The word omelet originally derives from the Latin for "little plate," and omelets are usually made individually. You quickly cook one or two eggs while stirring rapidly and continuously to make the curds very fine, then stop the stirring to let the eggs set in the pan. When the omelet is just barely cooked, you grip the handle of the pan, palm up, and roll the egg from the handle side of the pan out of the pan and over the opposite edge in, one hopes, a lovely long oval of delicately pale, perfectly smooth, uniformly yellow egg. It takes practice -- mistakes are delicious and successes are high-five-worthy.
"My mother taught me that food was fuel," says writer Elissa Altman. "That food was dangerous. That food was the enemy." As Altman's mother grows older, Altman is finding it difficult to get her to eat.