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September 17, 2013

A Canuck in Kantuck: A different way to eat

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — It’s been a summer of omelets at our house, with nearly every Saturday morning spent out on the deck with coffee and these yellow half moons sitting cheerfully on the plate. The beauty of the omelet, I discovered, is that it is wonderfully accepting. Have an extra tomato? Dice it up and add. Too many jalapenos? It can take care of that. Scallions getting wilty? Throw them in there. In fact, the omelet is to breakfast what salad is to lunch — you can toss just about anything in there and somehow it all works.

My interest in omelets has been on account of the CSA basket I’ve been picking up each week. The basket represents my share of the harvest of a local farmer, and each week I’ve been getting piles of green beans, pounds of potatoes, happy tomatoes, gorgeous peppers, sugary corn. We’ve been eating like royalty and, by the end of the week, when we have the odds and ends left over, I’ve found the perfect venue for them is our omelets.

It’s my second summer doing a CSA — community shared agriculture — and last year, I was struck by how it necessarily forced me to cook according to the ingredients I had. This has two benefits. One, you are eating as seasonally as possible and are eating produce at its flavor peak. The second is you find yourself wandering aimlessly around Kroger a lot less. Dinner decides itself according to what ingredients need to be consumed most.

As a result, you get creative and find yourself coming up with different ways to prepare the same ingredient to keep things fresh. For me, green beans were my biggest challenge and, admittedly, we ate a whole lot of them simply boiled then drizzled in butter and dill this summer.

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