This is the end, friends– the end of Season One– crazy! Started in July, at this rate, we’ll be finished with the project… when I’m celebrating Chompers’ high school graduation, ha ha. Hopefully he’s eating his greens by then. Friday Night Dinner number lucky 13 (okay, okay, technically it would be #14 if I hadn’t flaked on the squab. Still looking for a guest blogger for that one, any takers?) Besides that little detail, we actually already covered the FND finale of S1 last time. This is a bit of a stretch, because I didn’t think it right to leave the last two episodes unacknowledged, regardless of the fact that they don’t occur on a Friday.
The penultimate episode, as is common, is full of turmoil, leading up to the dramatic finale. Amazingly enough, the drama doesn’t center around the elder Gilmore dining table. This time, it’s the title mother/daughter duo who are on the outs. Rory, still in a breakup funk, finds out that her mother and Max are back together and she flips out. Have we even mentioned Max yet? Maybe not because, ho hum. There may be more on him later, but no promises unless he shows up at a Friday Night Dinner. Anyway, this Rory blowup leads to a nice circle of completion, one that Emily is quick to realize. Like her mother’s pattern, when Rory can’t handle the stress, she runs– this time to Hartford. In the words of her grandparents, (Richard:) “Emily, what is all this about?” (Emily:) “She had a fight with Lorelai… and she came here.” After last week’s heartbreaking realization of how far Lorelai went to get away from her parents when she was Rory’s age, this must be balm for Emily’s soul, and it shows on her face.
Emily goes out of her way to make Rory comfortable and welcome, but Rory prefers to go straight to bed without dinner. We see them the next morning, at perhaps our first glimpse into life in the Gilmore residence at breakfast time. Scarcely less lavish than dinner, the table is laden with flowers, fruit, pastries, as well as coffee and the daily newspaper, of course. Rory, feeling better, enters the room to a chipper grandmother offering her anything from “eggs, fruit, toast, pancakes, blintzes” and even suggests that her cook can “whip up” a PopTart for her. Rory settles on eggs. Now, THIS is my type of dinner. I’m a breakfast junkie, always have been. Breakfast in the morning is a must, but I’ll take it for any meal. You can ask my mom, and more recently my husband. We took a mini trip last June and the worst tragedy occurred when we got going too late and no one was serving breakfast anymore. ON MY BIRTHDAY. No breakfast on my birthday. I may have had a bit of a hissy fit.
Eggs have always been a staple in this household (especially since it’s one thing my husband can cook), and Chompers followed in our footsteps. Until about three months ago, when eggs were suddenly anathema. BUT WHY? They are so healthy, such an easy source of protein, and simple and quick to prepare… of course he won’t eat them. Why make life easier for your parents? We’ve tried them all ways: scrambled with lots of cheese, fried, hard-boiled, we even bought the “As Seen On TV” Eggtastic so he could “help” make them and watch them cook in the microwave. That worked… twice. He did like Costco’s quiche. Let’s go with that, but try to make it even healthier in a frittata form.
I’ve made this for years, but to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s actually a frittata, or if I’m just calling it that. The process is simple: saute up whatever veggies or other fillers (ham, mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc) you have on hand in an oven-safe skillet; mix together a bunch of eggs with a bit of cream and a generous amount of cheese; pour egg mixture over veggies and gently mix together; then pop into a preheated oven (about 350 degrees?) until the eggs are just set. Then– my favorite part– switch it to the broiler and watch carefully as the heat causes the eggs to rise and bubble and turn a golden brown. It’s magic!
Because the young fry in our home is also currently boycotting most vegetables, I decided to sneak some in and make this a spinach/artichoke frittata. Well, “sneak” is a relative term, because I’m using so much spinach, it’s turning the eggs into a Dr. Seuss book. I think the main cause of refusal is texture, so I went the extra step and used the food processor to pulse the spinach and artichokes into tiny bits, along with some minced garlic. One stringy piece of cooked spinach and the jig is up, folks. I mixed the eggs with an Italian cheese blend and a bit of salt and pepper, then mixed it all together and poured it into the buttered pan. Not starting out with a hot pain on the stovetop to saute the veggies changed the outcome a bit: it did not develop as much of a yummy bottom crust as it typically does. Maybe just preheating the pan, or cooking it for a few minutes on the stovetop first would remedy this.
All the same, it turned out beautiful and perhaps the yummiest frittata I have yet made (although we say that most every time; a testimony to what a versatile and foolproof meal this is). And the toddler test? He ate it! At least some of it. More than I had set the bar to. Success! And the bacon. He was definitely a fan of the bacon.
Is it wrong to pressure breakfast to be such an important part of the day? Maybe it has less to do with our physical health than our emotional health, as it is one of the first conscious choices we make upon waking. In the immortal words of Anne Shirley, “Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes in it yet.” But if you can’t wait until tomorrow for a fresh start, just end the day on a high note… with breakfast for dinner!
Join me next time for a fresh start in Season Two. Spoiler alert: not my favorite season, but hopefully there will be some good food!