Saturday, July 23, 2005

Quiche Me Quick!

We had another fine adventure at the farmers' market this morning, Phoenix and I, finding lots of good fresh veggies (broccoli, cucumbers, onions, garlic, zucchini, tomatoes), some organic blackberries from my favorite organic farmer (who has been absent from the market this year up until today), and a loaf of sourdough bread and a chocolate espresso cookie from the bakery stand.

Ah yes, life is good!

We followed our market outing with a little smackerel of something sweet at the Hungarian pastry shop, lingering to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and yet another cup of coffee (in my case).

Then, we trudged back up the hill to my house and got down to the day's cooking lessons: pie crust and quiche.

Over our lunch at the Bistro the other day, Phoenix mentioned how much she enjoyed the quiche-like tart, and had I ever made quiche before? Yes, I replied, but it's been years.

"Oh, really?" she asked, with that certain gleam in her eye that I know very well means, "Here's yet another situation I need to take advantage of, so I'll persuade the Baklava Queen to teach me something new and I will eat fabulously well."

(I'm smarter than I look, you see.)

So, I agreed that she needed to learn how to make a good pie crust as well as make a quiche, and we arranged to do so today.

First off, the pie crust. Usually I'm pretty terrific at making a tender, flaky pie crust, but for whatever reason, the dough did not want to hold together as we rolled it out. (I think it might have been a combination of a different flour, mature shortening, and weather.)

However, we were able to make a patchwork crust in the pie dish, and Phoenix patiently worked the dough to fill the holes and mend the seams. I was impressed with her deftness at smoothing out the dough so that the crust ended up looking almost perfect, and I told her that while anyone can learn how to make a good pie crust, it takes true talent to make an ugly pie crust look gorgeous!

We decided that our quiche would contain a tomato and a small zucchini from our market adventure, as well as a small onion from a previous week and basil from my garden. We also added crumbled blue cheese, though we later discovered that it wasn't quite enough for our tastes.

I wish I had had a digital camera to take a picture of the quiche, because I have rarely seen anything so photogenic come out of my oven. The egg filling had a beautiful random pattern with strips of red tomatoes, triangles of green zucchini, and darker strips of green basil. It almost looked too good to eat.

Almost. Because you see, in my house, it's never too good to eat.

We also threw together a light cucumber salad with the first cucumber from my own garden, plus dill and mint from my herb garden, and we served that and the quiche with a honey-sweetened jasmine green iced tea, followed by the blueberry-date bars I'd made in the morning.

I'm really growing quite fond of these market-to-kitchen Saturdays when I can cook with excellent fresh produce and end up with satisfying and healthy meals.

And Phoenix?

Well, she was happy to take home an extra piece of quiche.


At 7/28/2005 9:40 AM, Blogger Phoenix said...


At 7/28/2005 10:04 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

See, folks? Didn't I tell you? That's one happy Phoenix. ;)


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