Mountains of Memories

While the Finger Lakes has become a dream destination for Mike and I, there is another place that has called me home (and continues to call me home) since I first crossed its borders.

CO circa 1991

Rocky Mountain National Park – 1990

The first time I saw the Rocky Mountain line along the horizon in Colorado I was a little older than Mr. N. My parents, sister and I set out for Estes Park, Colorado in the summer of 1989…and again nearly every summer after that.

CO circa 1995

Rocky Mountain National Park 1995

These road trips were the beginning of my passion for travel. They ignited my love of the mountains and taught me the value of family time. But, as most of you may recall, the teenage years are ripe with drama. So while our trips were full of fun, hikes, exploration and adventure; so too were they ripe with boys, friends, hormones, the certainty that your parents are out to embarrass you or ruin your life, and did I mention boys?

CO circa 2000

Rocky Mountain National Park 2000

Oh if the walls could talk, our little cabin in the woods would echo with laughter, crying, singing, silliness, sarcasm, exasperation, love, jokes and all the things that weave families together.

CO circa 2005

Rocky Mountain National Park 2005

We spent our summers hiking, playing, exploring, and sunning all while taking in the aroma of pine, the rush of the wind moving through the trees and the grandeur of the mountains all around us. I may also have spent some time huddled in a phone booth calling my boyfriend back home. (How dare my parents separate us for two whole weeks!) And I might have held my sister hostage at the top of a very high teeter totter while laughing hysterically; or screamed, also hysterically, for my dad to come kill a giant spider in our bedroom. Oh the angst and drama of the teenage years!

CO circa 2010

Rocky Mountain National Park 2010

We’ve continued to visit our mountain respite. Through the college years, my parents made it west with my sister, then on their own. We’ve made a few visits with aunts, uncles and cousins in tow; and then in 2000 I first introduced my new husband to the mountains. Shortly thereafter, in 2005, a new generation made the sojourn. First steps, tantrums, giggles, tickles and new sibling squabbles began to permeate the cabin.

CO circa 2015

Rocky Mountain National Park 2015

Summers are formative and Colorado shaped me. It’s a place where I am filled with peace; where I can relive old memories; where I’m reintroduced to dreams and make new wishes; and sometimes, even where I again feel that angst of lost loves and late night phone calls. While lying in the double bed of our cabin, Mike sleeping in my sister’s old bed, my parents sleeping in their same room across the cabin, the memories vividly flash through my mind like the pages of a storybook, and I can actually feel the emotions of summers past. The Rocky Mountains bring me back to me – a me of then, a me of now.

siblings

While the conversations change and the hummingbirds come and go, and whether I’m 12 or Mr. N is 11, meal time remains a lively tradition in the cabin. It begins in the kitchen and continues around the table long after the last bite is eaten. There are no distractions. No tv’s. No phones. No walkmans. No iPads. No drama. It’s family time. It’s our time. So today, in honor of Colorado and relaxed, sit down breakfasts, Miss A and I bring you a Denver Omelette Frittata.

omelette ingredients

A frittata is a baked egg dish that can be prepared in advance or morning of, and makes great leftovers for the rest of the week. And a Denver, or Western, omelette combines eggs, ham, green pepper and onion with cheddar cheese. While it’s not known if the Denver omelette originated in Denver, it is believed that a scrambled egg sandwich with onions, peppers, ham and cheese was popular among cowboys and ranchers.

cooking together

Miss A and I made our frittata last week, and like the mealtimes back in Colorado, we spent a morning free of distraction. Miss A helped me chop the green pepper and onion, even slicing a few strips on her own.

green pepper

A little intimidated by the giant chopping knife, she then offered to take a turn with the camera instead.

dicing green pepper

But the eggs were all hers for the cracking!

cracking eggs

IMG_6516

We mixed Miss A’s beaten eggs with milk, fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Then we sautéed the green pepper and onion in a cast iron pan.

onion and green pepper

Once the veggies were ready, we added the ham to the skillet (pre-cooked and diced for convenience), and poured the eggs over the veggies, directly into the pan. Miss A then topped the eggs with the cheese (sampling some in the process of course!).

cheesy eggs

IMG_6523

We baked the frittata in the iron skillet at 400F for about 25 minutes and let it cool for five.

