Edith Cavell Belgian Cheese Omelete

Edith Cavell Belgian Cheese Omelete

By William Lawrence Sr.

Edith Cavell watched silently as the August sun beat down on the green-gray lines of German troops marching into Brussels.

She had arrived from her native England seven years before to organize and direct L’Ecole Belge pour les Infirmieres Diplomees, Belgium’s first nursing school, which almost immediately became known simply as the Clinique.

She had already made a dent in the country’s nursing profession. Before her arrival, doctors had treated nurses as servants. She told her students to demand they be addressed as “Nurse.”

When they expressed doubt, Miss Cavell insisted that “even doctors can learn to be courteous.”

By 1914, the nursing profession had been uplifted to a point where the school was not longer having a problem attracting excellent students.

Then the Germans came. Miss Cavell ordered her charges to treat all soldiers equally without regard to nationality. There were many allied soldiers still wandering around Belgium. Many were sick or wounded.

Miss Cavell welcomed them to the Clinique, then went a step further and helped to smuggle them through German lines to France or Holland.

The quiet spoken nurse was always small and slender. The night journeys caused her to lose even more weight and become haggard.

The Belgians soon knew the Clinique was a haven for Allied soldiers. There, unfortunately were a few pro-German Belgians, who alerted the Germans.

They planted a couple of men who posed as French soldiers, and about a year after Miss Cavell had started smuggling operation she was arrested.

She had probably never told a lie in her life, and she refused to lie at her trial.

Asked if she had helped 20 soldiers to escape, she softly replied, “It was more like 200.”

She was found guilty by the German military tribunal. A judge read the verdict: “Edith Cavell – todesstrafe – death!”

During the following weeks she wrote to all those dear to her never once expressing fear. To her nurses, she wrote “If there is one among you whom I have wronged, I beg you to forgive me. I have been perhaps too severe sometimes but never voluntarily unjust. And I have loved you all much more than you thought.”

When the guards arrived at 6 a.m. on the day of her execution, she had just finished jotting a note in her prayer book. It read: “Died at 7 a.m. on Oct. 12th, 1915. With love to my mother. E. Cavell.”

She was taken to a rose garden to face the firing squad. A German officer shouted a command. There was a burst of gunfire. Edith Cavell was dead.

But she is still remembered. The Clinique is now called: “Ecole Edith Cavell.”

A beautiful statue of Edith Cavell in her nurse’s cloak stands majestically in London’s Trafalgar Square. There is a sculpture of her in Paris’ Tuileries Garden. There is Mt. Cavell in Canada and Cavell Glacier in the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Her portrait hangs in her childhood home in Swardeston, England and over the altar of the church of which her father served as pastor is a stained glass window dedicated to her memory.

Edith Cavell’s favorite meal, as with many Brits, was breakfast. She especially enjoyed a simple but delicious Belgian cheese omelet similar to the one that follows.

Edith Cavell’s Belgian Cheese Omelet

6 eggs

2/3 Cup chopped or shredded Swiss or gruyere cheese

2 Tbs. of butter



Thyme (what makes it special)

Mix eggs in bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with healthy sprinkle of thyme. Melt butter in 12-inch frying pan. Pour eggs in pan. Tilt pan so eggs cover bottom of pan. Let stand over heat a few seconds. Loosen edge of omelet all around with spatula. Sprinkle with cheese. Tilt pan, using spatula carefully roll up omelet or fold in half.

Hold skillet so that bottom rests on edge of platter, slowly roll omelet onto plate.


Edith Cavell Belgian Cheese Omelete

Edith Cavell Belgian Cheese Omelete

Molly Pitcher’s Pepper Pot Soup

Molly Pitcher’s Pepper Pot Soup is a legenary recipie for this 4th of July.

William W. Lawrence Sr.

Mary Ludwig Hays was in on one of the most delicious concoctions ever invented. Who was Mary Ludwig Hays? You have heard of her, but by a different name.

She married John Casper Hays, a barber who lived in Carlisle, Pa., in 1769. Her husband enlisted in the First Pennsylvania Artillery in 1775. Like many other soldiers of the time, he took his wife with him.

The couple spent the bitter winter of 1777-1778 at Valley Forge. The men were in tatters. There was little food, and desertions were frequent.

General Washington called his mess sergeants together and implored them to devise a belly-filling meal. They went back to the wives, who did most of the cooking, and took inventory of their supplies.

The only meat available was tripe and veal bones. They had an abundance of peppercorns, some potatoes, onions, and hot peppers. Mary Hays helped to dice the provisions. The cooks came up with enough scraps to brew a thick, hearty soup.

It later was named Philadelphia Pepper Pot. Some historians credit the dish with saving the Continental Army.

A few months later, on Sunday, June 28, 1778, the Battle of Monmouth took place. John Hays and his wife were there. It was a scorching day. John and the rest of the gunners fired their artillery pieces steadily under the broiling sun.

His wife grabbed a pitcher, which she filled and refilled from a cool spring. She went from gun to gun, taking the delicious water to the thirsty fighters. It was they who named her Molly Pitcher.

