2010.09.15 In deference to David, the quiche crumbles

Written by David Green.


Every time I make quiche I always think it won’t take very long, and every time, it does.

It’s like childbirth—after a while the memory of how incredibly painful it is subsides and you find yourself pregnant again—and you know it’s going to hurt—but not until you’re in the throes of it do you realize: Dang, I remember what this is like! And that’s when you swear: I’ll never do THAT again!

OK, making quiche is a lot simpler ordeal than making a baby. It doesn’t take quite so long for one thing and there’s no pushing or pain involved, but it does involve eggs. Still, it does take a lot longer than I ever think it will.

For example, my goal when I started the quiche-making process at 5:22 p.m. Sunday night was to be done eating by 7 p.m.

It seemed manageable. I promised myself that I would keep it simple—just onions and mushrooms for the filling—no mincing garlic, no washing-trimming-chopping-steaming  broccoli.

Quiche-making is not very daunting; there’s just four components: the crust, the filling, the grated cheese and the egg mixture.

Whirling flour and butter in a little food processor and rolling out the dough doesn’t take all that long—but in deference to David who is trying to limit his gluten intake and who doesn’t like to consume a lot of butter, I used all rice flour and less than half of the usual amount of butter.

Ever make a crust with all rice flour and not much butter? It takes a lot longer when it keeps crumbling apart. And so it takes twice as long to make crumbly crust when you make two.

Because if you’re going to make one quiche, you might as well make two. I think that philosophy was first articulated by Phyllis Ries regarding pie-making...but, I think she made a lot more pies than two.

I don’t know what happened, but we didn’t start eating quiche until at least 7:30 p.m. That’s more than two hours from start to finish...which, come to think about it, was more than twice as long as my labor with Rosie. Rosie was our infamous first homebirth baby who arrived four minutes before the midwife—after a one-hour labor.

Instead, David was the hapless midwife, who we joke, caught Rosie as I leaned against the foot of the bed, and then walked away with her, umbilical cord still attached.

As David inserted in his By the Way column a couple weeks ago, Rosie is pregnant and due in February. First she said she was due Feb. 21 and then she said Feb. 14 and now she’s back to Feb. 21.

I’m keeping Valentine’s Day as the due date in my mind because it’s easier to remember and I want to be mentally prepared for this event. If quick and easy births turn out to be a genetic thing, this baby could be born in no time...certainly way before the time it takes to roll out just one rice-flour skimpy-on-the-butter crust.

Rosie seems to have heightened her awareness of healthy foods since becoming pregnant. She sent me a link to an article, “10 Foods to Help You Boost Your Brain Power,” that extols the virtues of blackberries, coffee, apples, chocolate, cinnamon, spinach, extra virgin olive oil, salmon, curry, and Concord grape juice.

She jokingly asked if I wanted to start coffee drinking to fight off Alzheimer’s, now that I’m in my 50s.  The article noted that “A Finnish study of 1,400 longtime coffee drinkers reveals that people who sipped between three to five cups of coffee a day in their 40s and 50s reduced their odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 65 percent compared with those who downed fewer than two cups a day.”

Rosie knows how much I hate even the smell of coffee. I told her I would rather double or triple my chocolate consumption than take up coffee-drinking.

She also pointed out that I probably eat enough of the other items, but David is the consummate consumer of those healthy foods in this family. He often adds turmeric, the main component of curry powder, to everything, even oatmeal.

So, again, in deference to him, before popping the quiches into the oven, I heavily sprinkled the tops with turmeric, the star ingredient in curry. The recipe calls for paprika, but we were all out and the turmeric was handy.

Lawsy! (as Liz Stella would say with her Southern accent) turmeric is absolutely no substitute for paprika. It pretty much ruined the quiche—not even a healthy dose of salt could improve the flavor.

I just hope I remember that the next time I make quiche.

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