An Easy Omelette and Fleas


An omelet with sauteed mushrooms and cheeses in a frying pan

Join the movement to live a more frugal and less wasteful lifestyle with the Oily Rag community. Columnists Frank and Muriel Newman and their trusty gang of frugal foragers share their tips and tricks each week to save you money, and add to your practical skills.

Lil from Whangarei has some omelette making tips for Dee, who has a surplus of eggs thanks to some very happy backyard chickens.

“A basic recipe uses 3 eggs, grated cheese, some salt and pepper to taste, and a knob of butter. Bring a frying pan up to a moderate heat and add the butter. When it bubbles swirl it around the pan. Beat the eggs with the salt and pepper (some people like to add a tablespoon or two of milk or water) and pour into the pan. Once the base has cooked but the omelette is still runny on top, sprinkle on the cheese. When melted, fold the omelette in half and allow it to cook until it is golden brown underneath. That’s it, pretty simple but it’s easy to flavour it up with leftovers, which I cook and add into the egg mix. Here are some of the variations I use.

“Two or three sliced mushrooms (cooked until light brown), and finely chopped ham – along with a sprinkle of oregano.

“Cherry tomatoes and basil. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and fry for a minute or two. Sprinkle over basil, then add into the egg mix.

“Potato and onions. This makes a thick omelette, which is too thick to fold onto itself so I keep it whole. The potatoes need to be pre-cooked and thinly sliced, then browned with a little butter and some chopped onion before layering onto the omelette. Rosemary, sage, or thyme can be added to taste.

“Pretty much anything goes as toppings, depending on whether the omelette is served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Sometimes I use shrimp as the filling when serving as a main meal.”

As Lil shows, all sorts of omelette taste sensations can be created using different herbs and spices. Hope this gives Dee some ideas for using those extra eggs. And here are a couple of other egg suggestions from readers.

Jan from Whangarei freezes her extra eggs. “When you have a few extra eggs freeze them. Just beat a couple together and put in small jar or container and into the freezer. Use for baking or scrambled eggs. They are particularly useful for Christmas or birthday cakes.”

Joan from Opotiki writes, “I would like to share my favourite Puffy Egg recipe with others. My daughters made it at school. You need: 1 egg per person, chopped bacon, 1 oz (about 30 grams) grated cheese, 1/8 teaspoon of salt and 1 slice of toast. Toast the bread. Separate egg whites in a bowl; place the yolk on the toast. Add salt to the egg white and beat until stiff. Spread over the toast and sprinkle with grated cheese and bacon. Cook for 15 minutes at 150C.”

Hilary from Kaikohe has been looking into alternatives for hair shampoo. “I washed my hair with baking soda for a few times before I wondered how much good it was doing my hair, since I also use baking soda to clean my oven! I did some research and found others had had the same thought. One lady had done some scientific research and found that rye flour has the best pH for hair. I have been using two heaped tsp of rye flour shaken up into a small amount water ever since. It works extremely well. Sometimes I use apple cider vinegar afterwards, but often not.”

PB from Christchurch has a pet issue. “How do you control fleas on pets without spending a fortune? Will diluted tea tree oil used as a spray work?”

Jeanne from Temuka writes, “I have tried rubbing crushed mint leaves on both my cat and dog, especially along the length of the back and around the collar area. It works a treat. Any herb or plant with a minty or citrus scent works well.”

Margaret from Invercargill has this suggestion. “This is a good and cheap flea remedy for cats and dogs that really works. Mix 225 ml cider vinegar with 112 ml of warm water. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Shake well, put into a spray bottle and apply.”

Please send in your tips by visiting the oily rag website ( or by writing to Living off the Smell of an Oily Rag, PO Box 984, Whangarei.