Yesterday being Easter Sunday, it was Tom's turn to drive north. We suggested a few things we might do - eating out was one of them - but Tom insisted that he'd rather stay in and enjoy each other's company and make our own meal.
"I'll do everything," Tom said. "I'll have everything prepared and ready to go when I arrive." And so he did. He decided he was going to make quiche. That sounds good to both Mom and I. Initially he thought it would be nice if I made the crust. Both Mom and I told him we've been buying ready-made crusts in recent years (usually Kroger brand deep dish frozen pie crusts) but sometimes Pet Ritz. We found we couldn't do better.
Tom even picked up a couple of crusts. These were Marie Callendar brand and they are excellent, even better than what we're used to.
Tom arrived early ... about 10:15 am.
Tom was laden with bags of foodstuffs.
First step was to take the pie crusts and bake them for a while. It took about 15 minutes for both (which we placed on a cookie sheet) to begin to brown. These Marie Callendar crusts appear to be fresh dough. Tom let them thaw out on the way to Pinehaven.
Tom's making a "Mushroom and Onion Quiche" from The No-Salt Cookbook (page 250). For the onions he substituted fresh asparagus and spinach. The spinach was a bag of frozen chopped spinach from Krogers. Tom sauteed the mushrooms and asparagus before leaving home. Meanwhile I heated the frozen spinach in a pan.
After the crusts were baked, Tom added the mushrooms first, then spooned in the tender bright green asparagus tips.
Now a layer of shredded gouda.
And finally the spinach which has been heated and drained.
There's never too much cheese, right?
Finally it's time for the mixture that will become the central custard-like consistency of the quiche. This large bottle holds the eggs, milk and heavy cream along with a pinch of pepper. Tom didn't have nutmeg so we added that here. Tom beat the entire mixture before adding it to the quiche.
He pours the rich creamy mixture on both quiches. They'll now go to the oven: 350° for 40 minutes.
While they're baking we improve on the time by washing the dishes. I wash and rinse; Tom dries.
Time to check how well done the quiches are. Tom sticks a knife into the custard and it comes up almost clean. "Let's give it a few more minutes," he said. Tom has done this before.
Then, just shy of 45 minutes, they're done. We've baked them on a cookie sheet to guard against any spill-over but there is none. They look perfect.
Now it's time for more cheese. It quickly melts across the top.
Viola! The completed quiche.
Tom cuts it carefully ...
... and scoops out the first slice. Perfect! Tom cut the pie into eight pieces: Tom and I each had three. Mom had two (she ate a bowl of soup about 9:30 am).
Though I offered to buy dessert (Mom and I ended up supplying slaw, drinks and a homemade cheese ball and various crackers), Tom insisted he had something in mind and would be taking care of it. He came in with a gorgeous Strawberry Crunch Cake from Kroger's. The "crunch" is provided by a layer of something (toasted coconut would be my guess) along the outside edge of the cake. Though Tom isn't a fan of strawberries, the thick layer of whipped cream on top commands his attention.
Tom, in fact, said he once walked into a Kroger's where they had made too many of these and had them on a table with a price of $3.99 each. He took one home and ate the whole thing himself.
Thus our delicious Easter meal and was made and consumed. What a special day. We played a game of Michigan Rummy (I won; sorry, Tom), scanned some childhood pictures of Tom and watched two TV programs I had recorded. We also carried a fence section out of the barn and placed it on the porch near where it will be installed. It's far too heavy for me to move alone.
All told, a great day and, like every other one, it went too fast. Easter 2015 left us with full bellies and warm memories. That's a particularly delicious combination.