When you’re a kid, there’s always that rotating cast of dinners your parents are apt to prepare. Chicken cutlet Mondays. Spaghetti and meatballs Tuesday. Franks and beans Wednesday. Hamburger Thursday. Chinese take-out Friday. Out to dinner Saturday.
But then Sunday rolls around. And if you didn’t come from that big Italian family with the mother who can make sauce in her sleep, then you’re Jewish. And it’s time to eat dairy.
“What’s for dinner?” my brother and I would yell from our downstairs lair, making small butt indents in the rug, our eyes fixed on Mario and Luigi, our shrinkydink stomachs grumbling close to 5 o’clock.
“Dairy!” my parents would yell back.
Dairy, for us Flatows, consisted of one or more of the following: scrambled eggs with sauteed apples and onions, or bright gooey orange cheddar cheese omelettes, some sort of melon (speaking of, did anyone read this article on lame-ass honeydew?), tuna salads, whitefish salads, egg salads, lox, toasted bagels with Philadelphia cream cheese and ramekins of seedy jam, and just about anything else my parents could pull from the fridge to make room for the week, not to mention my Dad’s running collection of random condiments and food in jars.
I will admit that I’m not a big leftovers person. Michael will joke that if it’s been in the fridge for a day, then I probably won’t eat it. I don’t know how this came to be, but I’ll willing to bet it stems from a laziness over having to reheat something in a pot or pan on the old-fashioned stovetop. (My parents lived microwave-free my entire life!) Patience is everything and sometimes I just don’t have it. Which is why dairy is so great. It’s quick, easy, delicious, and if you want to dump tabouleh on a flatbread cracker with a little bit of hummus and call it dinner… you can.
On July 22nd, 2014, my nephew Miles Kermit Flatow was born and on July 30th my parents hosted a bris at the house.
“What are you serving?” my brother and I yelled at them. (Not really, more like asked inquisitively.)
“Dairy!” our parents yelled back. (Not really, more like replied to our question and then asked our opinions for what to make.)
It was a dairy feast that night. A basket of warm bagels. A platter of red tomatoes and a mix of red and white onions. Whitefish salad. Egg salad. A really good broccoli and cabbage slaw my Mom loves to make. Challah. Wheels of manchego and brie, and the berries to border. A watermelon carved to look like a baby carriage. Three kinds of pie. Two kinds of sweet bread loaves. Wine. Coffee. Yes, a watermelon carved to look like a baby carriage.
I have to say the egg salad stuck out. I watched my Dad make it earlier in the afternoon and I knew it was going to be special. (Mushrooms! Onions! No mayo!) I was having such a brissfull time that I almost missed my chance of trying it that night. Luckily there were a few spoonfuls left by the time the house cleared out and it was every bit as delicious as I imagined it to be, although it could have used some more salt. I vowed to make it for myself next week, with a couple of slight alterations.
And here we are.
- 6 eggs
- 5 tbsp canola oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 packages of white mushrooms
- 1/4 cup dill
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp dijon
- salt & pepper
1. Hard-boil your eggs. Set aside.
2. Chop the mushrooms into tiny pieces and heat over medium-high heat with 3 tbsp of canola, stirring frequently until they're lightly browned and smelling great, about 15 minutes. Set aside in the bowl you will use to combine everything else.
3. Slice the onion into wisps and in the same pan as the mushrooms, cook them over medium-high heat until they soften, then slow cook them on low until they get all caramelized and fragrant, another 15 minutes. Add to the bowl of mushrooms.
4. Add the hard-boiled eggs and start mashing with the back of a fork. Or, if you have a potato masher, I bet that would work wonders.
5. Add the dill, lemon, and dijon. Keep mashing.
6. Salt and pepper to your liking.
7. Eat it however you wish. I put mine over a patch of arugula with some apricots and red onion, but I was secretly wishing for a good chunk of bread to schmear it on.