I have a confession to make. . . I don’t like eggs. I don’t prepare eggs and I definitely do not eat eggs. Unfortunately, the 1906 Berlin Cook Book has an entire section devoted to eggs so I’d planned to enlist some volunteer tasters when I tackled any egg recipes. However, tonight I ate eggs. The weather delayed my return home so I had to find a quick recipe rather than the one I’d planned to prepare. Enter the recipe for Omelet submitted by Mrs. Simpson Merner from New Hamburg (a community close to Berlin).
I survived and actually enjoyed eating an omelette. Does Mrs. Merner’s technique differ from other recipes? Omelette makers and omelette eaters can tell me for sure but I think there are a couple of details that make her recipe a little different. The egg yolks and egg whites are beaten separately. I used two medium eggs and 1% milk since this is a recipe from 1906. She’s very specific about the amount of milk and the cooking technique. I used 1% milk. I followed her directions exactly and assumed that I was to use a fork to keep lifting the edge of the omelette to check for burning. She has suggestions for including some other ingredients so I added grated cheese and a little of the smoked bacon I had available. Once the omelette was set but still a bit runny on top I popped the frying pan into a 350
degree F. oven for a few minutes as indicated in the recipe. This might be the reason I liked the omelette. I even garnished the plate with the recommended lemon slices which I thought was odd. What a revelation. I had never considered lemon and egg together but it works. I just might trust Mrs. Merner and try making this omelette again with sliced oranges in the mix and maybe one day I’ll even try adding jelly as she suggests.
This recipe does not make much more than a serving by today’s standards. How many was it intended to serve? Was it paired with other things? I believe Mrs. Merner is 46 year-old Caroline Merner who according to the 1901 census lives with her 52 year-old husband Simpson and their 21 year-old son Leslie. By the 1911 census the couple are on their own which might explain the quantities in this recipe. Perhaps Caroline enjoys an omelette for lunch when Simpson is at work. I will keep Mrs. Merner’s recipe for Omelet among my list of quick and tasty meals.
2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of milk, 1/8 teaspoon salt, pinch of red or black pepper, beat yolks of eggs until light and creamy, add salt and milk to them. Heat frying pan, rubbing it all over with butter, beat whites into the yolks, turn into frying pan, piling even with the pan, keep lifting up to see that it does not burn. Dry instantly in oven, serve on hot platter, garnish with parsley or lemon. Grated cheese, meats, jellies or sliced oranges may be put in the omelet [sic].