Friday, May 4, 2012


I agitate the custard and yell at my husband
though I don't even remember what I'm spazzing about
since it's the fight we've had for 23 years
so familiar it's built into our limbs and mouths
and then the custard fucking curdles and 
just so you know
my custard never fucking curdles
and I kick everyone out of the kitchen.

I put a hand on my belly
pinky on my belly button
thumb all the way up and under my front lower ribs
and I quietly blame everything on this abdominal split
(caused by the pressure of my in utero Dash)
because somehow someone something
must be interfering with my ability to
do good parenting and good partnering
and good handstands.

I chop the leeks and imagine
my sides growing back together
and I wonder what makes a frittata a frittata
and not a Spanish tortilla or an omelette
and I decide I don't care
and I just start busting them out
with creme fraiche and leeks and spring onions
and so much trendy kale
that my daughter will say she's going to puke
if she even has to LOOK at it
but i think I'm onto something
so I make one more
packed with purple potatoes and asparagus.

I tuck in my shirt and secure my hair
in what one of those magazines I no longer read
would call a sexy messy bun
place my hands on the floor
imagine my hands are feet
spread my fingers wide
but not too wide
empty my mind
exhale bend my knees
inhale float my legs up up up
until my toes point to the ceiling my two legs as one
and I focus
on weaving knitting soldering my abdominals back together
because that's what will make me a nicer
wife mother yogi cook friend lover person
and then I'm floating for the first time ever
on my hands
for more than one round of breath
with this crazy ass intention of bringing everything
back into my center
and crash
I'm down again.

I yell everyone back into the kitchen
away from Legos and wrestling and The Hunger Games
and a surprising amount of the crispy bubbling feta-topped egg cake
gets into their little bellies
so they earn their curdled custard ice cream
and then I set them free.

Glued to my seat and my wine
I manage to
look my husband in the eye and
I listen
roll my eyes
hold my breath
as he tells me 
yes you're hormonal yes you're insane yes
you make me want to move to Los Angeles
permanently away from you
and I will take the kids and oh yes
you have a nice ass
and yes that was the best frittata I've ever had.

serves 4-6

(My friend Erin and I have been chatting about frittatas. She can't stop making them either. She has been putting feta on top of hers. Genius. Now I am too. Check out her beautiful blog Yummy Supper. And she should have a frittata post up soon.)

You can pretty much throw anything into a frittata. Any cheese. Any (pre-cooked) vegetables or meat: peppers, cauliflower, sliced sausage, chopped crispy bacon, strips of cooked chicken breast. It's a great empty-out-the-fridge one-pot meal.  It can be beautiful to look at. It can also be funky and very green and super funny messy looking. In my opinion, it must have at least a few of the following toppings: sriracha, ketchup, chopped chives, avocado slices, lime, sour cream.

This recipe calls for potatoes and asparagus. But you can just as easily add finely chopped kale (or any combo of greens like chard, arugula, spinach) into the onions instead of the asparagus. Or add it along with the asparagus, though that would be a bit heavy on the greens (I love this, my kids do not).

It's best eaten right away. But you can also serve it room temperature. Or heat it up the next day.

for the vegetables:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced
2 large leeks, cleaned, trimmed of tough green part, thinly sliced
big pinch salt
10 small potatoes cooked in salty water until tender and then halved (purple or yukon gold work well)
8 spears asparagus, trimmed, quickly cooked in salty water but still crisp, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 clove garlic, grated, chopped, or pressed
2 teaspoons lemon zest.

for the eggs:
12 eggs
3/4 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
3/4 grated firm or semi-firm cheese (any combination of parmesan, percorio, manchego, gruyere, cheddar)
big pinch salt 

for when it goes under the broiler:
1/2 cup feta cheese (or goat), crumbled
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
crunchy salt

for the toppings:
chopped parsley and chives
avocado slices
sour cream, creme fraiche, or yoghurt (another nice option is sour cream thinned with heavy cream)

Crank a 10 inch oven-safe pan (I use cast iron) to medium heat. Add olive oil and butter. When butter is melted, add onions, leeks, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until tender and starting to brown a bit (about 20 minutes). 

While onions are cooking, vigorously whisk together eggs, creme fraiche, cheese, salt, and pepper until well-combined and foamy. Set aside.

Preheat oven to a high broil.

Turn heat up to high under onions and toss in potatoes and asparagus. Add grated garlic and lemon zest. Cook, stirring entire time, for a minute.

Give the eggs one final whisk and then pour over the vegetables. Stir until all vegetables are coated with eggs. Turn down to medium heat. Then leave it alone to start to set. You can put a lid on it. Or not. Be aware of heat going onto bottom of pan and make sure it's not too hot. The eggs don't taste so good when they get too brown.

