Friday, 17 July 2009

souffle omelette

this is just a posh omelette, really - the sort of thing i can only be bothered to do if there is a dishwasher around. (doesn't look too posh on my rubbish photo, of course.) you can eat it with sweet or savoury things - i stewed some strawberries with a bit of pomegranate sour i brought back from turkey and had a dollop of creme fraiche on top, but i imagine some nice crispy bacon would be pretty good too.

i used to eat these, with copious amounts of jam, when i was first a student in sarajevo. for some insane reason, i chose to do a joint degree of sorts, where you take all the classes of one (english) and most of the other (french – i did everything except spanish and maybe latin). this in reality meant that i spent a whole day at uni, going to lectures and tutorials, and just hanging around, smoking, drinking coffee and talking to mates. i was permanently knackered and rarely got home before 7 in the evening.

as a result, my eating was totally out of synch with anyone else’s so i’d have to eat leftovers or make something quick for supper when i got in. souffle omelettes like this featured a few times, or mum would fry me some french toast (AKA eggy bread) to eat with creme fraiche or salty sheep's cheese.

sarajevo university philological faculty was on what later became known as the sniper alley, opposite the holiday inn hotel. i don’t know the number of people shot on that street but it must have been many.

truth be told, the war did me at least one favour – i didn’t have to sit any exams as they were all scheduled for the summer. i am not sure how many i would have passed. french literature, for example - i didn’t have a clue. i just kept putting it off, thinking i could somehow absorb everything i needed to know about the french romantics by osmosis. the old professor whose name i can't remember used to come and talk to us for an hour about stendhal or something, after which i would promptly forgot everything. english lit was okay – i’d developed a crush on sir philip sidney, dead since 1586, on the back of a couple of poems and i was quite happy reading salinger in phonetics classes.

i get a funny feeling thinking about those last days of uni before the war started. a fading memory: first the tail ends of winter days, walking back in snow parallel to the tram tracks all the way home, then late afternoons in the month of ramadan daydreaming during french grammar classes and looking out of windows to dusk spreading across hills and white columns of mosques, and finally meeting anela in early spring, sitting on a bench somewhere and watching the tanks roll in on the other side of the river. that was the beginning of the end, and we didn’t have a clue it was coming.

SOUFFLE OMELETTE
for one

2 eggs and 1 egg white, separated (or just use two eggs - i had an eggwhite left over from another unsuccessful bout of mayonnaise making)
butter for frying

in a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites till stiff. add the yolks and whisk briefly to incorporate. transfer to your frying pan gently so as not to knock all the air out and cook in hot butter until set. it should only take a few minutes. you'll see the top beginning to bubble like an american pancake - and you can always just flash it under the grill at the end.

1 comment:

  1. I'm always amazed and moved by the level of descriptive detail in your memories - almost as vivid as the food!

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