Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quiche Lorraine and a Few Books

It was a long Monday, but it was a good Monday. There are times when I drag my feet as Monday appears and even though I went in early—for me it’s early, as I’ve gotten used to a late morning shift—it was fine and I was even looking forward a little bit to the start of the week. I knew there would be lots of work waiting for me and I knew the others would have worked long into the nights and part of the weekend, so they would be in later and I would have the office to myself for one hour of uninterrupted work and catch up.

I thought of cooking throughout the day to help keep me centered. I felt relaxed and I dug into the piles of work, losing track of time. Easter is approaching faster than I realized. Quiche Lorraine floated me through the day. My significant other and I will have Easter at his parents and this year I’d like to bring a quiche. I had thought about making an apple pie, flan, sweet potatoes, and then quiche popped into my mind. The other night I made an apple crisp. It’s been a while since I made a crisp. Last time I did was about a year ago and it was blueberry. The way the blueberries oozed their sweet goodness married with the crumb topping: the memory stayed. The apple crisp was good too. I may still try to make an apple pie with a crumb topping and bring that for Easter as well. Quiche Lorraine—for sure.

The long Monday brought me home later than usual. I didn’t feel tired. While I was at work I made my mind up that I would prepare a test quiche that night. I scribbled a list on a post-it. When the workday was done, I headed to the market for supplies. I had looked through a few quiche recipes online, some using cream, and some using 12 slices of bacon instead of the six that I decided on. There were so many variations and comments from reviewers. I’ve only made quiche two times and I wasn’t extremely pleased with the results. The last oven that I lived with was gas and didn’t seem to brown the tops of food very well. I have to admit I was nervous baking in the oven we have now because it is also gas and small. After making corn muffins in it, I see that it browns perfectly and it is sturdier than I thought. The quiche recipe that I followed last time was different than the one this time; to the usual onions and bacon for Lorraine, I added mushrooms and spinach. The aromas and warmth that filled the apartment were satisfying and when I peeked at how the quiche was doing, it was lovely. When it seemed done, I took it out to cool and later cut a slice to share. We agreed that it was delicious. Possibly a bit wet. We’ll see today for lunch how it set overnight in the refrigerator, and then I’ll know if I need to keep it in the oven a wee bit longer for the Easter quiche.

Quiche isn’t difficult to prepare, yet good results make it seem so. I am fully present when I’m cooking and working with food—appreciating the meal as it comes together, savoring each ingredient, what it adds, how it combines. I only hope that Lorraine is well received on Easter; with love and care, I think it’s possible.


I wanted to share three books that I finished recently.

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (2012) by Susan Cain (Audio narrator: Kathe Mazur).  I already shared a bit about my relationship to introversion in my past blog, http://redroom.com/member/rebbecca-hill/blog/bookindipity. I started listening to this audio in late January and it came to an end yesterday. This has been a most enlightening book on introversion and extroversion. I’m not one to need facts when it comes to certain things. I rely on my inner knowing. However, for those that need their facts, the book doesn’t disappoint. For anyone that truly would like to have a fuller understanding of extroversion and introversion, I highly recommend this book. I related and found myself within the audio pages. I especially appreciated the section when the author talks to us about how to honor and support our children who are introverts. As with anything, we will often relate to one side of the spectrum more than the other; there will always be varying degrees and situations that bring us out or close us down. On a personal level, I gained more insight into extroverts, which my significant other is. He has moments, but by and far, he is extrovert all the way. This book has helped me to understand his energy source and how it affects him—he feeds on crowds and people; and how it is much different than mine—I feed on quiet and contemplation. I can understand his glazed over drained look better now when it’s too quiet and sometimes he or we need to go out and be amongst the activity. I’ve learned to embrace my extrovert moments through the years; this book has really brought it into perspective and brought me full circle with my memories, childhood, and adolescence and all my introvertedness then and now—How I do love and honor it more so than ever. 

Amazing Gracie: A Dog’s Tale (2003) [Kindle edition] by Dan Dye and Mark Beckloff. I came across this book on one of the Amazon Daily Deals. I believe it is still available for $1.99. If you love dogs, you will love this book. Gracie is a sweet Great Dane, albino and deaf. It really is a special and heart warming true story that reads quickly; I didn’t want it to end. There are also pictures of the gang at the end of the book.

The Last Chinese Chef (2007) by Nicole Mones. The moment I laid eyes on Nicole Mones words in her first novel Lost in Translation, I knew I would be back one day. And what a treat that I would return with her to China again in The Last Chinese Chef. I feel changed after reading The Last Chinese Chef, feeling a new appreciation for Chinese cuisine, especially as it related to banquets only reserved for the elite; the literary undertones of meals in and of themselves. This was an exquisite novel—a work of fiction, but the Chinese culinary world depicted—real. It has left me not only with a greater respect and awe for Chinese cuisine and culture, but leaves me rethinking food in general.

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