Last night, Mom and I were home watching a movie when we got a phone call about our dear friend, Miss Peggy, and a very difficult time she is going through this week in her family. Miss Peggy is like a grandma to me, and we were very sad to hear of her suffering. After about 10:00, when we would normally get ready for bed, I found Mom in the kitchen, apron tied in place, fluting the edges of a pie crust in a pie pan. I knew she was praying for Peggy, and that she couldn't go to sleep yet. Me too. Instead, she was making a quiche... which in our house is pronounced "kish," because that's how Peggy says it. Miss Peggy is the Queen of Quiche, quite well-known for coming up with colorful, unusual, and delicious ingredients to stuff in an egg pie. There wasn't much I could say or do, but I grabbed my book and sat at the counter and read, and watched as Mom baked.
Quiche Lorraine (from p. 218 of the BCC): Now, mom has made quiches before, and is pretty comfortable in adapting recipes, but she resolved to make this exactly as the recipe in the BCC instructed. Of course, the base was her family-favorite flaky pie crust. But three ingredients were different for her. First and most importantly, instead of milk, this calls for whipping cream. This ultimately was a brilliant idea, making this one of the thickest, richest, fluffiest quiches I've ever had. Second, mom tends to throw in whatever cheeses are in the refrigerator, which is most often cheddar, but this specifically calls for one cup of Swiss cheese, which of course added to the richness of the flavor. Finally, it called for 1/8 tsp of cayenne red pepper; while I didn't really taste this ingredient (probably because it was so minor), it did lead to an interesting tidbit of cooking wisdom later...
We got ready for bed about an hour later, and left the smell of warm quiche lingering in the kitchen to tempt Dad when he got home from his second-shift work... and it did. Today, I wasn't sure how the quiche would taste after warming it back up, but it tasted freshly baked - and boy, was it fluffy! While we were eating and enjoying each bite, who should call us but Miss Peggy herself. She wanted to drop off something and wondered if it was a good time. Yes! Mom jumped at the opportunity, and said, "Do you have time to stay and have a piece of quiche too?"
When she arrived, she sat at the counter in the kitchen, and Mom put a slice of quiche in front of her. True to her character, Miss Peggy started telling us stories... stories from her painful week. Some were bittersweet and made us laugh with misty eyes, and some were so heartbreaking she began to weep. I guess because she couldn't speak any more, she finally poked at the slice and put a forkful of the pie in her mouth. Immediately she perked up and said, "Oh this is wonderful kish!... This tastes so good!" Mom wiped the counter and laughed, "Well, that's quite a compliment, coming from you!" Without missing a beat, Peggy said, "I know it, I'm famous for my kish!" and took another bite. I asked her about whipping cream, and she confirmed that she usually uses it, "with a dash of nutmeg," she added. I mentioned the cayenne pepper, and she said that if a quiche recipe calls for whipping cream, it also includes a spice like nutmeg, too.
Mom packed up another slice for Peggy to take home and eat later, and after a little visit that seemed to lift her spirits a bit, we hugged her and she said goodbye. Mom said she was so glad she made that quiche today. If you happen to make this recipe this week, would you please lift up a prayer for Miss Peggy and her family, too?
I don't know who "Lorraine" is, but I think I'm going to rename this dish the "Kish Peggy."