Back Pocket

My Saturday morning routine goes like this:

Wake up. Either see that it’s too early and spend 45 minutes trying to go back to sleep or just get out of bed, grumbling about how my schedule sucks and it would be nice to be able to sleep until 9am for once in my life.

Go to the bathroom to pee, wash my face, and pet the cat, who for some reason loves hanging out with me in there.

Make coffee. Feed the cat while coffee is brewing. Stand in front of the coffee machine and stare at it, psychically willing it to brew faster.

Get coffee, take it upstairs to the office, and sit in front of my laptop for a couple of hours so I can check up on – in this order – Facebook, Tumblr, Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, Food52, and Foodgawker. Once every couple of weeks, I add Smitten Kitchen, Serious Eats and Amateur Gourmet to the lineup.

It’s on Saturday mornings that I think the most about food, because that’s when I have the time to read about it, look at photos of it, and write my grocery list and weekly menus. I’ve occasionally thought about how fucked up it is that I spend the first part of my weekend like I spend all of my workweek – staring at a screen – but have decided that this is actually pretty relaxing for me, and doesn’t carry with it the Monday-Friday jaw clenching and stress-related terrible posture.

This week on Food52, there was a feature about readers’ Best Back Pocket Dinner Recipes, which they define as “favorite go-to meals for when the going gets tough.”

These are meals that are thrown together easily, with ingredients you probably already keep in your fridge or pantry, and that satisfy you in ways that belie their simplicity and, sometimes, frequency. Stir frys are common, as are pastas. Eggs appear a lot, which brought me to my #1 back pocket dinner recipe.

Can we please talk about frittatas? Specifically, can we please talk about how simple and versatile and wonderful they are, especially when your boyfriend has purchased a cast iron skillet that is just the wonderment of my kitchen universe right now?

Goddamn, I love me a frittata. I love that I don’t think about making one until I’m walking home from the bus stop, when it’s dark and raining and I don’t have work the next day so I don’t have to think about hurrying to make something that I can quickly shove down my gullet before cleaning the kitchen and struggling to get maybe 6 hours of sleep before I have to wake up the next day. I love that I already own everything I need to make one, but that I can always stop at my neighborhood bakery and pick up a perfectly crusty loaf of whatever they have. I love that even the most labor intensive version is really just a bunch of preps, and that eventually, those unlovely piles of chopped onion, garlic, bacon, potatoes, kale, and bread will become a gorgeously rustic meal for the next few days. I love that I can eat it in front of Netflix with hearty dashes of hot sauce and ketchup while wearing my comfiest fat pants.

I love that I never think about taking a frittata’s photo, because it’s either on my plate, in my mouth, or waiting to be consumed as leftovers and never in any of those places for long enough to be photographed.