Simple frittata or important life change?
Frittata has always represented, for me, the perfect culinary move to creatively transform the ingredients in my fridge about to go bad. And I find somewhat satisfying cleaning the fridge; with the change of season, for example, I like to see new items on its chill shelves.
On Friday night, when I, in fact, noted food in my fridge that had to be used before its real expiration date, I thought about how, at quite young an age, sudden and drastic episodes of extreme cleaning and emotional cleanse had taken place.
When I was a child I wasn’t tidy and precise as I am today (or a little too controlling, if you ask my husband).
Back then, in fact, I was quite the opposite of what I perceived as symbol of perfection and social suitability, that is to say quiet, composed, thin, with straight hair, tidy, methodic, and precise. But I was chubby, nonetheless, emotional, loud, full of energy and ideas; I was charismatic, but chaotic inside and very direct in the expression of my emotions. I hated myself for that, and I ultimately found in bulimia my very on way of feeling what I had never felt like, transparent and light.
For the entirety of my childhood and coming of age I shared the bedroom with my brother; his desk faced the window, while mine, small, made of a light colored wood, and with an incorporated bookshelf that extended upward, faced the wall. Always crowded with pieces of paper, cassette tapes, and sticky eraser leftovers, my chaotic worktable precisely reflected the little girl that I was, or that I had been labeled as. That’s how I discovered the short-lived and intense high of drastic and extreme cleaning.
Very much like cocaine, throwing away everything I was ashamed of seemed to give me power and new possibilities. In fact, I’d regularly go on such cleaning sprees when, for instance, I saw the bedroom of a friend I emulated, or simply when my internal, emotional chaos couldn’t any longer cope with the external one.
As I grew up I became tidy and precise (or a little too controlling, if you ask my husband). But before marrying Ben, however, I reversed on my closet the old obsession with order and new beginnings.
I have given away all of my stupid ‘Lolita dresses’ in this past year, and I am not planning on buying new clothes for a while—empty hangers make me meditate on what kind person I want to be in the morning. I wrote in a 2013 essay.
The perception I had of myself was so transient and distorted that, if I woke up one morning wanting to be somebody else, a new Alice, that is, I would donate or throw away every piece of clothing with which I didn’t identify any more—or that made me feel guilty for the Alice I had been.
I have gotten much better, I must say, but sometimes I still feel the need to start something from scratch, whether by means of a new creative project, a new dish, a new perfume, or new colors and fabrics in my closet.
And that’s where the fridge comes into the scene, and the frittata, too. If I can throw away clothes and old writing, pens and nick-nack, I never throw away food; so frittatas are a sustainable way to satisfy my need for change, my palate, and my creative expression. For nothing like a frittata is as white a canvas.
Today I know that internal change has nothing to do with a new wardrobe, a new hair color, or the content of my fridge. So as long as I am aware of where truth stands, I can have fun buying new clothes, and trying that new brand of milk in a glass bottle.
Have a look at my recipe for summer frittata with green beans, cherry tomatoes and cheese leftovers. I made it on Friday night for my parents, my husband, and our friend Nicky. You can find it on the RECIPE page.