We all start out life as a simple, basic human being. As we grow and learn, little facets of the world around us, including people, add to our own lives. We accept or reject what we want to; allow ourselves to be molded into an independent individual, or we just become one of the crowd. Each day we learn something new; that is, if we have open minds and want to see beyond our own little worlds. Of the people who influence us the most, it is our parents, soon it will be Mothers’ Day; the woman in our lives who nurtures, cares for, molds, advises and sees us as small children the rest of our adult lives. Don’t worry dads, your day will come in June.
Personally, I enjoy traveling down the road less taken. That poem, by Robert Frost, has much meaning, if one cares to really read and understand the concept of being an individual, not just a clone. This is something that I strove to teach my own son; surprise, I do have a child, well he’s a strong adult now, 27 years in age and living in Moab. Wonders will never cease when it comes to me, I promise you that!
"The Road Not Taken"
By Robert Frost
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.
When it comes to independence, cooking was definitely taught to my son who continues to work in restaurants wherever he resides. A complete, and easy, meal to create is Quiche, and yes, real men do bake and eat quiche. A quiche is egg custard with savory additions, baked in an open pastry shell; usually served at room temperature or chilled. It is quite simple to make with a variety of tongue teasing ingredients: cheese (Swiss, Gruyere, Cheddar, goat), meat (bacon, ham, sausage) and vegetables (raw or cooked).
|Asparagus and Cheddar Quich|
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.
Once baked, let the quiche cool for at least two hours before serving; it may look done, but the center is still loose; cutting it would be a complete mess. Refrigerating the quiche would help; it can then be served cold, or slightly warm it for 10 minutes in a 300F oven. Eaten cold or warm, quiche is a complete meal in a slice of egg custard goodness.
|Mushroom, Bacon and Swiss Cheese Quiche|
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 the custard.
|Spinach, Mushroom, Goat Cheese Quiche|
For meats, distribute a ½ cup of cooked meat (crumbled bacon, diced ham, crumbled ground sausage) with the cheese. Depending on the salt content of the cheese and meat, salt can be adjusted prior to adding to the egg mixture. Herbs, fresh or dried, can be incorporated into the egg mixture as well.
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, boil in water till tender and drain thoroughly before adding inside the pastry shell. A raw vegetable, such as spinach (wash leaves and dry thoroughly), should be chopped before adding.
To avoid spillage, a jelly roll pan placed into the oven while it is heating up helps temper it; it should not warp and tilt the quiche(s) during the baking process. I have found that that doesn't always work out the way I planned it. Instead take a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, make edges all around and place on the center rack of the oven. Then carefully place the filled pie crusts inside, close up the oven and bake as usual. The foil won't warp from the heat, but still grab any spillage.
Now you go ahead and give mom that huge bouquet of flowers and box of her favorite chocolates, but giving her a big quiche will truly make her smile.