egg.”
I went out on a date recently, it was actually our fourth, and the topic of the conversation was the idea of perfect Sunday morning. He said, “a morning run, then a cup of coffee and fluffy omelet.” He then asked me what was mine, I said, “A breakfast of very hot oatmeal, a cup of tea then walking on eggshells.”