COLUMN: Definitely not a frittata

Mom made everything from scratch using recipes she recalled from memory.

When I was a kid, the kitchen belonged to my mother.

My sister and I were expected to set and clear the table and wash and dry the dishes (no dishwasher,) but the planning and cooking of meals was done by Mom and Mom alone.

Not only were we discouraged from cooking, we would get tossed out of the kitchen if we happened to meander through during meal preparation.

Mom made everything from scratch using recipes she recalled from memory.

When suppertime rolled around, all the mothers on our street would hang out their back door and call us kids home.

We had to listen carefully for our own mother’s particular holler because if we dawdled, we’d get a tongue lashing (and maybe even a well-placed swat if supper had gotten cold in the meantime).

I remember running home when we heard our own personal bellow and smelling the supper smells wafting through the kitchen windows of each house on the street.

Inevitably, we’d pass by the tantalizing aroma of frying potatoes.

Oh, how we hoped that delectable smell was coming from our own house!

There’s just nothing like the mouth-watering smell of potatoes and onions sizzling away in a cast-iron pan.

It’s amazing to me how vivid these ‘scented’ memories are and they were brought back to me recently when I spent some time with my grown sons.

When deciding what to cook, one said “Hey, let’s fry some potatoes…”

My kids were all encouraged to help in the kitchen from a very early age so it seemed natural to watch these two whip up brunch.

The cast-iron was set on the stove to heat, potatoes washed, onions and garlic chopped and eggs rummaged from the fridge.

When I asked what was on the menu, they replied “Oh, a little bit of this and a little bit of that.”

The savoury smell brought everyone to the table well before the creation was ready and another pot of coffee was brewed while we waited.

I couldn’t help thinking of Mom while I watched these two young men dice, scramble and season all the while bantering back and forth about the merits of free-range and organic eggs.

Mom’s hearty and simple meals have filtered down the line somehow.

Finally, we are ready to sit down and the meal is dished up, fragrant and sizzling.

We ask, “well, what is it? A quiche, a scramble, a frittata or just plain hash?”

The reply: “Oh no, this is definitely not a frittata…”

Find amazing ideas for classic and modern simple meals at the library in these great books: Canadian Living’s “The Affordable Feasts Collection,” “5 in 5” by Michael Symon and “Great Easy Meals” from Food Network Magazine.

Sue Kline is the community librarian at the Summerland Branch of the ORL.