When my son Noah was in high school the headmaster announced the school would be participating in an exchange program with 20 students from Spain. The Spanish kids would come to New York for a month, and at a later date our students would go to Spain. Families were asked to host and we volunteered.
Our exchange student, we were told, would be Fernando and – like most or all of the Spanish kids who would be coming – he was Catholic. Assuming he would want to attend Mass on Sundays, I asked my Catholic friend Angela if she would take him when she went, and of course she happily agreed.
There was a trundle bed in Noah’s room where Fernando would sleep, during the day they would be at school together, and evenings and weekends I assumed Fernando would be with us.
Fernando arrived with a small suitcase and a big smile, and he and Noah hit it off immediately. They spoke English and Spanish together, seemed to like the same music, and I soon noticed were both equally messy.
On the first Sunday I asked Fernando if he wanted to go to Mass with Angela’s family, but he demurred. And although Fernando never did go to Sunday Mass, he did join us for Yom Kippur Break Fast. In fact that night at least a dozen Catholic exchange students were enjoying lox and bagels with their Jewish host families all over Manhattan’s eastside!
And on most weekends as I remember there wasn’t much family time – Fernando and the other Spanish kids, with many of their new American friends in tow, were usually shopping or hanging out in Greenwich Village.
But I do remember that Fernando liked to cook. In fact when he arrived he gifted us with a large, beautifully handpainted ceramic dish that he said was perfect for serving frittata. And indeed Fernando made us the most delicious frittatas!
2 T olive oil / 1 onion minced / 2 scallions sliced / 6 eggs / 8 oz ricotta cheese / salt, pepper, herbs (parsley, dill, mint, basil) / 2 T butter
Heat oil in medium non-stick skillet, add onions & scallions and brown. Remove from skillet and set aside.
In bowl whisk eggs, add ricotta and whisk again. Add all seasonings and cooked onions & scallions.
Return skillet to heat, add butter and when melted add egg mixture.
When mixture starts to set, with spatula ease it away from sides of skillet and cook more but with top of mixture still wet.
Turn off heat and using large plate on top of skillet, invert frittata onto plate, then slide back into skillet to cook the top – only 30 seconds. Then slide out onto a serving plate. Garnish with more parsley, cool 5 min, cut into wedges and serve. Yummy!
Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!