I knew I was taking a big risk planning to make an omelet for the little one for lunch since the former queen of quiche and lover of all styles of egg has long been turning her nose up at anything to do with eggs (unless they are in cookie form…) but I thought maybe bacon would entice her to eat the egg… that and a healthy dose of ketchup. So, for lunch I offered up a thoroughly uninspired but filling cheese omelet, bacon, and Heinz vegetarian baked beans.
These beans are not quite like the smoky molasses beaked beans you or I might be used to but more like the ones you would find in the Irish section of the supermarket, in a sweet tomato sauce. My husband, being Irish refuses to try this version of his childhood favorite purely on nostalgic grounds. But for the price difference between an imported can of beans and a “home grown” can (both by Heinz, mind you) I see no substantial difference in taste. Of course growing up I thought the British version of beans was simply vile so there are no nostalgic memories of eating beans on toast at the kitchen table for me. My memories are more along the lines of forcing down the nasty concoction, which was all too frequently part of my school cafeteria lunch (I’m shuddering just thinking about it). I’m happy to say though that I have since expanded my palate to be able to enjoy these little tomato-ey legumes, particularly when served alongside a proper Irish breakfast (that will have to be another post).
The bacon, I am very excited to share is Stop and Shop’s Natures Promise brand, which is uncured, and nitrite and antibiotic free. I recently discovered it on the top shelf of the bacon display tucked away in the corner. I don’t know if it’s a new thing or if I’ve just never seen it before (since I don’t make it a habit to peruse the bacon shelf too often), but it has become a favorite. It has a nice but mild maple flavor and is not too salty. And of course the major selling point to me as a mom and mom-to-be was the uncured, antibiotic and nitrite free part. I can confidently feed it to my little one and eat it myself, knowing it is not harming us.
I have in the past struggled royally with making a decent omelet. The eggs always have seemed to fall apart and it’s turned more into a scramble with stuff in it. Recently I happened upon Julia Child’s PBS episode on omelets and had an epiphany of sorts. I was shocked to see simply how much butter she used in her omelet pan, but it really worked. Julia’s omelet slid nicely in the pan as she shook it, on that lake of melted butter and then slid effortlessly onto the plate. Whereas my omelets have always stuck to my non-stick pans, even with some oil. That was my problem; I never used enough fat. Silly me, thought non-stick actually meant food wouldn’t stick to it. So, a while back I thought, why waste that lovely bacon grease? Why not use it instead of butter for an omelet. I think I need to add a little disclaimer here that we don’t often eat bacon and omelets, so those of you who might be gagging at the thought of all that grease can relax. Also, with the pan hot enough, the eggs don’t soak up the grease and with enough practice you can slide the omelet out of the pan and leave most of the grease behind. You can of course wipe off some of the grease with a paper towel before making your omelet too. But I have to say that with the well oiled pan, I have not had a problem with the eggs sticking and I haven’t really even needed a spatula when de-panning (if that’s a word) except to just guide the omelet to fold over. My only downfall has been that I can’t seem to make my omelets perfectly pale yellow like Julia did, which is how they are “supposed” to be, but I don’t really mind a little brown on my eggs!
Today’s omelet was a simple Swiss cheese version made with 3 eggs and 3 slices of Jarlsberg, since momma was making enough for both of us. Little missy had about a third of it, while momma ate the rest. Missy’s slice was slathered with ketchup, just to be on the safe side. Maybe it was the ketchup, but she thought it was pizza. I wasn’t about to correct her because that meant she was eager to put the first piece in her mouth. Thankfully she kept eating it after that. The bacon she outright refused even when I tried to convince her that she was really missing out. But I think it’s a texture thing. The bacon is just too chewy. After most of the pizza omelet had been devoured missy turned her attention to the beans, which were in a separate bowl. I don’t know about you, but I have greater success when I present foods separately. This is when the messy fun began. She allowed me to feed her the first couple of forkfuls but then wanted to feel herself. At first she allowed me to guide her hand in stabbing the beans and moving the fork to her mouth but soon Little Miss Independent wanted to do it all by herself. She stuck with the fork for a little longer, managing to stab one bean at a time. Most of them even made it into her mouth. But soon she ditched the fork for her hands. Ah yes, sauce was everywhere and those slippery little things had a way of slipping onto her lap, where they wound up smushed under her butt. But you know what? The important thing was that she actually ate the eggs and beans. That was a small victory in and of itself.