Adventures in breakfast cookery

Dec 4, 2015 By Robert H. Peck, Staff Writer

You've got to burn, er, break a few eggs to make an omelette

Removed both from college dining halls and Mom's kitchen, but still needing breakfast, I decided to make an omelette -- not a first for me in the eating department, but definitely a first in the cooking department.

Recipe for the perfect omelette

- Three eggs -- or, for the communist, one cup of egg whites.

- 1/5 cup of red onion, diced by hand. Mix with blood from a thumb placed to close to the cutting board. Throw in the trash.

- 1/5 cup of red onion, half-heartedly diced with lingering fear and a bandaged thumb. Resulting chunks should be too large, and won't cook well with the rest.

- Four jalapeno peppers. Make sure to get peppers with dry striations running down their sides, because Google says those are spicier.

- Thirty seconds spent mixing the eggs, onion and peppers uncertainly in a skillet with an unsuitable implement. Heat this mix over the stove on high.

Become distracted by a cat in the next room; pet the cat for too long, until the eggs begin to smoke.

- Rush in and extinguish the skillet's contents, transferring the charred result to a plate.

- A liberal quantity of hot sauce to mask the burned bits.

- A repulsed grimace, followed quickly by new resolve. You've come too far to quit now.

- The momentary half-wretch when the first taste of pepper and burned egg hits your tongue and your own body rejects all your hard work.

- A mad dash to the sink to wash your mouth out. Force the entire omelette down the garbage disposal at this time.

- Have some toast instead.

- Vague disappointment. Not sharp enough to really bother you, but distinct. This should linger for a few days.

- One too many plates of cold scrambled eggs.

- A newfound sense of determination, and another day.

Recipe for the perfect omelette, Plan B

- Three eggs. You had this much right.

- 1/5 cup of red onion, diced with a mechanical chopper bought from the store.

- Appreciate that we live in a modern society where this crap just exists.

- One jalapeno pepper. Avoid the peppers with dry striations running down their sides. Those have been mistreated, and they are angry.

- A careful minute mixing eggs, onion and peppers in a skillet with wire whisk. Heat this mix over the stove on medium.

- Ignore the cat and stay by the stove the whole time.

- As the omelette cooks, lift at the edges and let the runny eggs flow into the gaps so everything heats evenly.

- A growing sense of anticipation as the mix firms up.

- A quick flip that slides your beautiful omelette easily onto its dish. (This image should bring you nearly to tears.)

- A touch of hot sauce. Not too much; no need to mask anything this time.

- A hard-earned first bite.

- A decision never again to return to cold, runny scrambled eggs.

- Eat.

- Repeat.

Editor's note: Riverton native Robert H. Peck graduated recently from Yale University. He is a graduate student in the Iowa Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa.