‘Quiche sounds fancy but it’s really a simple dish.’
‘Really? How do you make it?’
‘The hardest part is the crust. If you have a good crust recipe, you’re nearly finished with your quiche.’ She mixed the ingredients together in the bowl.
‘Which recipe do you use?’
‘Seems like a different one every time. I haven’t found one that I love & that will turn out the same way twice.’
‘If it’s the same recipe, why doesn't it turn out the same?’
‘I’m not sure. Part of it is the humidity or dry air and the other is because I’m a messy cook. I mean, I’m not exact with measurements. Use the recipe you like. Once you have the crust ready, add cheese, whatever vegetable, then pour the milk & egg mixture over then bake for an hour or so.’
‘It’s that easy?’
‘Afraid so, French cooking is known for being difficult but quiche isn't one of the hard ones.’
‘Does the pan make a difference?’
‘I have this quiche dish that a friend gave me and these pie pans my mother gave me. I haven’t noticed any difference except the diameter of the quiche. Ha!’
‘Is that funny?’
‘No, not really, I was just thinking about these pie dishes.’
‘They must be special since your mother gave them to you.’
‘Oh they’re special, but that’s another story.’
‘A story? Do tell.’
‘Only because you asked: when was it? Oh yes, Sammy was a baby when grandma came to visit. One of my Christmas gifts were these pie pans. She said she didn't need them anymore, she brought them for me. They were unusual in that they were Pyrex with a decorative black ring at the fluted edge. I never minded hand-me-downs. Ha! Most of what I have is a hand-me-down, I mean, antique.’ She chuckled.
‘So these aren't the same pans?’
‘Yes, they are, and I do really like them,’ she nodded. ‘Of course I washed them in the dish washer before I used them the first time. Made fruit pies, if memory serves. When the pie was done, I noticed some of the fruit had stuck to the edge so I hand-washed them.’ She stopped and sighed.
After a long pause… ‘you washed them, and??’
‘I discovered that the black ring wasn't a decoration, it was burnt food caked on over a long time.’ She wrinkled her nose and added, ‘my mother never was very good at cooking or housekeeping.’
‘That’s what I said,’ she laughed. ‘Then, I soaked them, scrubbed and scrubbed some more. Finally, I got the pie pans clean. They looked like new. The next time my mother came to visit, she noticed the pie pans and asked why I had bought new ones, didn't I like the ones she gave me?’
‘Oh yeah, I told her these were the pans she gave me and that I love Pyrex. And thanked her for them again.’ She paused and looked sad for a moment, ‘it really does sum up two things in my life: what it was like growing up in her house and the relationship we had.’
‘Nothing to be sorry about,’ the smile returned to her face, ‘and just remember everyone is an example, good or bad. Besides that, my dear, was a very long time ago. So, you roll out the crust like this…’