When her exhausted husband fell from the heat, Molly took over and fired until the battle ended.

George Washington awarded her a non-commissioned officer rank and in later life she became known as Sergeant Molly.

Those later years, however, were not happy ones. After Hays died, she married George McCauley, a former soldier and close friend of her husband. McCauley was lazy and refused to work. The heroine had to work as a laundress to keep both of them.

She welcomed a $40-a-year pension the Pennsylvania Legislature authorized. She continued to brew Philadelphia Pepper Pot soup until she died.

She is listed as Molly McCauley on her tombstone in Carlisle.

Molly Pitcher’s Philadelphia Pepper Pot

1 Lb. fresh white honeycomb tripe

1 Veal knuckle

3 Quarts. cold water

1 Small bunch parsley

3 Large diced potatoes

2 Carrots

2 Onions

15 Peppercorns crushed

1 Tsp. marjoram

1/2 Tbs. thyme

1 Tsp. basil

1 Hot red pepper

1 Tbs. salt

3/4 Cup flour

1/2 Tsp. salt

1 Egg

2 Tbs. margarine

3 Tbs. flour

Wash tripe in several times changing the waters, then cut with scissors into strips, then dice. Place in pot with knuckle, add water. Heat slowly to boiling, let boil for 15 minutes. Skim. Cover and simmer gently for two hours. Put spices and crushed peppercorns in cheesecloth bag. Add the pepper, diced potatoes and diced onion. Let the soup return to a boil and add balls the size of little marbles made from the 3/4 cup flour, egg and 1/2 Tsp. salt. To make these, beat the egg, add the salt and enough flour to make a not-too-stiff dough. Roll between palms into tiny balls. Cook an hour longer, then thicken with the melted margarine and three Tbs. flour. Cook a few minutes longer and serve piping hot.


Molly Pitcher’s Pepper Pot Soup

Molly Pitcher’s Pepper Pot Soup

Strawberries Cranius — Legendary Recipe

Strawberries Cranius — Legendary Recipe

By William Lawrence Sr.

The morning sun burned away the mist and shone brightly upon the majestic palace in the city of Themiscyra on the Black Sea.

The sparkling white marble edifice was the home of the raven-haired Queen Penthesilea, the magnificent ruler of the Amazons.

Now, as the sun poured through the windows and beat on her over-sized bed, her nearly seven-foot body stirred.

Cranius, her chief slave and servant, stood  silently and watched. He was in love with his beautiful queen, but she hardly knew Cranius was there. He was treated like a piece of furniture.

Cranius cast his eyes downward, as Penthesilea stretched, causing the muscles to ripple in her broad back. She yawned and the soft brown eyes flecked with gold which matched her gossamer sleeping garments opened wide. Cranius, as always, was taken aback by her amazing beauty.

Except for the servants, the Amazons allowed no men in Themiscyra. Even the male children were sent away, and only daughters were allowed to be reared in the city.

Years before, during a deer hunt, Penthesilia aimed at an animal, but the arrow went astray and killed her only sister. She was overcome with grief, but decided not to slay herself. Instead, she vowed “to die on the sword of the bravest man in the world. Of course, that was Achilles.

Penthesilea snapped her fingers and told Cranius she was ready for breakfast.

She needed plenty of fuel to power her large and lithe body.

The gorgeous queen ate a morning feast of eggs, cheese, cold chicken, sizzling hot fish, sweet rolls, and then polished off a double portion of Strawberries Cranius, a wonderful desert invented by her faithful servant.

Finished eating, she leaped frorm the bed. Her thick black hair fell below her waist.

Cranius felt a chill as the watched her dress. She was preparing for combat. The short white skirt, the halter and the high boots were white. The breast plate and helmet were gold.

She ordered her army to assemble.

“Saddle up,” she said. “We are going to fight the Greeks.”

Within minutes the disciplined regiment was mounted and galloping off to help the Trojans.

Achilles, naturally, sided with the Greeks.

Penthesilea caught sight of Achilles as she led her brave warriors into combat. Achilles saw the beautiful queen sitting high in the saddle of a sorrel stallion. Their eyes met. It was love at first sight.

It was a love that was not meant to be. Penthesilea attacked Achilles with the ferocity of a tiger and the brave soldier was forced to defend himself. He smote the Amazon queen with his sword. She fell, mortally wounded. Achilles tried to save her, but could not.

Cranius sobbed uncontrollably at the word of his queen’s death. He vowed he would never make his strawberry dessert for the new amazon queen. It would be his secret memorial to Penthesilea.

And while the following recipe is not exactly the same, it is similar and very delicious.

Strawberries Cranius

1 quart strawberries

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 cup kirsch

1 cup whipping cream

Cut strawberries in halves and place a few aside for garnishing. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and kirsch, stir. Cover, refrigerate about two hours. Before serving, beat whipping cream in a bowl until soft peaks form, fold in strawberries and garnish.

Strawberries Cranius -- Legendary Recipe