denver omelette frittata

We served our frittata with fresh fruit and pressed juice. Mike was the biggest fan of the baked, cheesy egg dish. In fact the Denver omelette is one of his favorites. He gave breakfast 4 spoons.

frittata

Miss A and I each gave the omelette 3 spoons. She wasn’t thrilled about the green peppers, but actually ate a few. I dipped mine in ketchup. Eggs and ketchup are inseparable to me.

denver frittata

Mr. N was our dissenter this time around. He gave the Denver Omelette Frittata 2 spoons; although he did still eat it for breakfast before school this week.

denver omelette

This was an easy one pot dish that was full of fresh flavors and cheesy goodness. A small piece is filling and packs enough protein to keep you satisfied until lunch. It’s perfect before a hike in the Rockies, or the walk to middle school.

western omelette frittata

As we were packing up the cabin before our departure, we realized something. If we wait another five years between visits, our Mr. N will be of driving age!! Cue the teenage angst (which already was popping up in pre-teen form on a hike or two this year) and mom’s gray hair (also already popping up).

Print this recipe: Denver Omelette Frittata

eggs for breakfast

I don’t know that Colorado will have the same formative effect on my two kiddlets as it did me, but I do know that they too will have some pretty amazing and lasting memories. And those cabin walls, well they’ll have a few more smiles, tears, hugs and sticky marshmallow fingerprints left behind.

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22 thoughts on “Mountains of Memories

  1. Bam's Kitchen says:

    Beautiful post and fun memories. That reminds me I have an entire box of old photos that need to be scanned. Your trips to Colorado reminds me of our camping trip as we used to call them going “up North” or as my youngest called it “up Norf” as we were working on his 2 year old pronunciation. Now that 2 year old is 17, where has that time gone? I love frittatas and yours is extra delicious as the kids are helping you make it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Norma Chang says:

    Thanks for sharing your family trips to the Rocky Mountains with us, and now with your children, I am sure they will have the same great memories to share with their children. Miss A is not only a gardener but a cook also, the 2 do go hand-in-hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eva Taylor says:

    Love your photos and that omelette looks absolutely scrumptious, I’d probably give it four spoons too! It’s so nice the Miss A likes to help in the kitchen, she looks like such a natural.
    Your trip to the Rocky Mountains sounds wonderful, there is something so calming about being in the mountains, I’ve always found it very soothing. Your family trips sound so special, such beautiful memories to have.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. hotlyspiced says:

    What a lovely post. I really enjoyed reading about your history with the Rocky Mountains and all the holidays you’ve enjoyed and the accumulation of memories and how you’re continuing the family tradition. It does seem like a really relaxing type of a holiday with plenty of excellent family times. I love the concentration on Miss A’s face as she makes the frittata! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    Loved viewing the photo retrospective… that image of Mr N in the striped red shirt is simply priceless — he had the actor’s gaze even back then ;-). Those teenage years.. the best of times, the worst of times and everything riding on it. I remember well and we find ourselves having to keep it all in mind (with a good pinch of patience and lots of deep breaths) as we navigate the delicate waters with our young men. You certainly are an adventurer Kristy – I have lots of fun experiencing the energy and thrill through you and your lovely writing. Your frittata by the way is gorgeous! Love how you’ve accompanied it with fruit (the peaches have the prettiest light – soft and peaceful, in your photos). Beautiful post my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kristy says:

      Isn’t that a great picture of Mr. N! I had forgotten about it and it still cracks me up. Always a character that guy! Funny how the teenage years seem like yesterday to us, but we seem so old to our kids. It’s interesting when you have the perspective of both sides of the coin. You’re doing an amazing job of it. You give me hope Kelly!!! Xo

      Like

  6. Marilyn Oxby says:

    I love this post! It touched my heart in so many ways. I had tears….it is such a special place for so many reasons. And for some reason it resonated deep within–enough to call us back again and again as if it has been our home forever. Think we’ll be back sooner than five years from now! Beautiful piece of writing on a beautiful topic. Love you! Have fun today 🎶😄🎶

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  7. sallybr says:

    My favorite line of this post… and that was a very hard choice: “While the conversations change and the hummingbirds come and go, and whether I’m 12 or Mr. N is 11, meal time remains a lively tradition in the cabin.”

    too awesome for words!

    Liked by 1 person

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