Extraordinary Eggs

April 20, 2010 at 8:31 am (Uncategorized)

What a gorgeous autumn we’re having! There’s been what feels like another long stretch of glorious warm sunshine and clear skies, and for those of you living in Sydney, I can only say: get thee to a patrolled beach. The water is perfect, but it can’t last. Soon enough it’ll snatch your breath away, but right now floating atop the Pacific feels like a state of grace.

My day started early, about 5 am when Llew’s alarm went off. He’s got rowing training twice a week at the moment – usually I hate this time of year with a PASSION because his alarm always wakes me too, but now that I’m already springing out of bed multiple times a night to skip to the loo, well, what’s another disturbance between friends?

[Just received this text from a friend: Just linin’ up with the masses for some FREE BEN & JERRY’S!

The Ben & Jerry’s store is down the other end of the beachfront, and when I walked past earlier, their ‘Free Ice-cream Day’ had hordes of people lining up around the block, despite there being four other dedicated – and in one case very fine – ice-creameries in the immediate vicinity. Incredible!

My response: You clearly married an Englishman! I wouldn’t stand in that queue if they were handing out the secret to eternal youth. But enjoy! Xx]

At 6 am it was time for my walk with my friend T and her dog E. It’s great, a solid 45-minute brisk walk rolled into a solid 45-minute catch up, followed by a swim. Bliss! And while I was all set to have breakfast with Llewie when he walked in the door shortly after I did, I was sadly out of luck. He had a meeting first thing, so instead ran out the door waving the banana I managed to press into his hand – bah, humbug!

Since then, it’s been another day of truly arduous redrafting and now I am pooped. I can’t wait for the day when I’m no longer working on this particular manuscript. Being able to refer to it in the past tense: now there’s a dream I can really get behind! Talk about an adjustment of aspiration. I just want it off the desktop. I think it’s progressing, but I also worry I’ve completely lost perspective. Oh well. There are a couple of unpublished MS comps closing at the end of next month, and I’m going to throw the MS into at least one of them. That means I’ve got approximately five weeks of intense redrafting left to try and knock it into shape, so while the days are getting shorter outside, mine are getting longer in. No matter: it’s SO SATISFYING at the end of a good day’s work… the only real problem is that I can’t see an end to it.

One last thing before tomorrow I try and find 10 things you don’t already know about me (thanks to Grad’s generously bestowing a blog award on DoctorDi, though I fear I ran out of secrets some time ago!): ever since Shuckin’ Charlotte posted a link to a YouTube video of Julia Child making a classic French omelette, I have been obsessed. If you are remotely interested in cooking, I’ll be amazed if you’re not immediately hooked by this demonstration too. I’d never made omelettes before, but this has now been going on for months in the form of an outright mania. The real addiction came much like a gambler’s does: I had a win right off the bat. My very first omelette was a total success, even though I was using the same dinged old frypan with an uneven raised centre that I bought from Woolworths when I started university in 1992.

My delight was untold. Something so simple gave me more culinary pleasure than I can possibly describe. The glow of accomplishment went right to the heart of my love of preparing food. I was in awe of this perfect omelette, and in awe of Julia.

Then disaster struck. My omelettes kept tearing. I cursed that culpable pan, I replayed the video, I practised so often I imagined I could feel my cholesterol preparing to launch a counter-attack. But never again could I repeat that miraculous feat of my first omelette.

I was despondent. And, like a true addict, I promised myself I’d stay away, all the while chewing the inside of my mouth and fantasising in vivid detail about the circumstances in which I would hit the jackpot. I don’t think a day went by without my thinking of the perfect omelette pan. I began coveting this item with a zeal that really ought to be punishable by law.

Then we found it (because of course I sucked Llew into this obsession too): a Gordon Ramsay non-stick 22cm little number (here’s the larger version), and it was love at first sight. Finally, my friends, I christened this perfect pan last night, and it is such a thing of beauty. Oh, the ecstasy (or should that be eggstasy?)! First came one perfect omelette, and then another. And when I turned my shining face to Llew, he said, “Look at you. You’re so happy you look almost demented.”

And it was true. I was actually beside myself with glee. Giddy. A bit off my head. And that was before eating the damn thing. So how was it? Sublime.

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8 Comments

  1. Charlotte said,

    Oh, how EXCITING Di. And hilarious. I am thrilled at your eggy addiction and your zeal in finding the perfect pan. I haven’t made one for ages, but am so glad you’ve reminded me – don’t you think it’s the most fantastically quick mid-ms lunch? I have never before found something that can take literally one minute to make from scratch, from fresh unprocessed food, and be soooooooo delicious.

  2. doctordi said,

    Charlotte, this pan comes in its own soft little cloth BAG, so it doesn’t even have to rub steel with the riff raff on the rest of the shelf. It’s the star of the show and it totally knows it. I *love* it – I couldn’t have returned it to its bag with more care if it had a pulse.

    Yes! It’s an unbelievable, revelatory mid-ms lunch. And these nights when Llew gets home late? Not a problem! Here’s a piping hot omelette and a green salad! It’s such a genuine ‘Hey, presto!’ meal, and as you say, really truly delicious. Swoon!

  3. Lilian Nattel said,

    I didn’t know there was a such thing as a pan that has it’s own bag. I’d write more but I am doing homework with kids. There is much pouting involved.

    • doctordi said,

      It was new to me too, Lilian!! All a bit fancy-pants, really – looks and feels very swish. The thing is, the HEFT is perfect too, as is the length of the handle. This is truly my dream omelette pan. It was expensive, but given it’s my first frying pan purchase in 18 years, I’m going to let it slide.

      Hope you managed to turn those pouts into expressions of pythagorean triumph…!

  4. Annah said,

    I watched the clip a couple of times, and then before I knew it, I was having omelette for breakfast! The “tablespoon” of butter at the start really makes it, as does the fresh parsley on the top. I always feel a bit naf sprinkling parsley on the top of things! Had to giggle as I loudly scrapped the pan on the stove top while I was vigorously swirling, a very noisy way to make an omelette indeed…but it works!

    • doctordi said,

      This is what happens, Anna. It all starts when you innocently watch the clip, then Julia casts some kind of eggshell spell, and… well, before you know it, you’re hooked, or yolked, or whatever you want to call it.

      The tablespoon of butter I have hitherto endorsed, I am an unabashed butter fan, but in the interests of everyone’s arteries, I must tell you I used an olive oil spray for Llew’s omelette (his cholesterol is high and mine – very unjustly – is not… I think I get my butter immunity from Lady Alzheimer. She used to put an inch of Danish butter on each one of her homemade pikelets when I was a kid), and it worked just as well as mine and apparently tasted just as good.

      So glad you tried it – and with success! Yes, it does induce the giggles here too, it’s so PHYSICAL, but I love a bit of at-home garnishing. I say, garnish, garnish away! Bon appetit!

  5. litlove said,

    What’s that noise I hear? Is it thunder? No! It must be Julia Child applauding from heaven. She would particularly appreciate the obsessive stance. Do watch Julie and Julia if you haven’t seen it already. Meryl Streep is quite brilliant playing her.

  6. doctordi said,

    Oh yes, LL, I enjoyed Meryl in the film very much, I thought she was great. It really made me want to buy the book chronicling Julia Child’s time in France, too.

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