Ode to the omelet

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On those evenings when the prospect of chopping, dicing, grating, simmering and roasting holds as much appeal as scrubbing the bathtub, we all need a fallback plan. It’s O.K. not to make an elaborate dinner every night. In fact, as we’re finding out more and more since becoming parents, it’s downright impossible. (This is irrespective of Mr. Green Scene’s recent and very welcome foray into bread-baking and tortilla-making.)

We still want to eat well, though. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a snob about food, and meals in cans or frozen boxes don’t cut it. Rather than stock the pantry with premade soups and their kin, we try to 1) make extras and freeze them, thus ensuring a future supply of no-hassle meals, and 2) cultivate a few failsafe and less-than-20-minute meal plans that use local ingredients we always have around.

Exhibit A: An omelet-to-be.

We always have eggs, thank you kindly, hens. And we’re rarely without butter for greasing our pans. The beauty of omelets, of course, is that whatever else is hanging around the fridge can be thrown right in. Tonight, it was a bag of spinach that friends gave us from their garden. In a few weeks, I expect it to be goat cheese. In July, we’ll have cherry tomatoes and basil and parsley. Add a glass of wine and a green salad from the garden, and voila: a meal of substance, style and vaguely French cachet.

Our other quick meals usually involve pasta, beans or both. All well and good, but not particularly local. What are your tricks, harried and hungry readers? What’s your best quick local meal? (Bodo’s doesn’t count.)

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