The Jelly Omelette
By Joshua Lewin
...we hold these myths
to be true…
The only thing I ever wanted to eat as a child was an omelette. Not just any omelette, of course. A jelly omelette.
I ate other things, when I had to. Boiled hot dogs (gross), mashed potatoes (sure!), popcorn. If I ever got to choose though, I chose to eat a jelly omelette.
My father invented the jelly omelette. Not all jelly omelettes, I later learned, but this one. He was an ok cook, I remember from later in life. During the period of time when the jelly omelette was created though, I don't remember him cooking much at all. Except for that one fateful afternoon, of course.
I don't know what my mother did for work at the time, but I do remember for sure that this was something that was invented when we all still lived at home. All, meaning my father and mother, with my brother, sister, and me. All five. If all could mean just the three of us, just the kids, well then, we would all still live at "home" forever. Or at least for as long as it mattered. Although home would change, a lot. Eventually we became an altogether different group of five. That’s a story for another time.
This jelly omelette came to be when we were all still living at a short lived home as the first five. And how dad got to cooking that day, or why he was home and I was too, or why no one else was there to stop it from happening; I don’t really know the answers to any of that.
I know that three eggs went into a pan, set until they were just slightly crispy on one side, and then dad's wrist slid forward and then sharply back and the eggs flipped clean over in one mass in the American style, to cook fully on the opposite side too.
If I told you that this was an omelet, instead of an omelette, would that word give you all of this imagery? The wrist and the flip, the browning edges, the three eggs, not two?
This wasn't yet the omelette of my future, but still the omelet of my youth. The omelet of my father's legacy.
The crack, the whisk, the slide, the flip. Then the jelly. Grape jelly. The un-natural purple stuff mixed with the pale yellow to create a boy's dream of brown. And for the next six years, or something like that, to my father's horror (or was it delight?), this boy ate this omelet anywhere he could. In private, or in public.
My father's omelette lives on now as our own. The eggs, just two of them, but two of the best around, cooked gently, no brown, and rolled, not flipped. Filled with roses, and Madeira wine. His legacy, a dream wrapped tight around an altogether different destiny.