 Once the eggs are about halfway set, take off heat and sprinkle top with feta, parmesan, and some crunchy salt. Place under the broiler and don't walk away. If if browns too quickly, place on a lower shelf in the oven. Check for doneness after a minute by poking around in the middle of the frittata with a paring knife. An undercooked frittata is nasty. Try to find that perfect moment when the very center isn't quite set because it will continue to cook a bit after you take it out of the oven. 

While it's still piping hot, slide a knife around and dislodge the sides from the pan. Use a spatula and slowly slide it under the frittata. Do this all the way around, making sure you make it all the way to the center. You can serve it in the cast iron pan. Or you can flip it out on a plate. Just make sure you serve it crispy-feta side up.

Serve with toppings (see ingredients above for ideas).


  1. I went through a frittata phase last year. It was a perfect way to use up the last of the CSA/Mystery Box veggies. Asparagus and bacon turned out to be my favorite.

    1. yes. such a great way to use up everything in the fridge. hard to go wrong.

  2. I always look forward to your posts .. and the lovely food described is icing. As is the cursing.

  3. What A plum by any other name said...

    Thinking I might have to try your frittata recipe for dinner this weekend. And I'm intrigued by the custard ice cream. Might have to scope that out too.

    1. all the ice cream recipes i have on my blog are custard-style. if you type in ice cream in the search box on my main page, you should get a bunch of results. my favorite is caramel. i have a detailed post on it.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. i'm sorry you removed your comment. i appreciated your honesty.

  5. frittata is a "go to" last minute dinner! my kids love it with salad and homade biscuits.

    1. tell me more about biscuits. do you have a favorite recipe? i love them so.

  6. Keep up the good work, Mama.

    1. thank you. trying. thank you. cooking a lot today. in the groove. loving feeding my family more than anything in the world. love your support.

  7. Hey frittata sister, Thanks for that nice shout-out. Your photo just above the recipe is so drool-worthy. Yum!!!

    1. thanks, erin! can't wait to see your post.

  8. Frittata is my friend too. At least once a week, it helps me not only feed the family and clean out the fridge, but supplies endless blog fodder. Each frittata is new, right?

    1. yes! and i'm finding the same to be true with tarts and soups. they are my friends too.

  9. Yum!! Love frittata's :) I needed a new recipe to try. I've been using one, that my friend text messaged me and I have to go back and find the text message every time because I'm to lazy to write it down ;-p

    Oh and I swear, I have the same type of conversation (once a month I'd say) with my boyfriend, that you do with your husband. I swear it also start with you are crazy and end with nice ass ;)

    1. isn't that funny? it's great to hear that other people have arguments with the same kind of rhythm. and every month. hmm. what a pain.

    2. Once a month is an exaggeration, though with the stress of moving, its definitely felt like we go through the motions a lot more. Its never about anything important. I'm a stress kitten, he is a saint some days for putting up with me.

  10. wow. fucking... wow. love how the combination of crazy, anger, love, and desire in the eyes of your husband brings it all back to the center at the end. or at least completes it. So beautiful. You have made me think I could cook (I can't, but it hasn't stopped me from trying your asparagus thing which I loved but didn't quite win over the non-green eaters in the house), that I can parent (well... you show up, you wield the sledgehammer of your love in the general direction of their problems and you try to catch the vomit in your shirt that's all I got as far as parenting is concerned), and if you don't watch it, miss phyllis yogi lover, you are going to make me think I can write poetry too. bitch, please.

    1. amy cook. I'm brushing my teeth as i write this. not because i want to but because this way i won't drink any more red wine. it tastes funny with toothpaste. and i need some sleep. and i need to wake up and do all kinds of things. but first i just want to tell you the following;
      1. i love you
      2. this is the best comment i've ever received
      3. catching vomit is so hard and no noble and so necessary
      4. i could read your writing all day so bring it on for me and for others because we're ready
      5. namafuckingste
      6. biatch

  11. Fuck the food. I'm here for your writing. Delish. Always.

    1. oh wow i love your comment. thank you.

  12. Me too. And I arrive late at this party through my friend Janet at

    I love this writing. I am hosting a blog series on mothering and creativity and I would love to have you there. This post would be brilliant. Let me know. Otherwise, expect to see me around here flexing my abs and hoping for the best. xo Suzi

  13. You guys seriously crack me up with your posts. Phyllis, I love love love your writing. Thanks for entertaining me and also thanks for creme freishe (an ingredient that is now a "staple" in my kitchen. I'm inspired to make my own now and to use it over and over and over again. I will eventually not be anonymous but I can't get this dammnn thing set up to create a profile. I think I might call our IT guy. Obviously I am not computer savy.

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