Lessons from Home Ec.

I haven’t always been a “good cook.”

Case and point: The time that a friend and I burnt no-bake cookies. (To our defense, we did have to melt the chocolate.)

But, I have always been interested in cooking and determined to make my kitchen skills better. That’s why it seemed like a godsend when I got to take Home Economics during middle school. During the course, I could care less about sewing and ironing, but I ate up (har-de-har) the cooking segment.

There, in the miniature kitchens, I learned how to successfully cook my first dish: Spanish tortilla.

Even though I have since expanded my repertoire, Spanish tortillas will always have a special place in my heart.

Spanish Tortilla


  • 1 large baking potato
  • Half of an onion
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 T water
  • Salt and pepper
  • “Good dose” of olive oil
  • 2 T crumbled Monterey Jack, optional


  • Wash, peel and slice potato into 1/4 in. rounds.
  • Drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a medium-large skillet. Heat the oil to medium-high heat. Place the potatoes in an even layer on the skillet (will have to work in batches). Cook for about two minutes (until browned) and then flip to finish cooking.
  • Place sautéed potatoes on a layer of paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Repeat, adding more oil as necessary, until all potatoes are cooked.
  • Once done with the potatoes, use the same pan to lightly saute the onions. Remove from pan.
  • Break all eggs into a small-medium bowl. Add water, a bit of salt and a bit of pepper. Thoroughly whisk everything together.
  • Layer the potatoes and onions back into the skillet in a scalloped fashion. Pour the whisked eggs overtop. Swirl the pan around so that the eggs are even.
  • Cook over low-medium heat. When edges begin to firm, use a spatula to lift them up and swirl the uncooked egg over.
  • Finish by placing under a broiler until the top is firm (probably two minutes).
  • Season with salt and pepper and garnish with cheese.

Of course, food is about more than taste, scent and texture. It’s about appearance, display, ambiance…

Ok, maybe I’m still working on that. But one step at a time, right?

Questions: What was the first “real dish” you learned how to cook? Do you still make it?


6 responses to “Lessons from Home Ec.

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