Photo Credit: Lia Wiedemann
Before having kids, I almost never cut corners in the kitchen. Take quiche, for example. I swear by two homemade crusts. The first is a quick and easy pate brise that my friend Olivia introduced me to years ago. I never wrote down an exact recipe and usually just eyeball the amounts of flour, butter, salt and water. I discovered the other on a favorite food blog. It relies on yeast and yields a lighter, bread-like crust. It’s a bit more complicated, but worth the extra work.
Now that I have two little boys, I have to search for shortcuts more often. This might explain why I recently made Melissa Clark’s Bacon-Cheddar Quiche with a store-bought crust. I know for some this might not be a big deal. But everyone has the things they hold onto for dear life until they’re forced to loosen their grip. Cooking everything from scratch was mine.
Melissa combines butter, lard and cheddar cheese to produce what she describes as a flaky and more savory crust. When I opened my freezer on a particularly nutty night a few weeks ago, I spotted two frozen crusts and thought of her recipe. If I wanted to get a good dinner on the table, cutting a corner that once felt too big was a must. It ended up being liberating as well. So, I kept going. To Melissa’s rich and decadent recipe, I added an egg, some milk and made enough filling for two quiches. I live for leftovers, and this is something I’m sure will never change. I had seconds that night and for lunch the next day. The crusts I used were whole wheat, organic and pretty good. I’m sure Melissa’s is a million times better. But I’d rather cut a corner and make a memorable meal than not cook at all.
Lia Wiedemann is a writer who loves food and her two little boys. She leads Brooklyn food tours for new moms and shares favorite recipes and restaurants on her blog, This Little Piglet.