Real men don’t bake quiche


I was still in my early twenties when the phrase I co-opted in my title was being popularized. I have to admit, I didn’t even know what quiche was at that time, though I surmised the meaning of the phrase from its general use.

Three and a half decades later, I not only knew what quiche was, I had eaten and enjoyed it several times.

Now we come to the month of August in the year of my cooking challenge (refresher for newcomers: I am cooking a different dish each month that I enjoy eating but have never cooked before). I was committed to making sure July’s near-disaster was not to be repeated (I got the cooking done on the very last day of the month).

I had recently been out with my Dad and Stepmom to a French restaurant for lunch and had my usual, a seafood crepe (with side salad!). Since I had (kind of) agreed to my elder nieceling’s supplemental challenge of making each month’s recipe from a different country, I thought, Crepes!

Except, I had just cooked up a batch of Brewat and they are, effectively, crepes (sans sauce). So, of course, sticking with them French people, I went with quiche.

Except, I don’t really care for eggs. But I do like omelets. And I do like spinach (especially creamed spinach). And I loves me some cheese. So – spinach quiche it is.

There were some immediate needs. I had never baked a pie before so I needed a pie pan (found a nice 9″ glass one). I also commit each time to follow the recipe exactly, leaving ad-libbing for the next go-round.

That meant frozen spinach instead of chopping my own. It meant pre-formed pie crust (Pillsbury!) instead of just dough. And it also meant following the quantities listed on the recipe. And that led to some adventure!

Everything was moving along swimmingly – the pie crust rolled into the plate nicely and was pre-heating in the oven. The spinach and chopped onions (and garlic) were sautéing smoothly. The eggs and milk whipped into a fine custard.

And then the problems began.

Based on the recipe, I layered the 2 cups of shredded cheese. And then the spinach and onion mixture. To my untrained eye, it sure looked pretty full in that pie shell. I tried to mash the spinach down as much as I could before the 6 egg/1 cup of milk mix needed to be poured in.

And about halfway into that, I noticed the dam break. And the counter spill. And the waterfall down my cabinet onto the floor. With a Peanuts-like scream (“Aughh!”), I seized the paper towels, for once not upset with four hundred rolling out instead of one sheet.

After some desperate minutes of cleanup, I stared dubiously at the quiche. Not much egg mixture in there, but what was I to do. I placed it in the oven – gingerly – and set the timer.

It came out looking great. As for taste, well, it was probably a little soft on the bottom (another 10 minutes?) and tasted more like a spinach pie than a spinach quiche, but I enjoyed it just the same. Perhaps more, given my ambivalence towards eggs.

The whole process is quite easy, though, unlike many of my recipes so far. I expect this is one I can repeat safely in the future, making the appropriate changes that I now know are needed.

And now I have plenty of time to brainstorm for September.

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