Most of the times we can do better than our parents, since we’re keeping all the good things we’ve learned from them and ignoring, where we can, the bad things.
What made my mother such a terrific cook was her sense of the basic.
She made the simplest dishes tasty and memorable.
Omelets, peppers and eggs, scrambled eggs stick out in my mind.
Thinking of her, I today tweaked the “Always on Hand” page on the Web Site, adding “Aromatics,” listing scallions, onions, green bell pepper, fresh parsley, and chili pepper, as well as grated Romano and Parmigiana cheeses.
Without asking what kind, mom always reached for the vegetable aromatics, cutting them into a small dice and softening them in olive oil. Always and only olive oil.
What a smell from seemingly nothing.
And then ask, “What kind of eggs?”
Jump crack and drop for fried eggs. Or beat them for an omelet, adding Romano cheese, fresh parsley, chopped, and salt and pepper, and then pour the mix into the aromatics. Goodness. How could you go wrong.
Often, my mother would lay a slice or two of American cheese on top of the frying eggs and cover the pan. So opulent.
I remember eating fried eggs where the hot chili pepper made us tear with pain and pleasure. Eating huge chunks of crusty Italian bread to alleviate the pain.
“Too hot?” she would worry.
“Delicious,” always the answer.