When it's not the pan (it's you)
Omelettes. There are those that can and those that can't. And here's my confession: for the past umpteen years I've been making scrambled eggs instead.
I don't mean to (obvs) but despite the best intentions, the eggs would never get a crisp bottom (and oh, how one longs for a crisp bottom). Instead, they'd squidge up together, producing the most unappetising lump of yellow.
"I call them scromlettes," a friend confided, suddenly making them sound way more appealing. But even so, I knew making my food look good would help in my quest for better gluten-free meals.
Yes, there it is again - the gluten-free card. I just think that an easy go-to dinner (or brekkie) for a coeliac is three large eggs, some chestnut mushrooms, a handful of fresh spinach and a red onion all lovingly pan-fried with a pinch of sea salt. At least, if it doesn't look like something you'd put down for the dog.
And then I had a revelation: it wasn't my inability to make an omelette - it was the pan. I'd got a heavy one (a good start, so I'm told) but nothing ever seemed to cook properly in it.
So the moment I heard non-essential shops were opening, I tore down to my local TKMaxx and headed to the kitchen supplies. I quickly sourced a beautiful Brabantia pan that boasted wonder after wonder that is quality cooking.
Dashing home, I had high hopes for my next meal. And you'll be excited to learn, I made yet another scromlette.
Later on Zoom, I confessed all to some friends, giggling at my ineptitude (me, not them - they are too kind).
And then I thought: I didn't give up at the first hurdle when it came to finding the perfect gluten-free cake recipe. I persevered for years. So I was jolly well going to learn how to do one of the most basic dishes on the planet.
I surveyed the pan carefully. Oil, I decided, was going to be my friend, so I sloshed in a generous slug and heated it up carefully. A few veggies later, it was time for the precious eggs, which made a glorious sizzling noise as they leapt into the pan. A few excruciatingly long minutes passed... Then I tentatively prised a side up with a spatula and...it had worked! An omelette! A real omelette! Not a scromlette!
I was so pleased I ran up to the garden gate and showed it off to some passers-by. Then I forgot to take a photo before dividing it up onto plates. (Oh, the forgetfulness in such excitement!)
But the best part was seeing two small people polish it off faster than anything else they've had recently, so not only was it a looker but also a tasty looker, which surely has to be the most important culinary criteria.
And that old, rubbish frying pan? You'll be pleased to learn it's gone to good use in the garden for the children's kitchen. I mean, no-one's ever complained about a mud pie sticking to the bottom, have they?
Do you have an "easy" gluten-free dish that never seems to work? Do tell all below!