Cooking For the World’s Greatest Mom — Lancaster Online

By JEFF THAL, Talking Fresh

 I am married to the World’s Greatest Mom. I know this because she has a coffee mug that says so. Her daughters continue to reaffirm this fact every year at Mother’s Day by presenting her with more awards that proclaim her World’s Greatest Mom.

Therefore, it must be so.

I know that most of you think that you are somehow related to the real World’s Greatest Mom, and I expect that your mom has the hardware to prove it, too.

Today is Mother’s Day. It is, in my opinion, one of the two most important nonreligious holidays of the year (the other being Thanksgiving). This is a day we take time out from our otherwise hectic schedules to recognize the most important person in our lives — the person who is expected (fairly or not) to keep the house clean and laundry done, buy the food and clothing, make sure there are tissues and toilet paper in all the right places, know which school days are early dismissal and in-service, and generally hold things together — and to do it all with good humor and a smile.


Personally, I don’t think one day is enough. To borrow a marketing phrase, Mom does more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day. She deserves, every single day, the attention we bestow on her on Mother’s Day. In my experience, all she does is taken for granted almost as much as eating or breathing. This shouldn’t be; we should all be giving Mom special treatment every day, because that’s what she gives us.

That said, we are taking care on Mother’s Day to do something special for her, something we don’t do every day. Chocolate? Nice, but gone in 24 hours. Flowers? Sure, but they last a few days, then die. Our girls are working on a special homemade gift, one that Mom is sure to love. Homemade is so much better than something purchased from a shelf loaded with dozens of “that special gift” Mom will cherish for a day or two. And I’m cooking (of course!), something from the garden, but altered slightly to be healthy, to fit our current lifestyle of lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, lower calorie.

I’m making a frittata, and the surprising ingredient, one that I found growing in our garden when we moved here nine years ago, is asparagus. Last year I gave you a yummy Asian-inspired asparagus soup, and now I present an equally delicious asparagus frittata. You can serve this for breakfast — it’s quick, easy and beautifully presentable, and it’s nutritious as can be — or you can serve it as a complete dinner. We call it “breakfast for dinner,” which we do every couple of weeks. Serve it with smashed, roasted, salt-and-vinegar red potatoes, the recipe for which I will place on my blog,, along with another frittata recipe that’s worth a look.

And do it for Mom.


1 cup water

2/3 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 1/2 cups egg substitute

5 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/5 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add asparagus, cover and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and immediately place asparagus in ice water; drain and pat dry. In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, sauté onion in oil until tender. Add parsley and asparagus; toss to coat.

In a small bowl, combine the egg substitute, 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Pour over the asparagus mixture; cover and cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until eggs are nearly set. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Place uncovered skillet in the broiler, 6 inches from the heat, for 2 minutes or until eggs are set. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Cut into quarters. Serve immediately.

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About Cheff

Lancaster Eats highlights the best resources our community has to offer. From farmers to markets to vendors to retailers, we highlight those members of our wonderful food community who are striving to improve the presence of the commercial and retail food industry for all the citizens of Lancaster. The food we eat and drink is important to every single one of us, and we believe that everyone is entitled to safe and healthy food and drink. We hope to engage the citizens of our city and county who care about the food we eat and the environment in which we live. We know there are many people in the community who are doing wonderful things that benefit the people of Lancaster, as customers and consumers. We hope you will let us know who they are so that we can learn and inform those who eat and drink. That, as we know, is all of us. We are all in this together. Let's build a community.

Posted on August 9, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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