Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life is like a quiche.

We all start out life as a simple, basic human being.  As we grow and learn, little facets of the world around us, and other people, add to our own lives.  We accept or reject what we want to, and allow ourselves to be molded into an independent individual, or we just become one of the crowd.  Everyday we learn something new; that is, if we have open minds and want to see beyond our own little worlds.

Personally, I enjoy traveling down the road less taken.  That poem, by Robert Frost, has much meaning, if one cares to really read it and understand the concept of being an individual, not just a clone.

"The Road Not Taken"
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

...and that is what makes life like a quiche. 

A quiche is egg custard with savory additions like meat, cheese or vegetables, baked in an open pastry shell. The quiche is a favorite and traditional dish, as it is usually served at room temperature or chilled, so the custard has time to set up; but it makes a simple dinner also. It is quite simple to make, and additions of savory ingredients can vary: cheese (Swiss, Gruyere, Cheddar, Goat), meat (bacon, ham, sausage) and vegetables (raw or cooked).  Quiche is a versatile meal, and can be adjusted to suit any taste.
Basic Quiche
1 ½ cups half n’ half
4 eggs, beaten
1/8 tsp salt (can be adjusted up or down dependent on ingredients added in)
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
 1 – 9” unbaked deep dish pastry shell
Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine half n’ half, eggs, salt and pepper.  Pour into pastry shell; bake for 45-50 minutes, or until egg mixture is golden brown and set.
Notes: The above is the simple egg custard; the adventure is what is added.  Add 2 cups shredded cheese (your choice) to the bottom of the pastry shell, before pouring in the egg mixture, for a simple cheese quiche.  Reduce the cheese to 1 cup if adding meat and/or vegetables to not overwhelm them.
For meats, distribute a ½ cup of cooked meat (crumbled bacon, diced ham, crumbled ground sausage) with the cheese.
For vegetables, ½ cup of sautéed onion, peppers, leeks, zucchini or yellow squash distributed with cheese, or cheese and meat.  If using a root vegetable (potato, sweet potato, Jerusalem artichoke), peel, dice and boil in water till tender before adding inside the pastry shell. A raw vegetable, such as spinach, should be chopped before adding.
Depending on the salt content of the cheese and meat, it can be adjusted prior to adding to the egg mixture.  Herbs, fresh or dried, can be incorporated into the egg mixture. 
Mary Cokenour       January 18, 2011

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