One of my favourite childhood stories are those of Zosia and Sophie. Zosia was the third of four children and grew up in the pre-World War II Poland. They lived in a tiny town of Chebzie that apparently was a railway hub back in the days and as so happened to be the most convenient location for Zosia’s father, the railway officer. Zosia had a nanny called Sophie, a modest, well-mannered and hard-working girl who would look after the children and help with the household. Every morning she arrived well before the children woke up, put on a creaseless apron and prepared the breakfast for them. Then she got them ready for school – iron the clothes, brushed their hair and made the girls’hair into two perfectly even and symmetrical plaits. She would make sure they were at school on time and came back straight home right after school. Sophie was strict and to-the-point yet she had a heart of gold and loved to please the children. One of the treat the children always asked her for was a French omelette.
Many years later, Zosia, my grandmother, would make the very same French omelette for me. She was an early bird and got up at dawn to bustle in the kitchen – getting pots and pans bubbling on the stove and filling the kitchen with ever so inviting smells. She got the fresh eggs from the next door neighbour and fetch the berries in season from the garden or the raspberry syrup from the cellar. Then I would wake up to this beauty.
3 tbl flour
3 tbl sugar (optional)
1 tbl unsatled butter
3 tbl jam or fresh berries
Separate the eggs and slip the whites into a separate bowl while keeping the yolks in the shells. Mix one egg yolk with one tablespoon of flour and one tablespoon of sugar (if using) until smooth. Add another egg yolk, one tablespoon of flour and one tablespoon of sugar into the mixture. The key is to keep to the proportions while adding to make sure the mixture is smooth and does not clog. Add the last egg yolk with a tablespoon of flour and sugar and mix well. Beat the egg whites until puffy and stiff. Then gradually add to the yolk, flour and sugar mixture. On a low heat melt a tablespoon of butter in a medium frying pan. Pour the mixture onto the pan and fry for about 4-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Serve with seasonal berries, your favourite jam or syrup.
This omelette takes a bit more time than the traditional omelette but by all means it a treat worth the extra minutes. I served it for breakfast this morning and all the family demanded one for next weekend as well.