IF you’ve noticed I haven’t shown up in your mailbox for a while, it’s because I have had Covid.
Yes, despite being vaxxed and boosted, and wearing a mask everywhere indoors, I got it anyway, as did my sweetie. I gotta say, I never had any doubts about my need for the vaccine, and I am grateful that so many people worked so hard to make one… I can’t imagine not having the vaccine – it knocked me on my ass, not gonna sugar-coat it. Today is the first day out of the last 14 that I have felt a bit like myself again. But I could sure use a nap. LOL
Let’s magically go back to what I began to write 3 weeks ago:
I am making a quiche for my son. It’s one I made all the time when he was growing up and it is dependent on perfectly-ripe farm-fresh tomatoes. I bought a few at our farmer’s market this morning, along with some onions, and I can’t get the memory of this Tomato & Onion Pie (what it is called in this cookbook I’ve had since the mid-1970s) out of my mind. A chunk of Jarlsberg, a few eggs, some half & half, and it will be heavenly!
This cookbook was published in 1972, a year after my son was born, but I didn’t buy it until three years later when I began my first hairdressing job. There was an incredibly beautiful woman who owned a shop half a block from the salon where I worked. She was my boss’s client and we would always talk as I shampooed her hair.
Her shop – The Jade Garden – just around the corner from our shop, was full of airplants in stunning seashells from all around the globe, suspended everywhere in the delicate macrame hangers she made. Acrylic pedestals in varying heights featured whimsical terrariums she constructed. She was fascinating and exotic to me: she’d been to India, where she’d been given her name by her guru. She ran her own very chic business, something unimaginable to my twenty-five year old self. Her jewelry! And, she was a vegetarian.
I never really enjoyed meat, but I had no idea there were options other than what I had been raised with. There was a small health food store within walking distance of my shop – frequented by all the people coming into town from NYC to catch the ferries to Fire Island. We walked there together for lunch one day, and I was hooked. Down the veggie rabbit-hole I went!
I bought this book there. I had a Bohemian heart, and this book with it’s sweet stories of sharing good food which has been lovingly prepared struck a chord within me. Growing up, dinner was something to be “fixed” and on the table on time every night. Usually it was a very stressful event, to be endured. Not something to be enjoyed. This book presented a better way for me raise my son and enjoy our meals together.
Between this book, and it’s follow-up, AnneMarie Colbin’s book, “Food and Healing, ” and James Beard’s book on bread – plus all the wonderful vegetarian friends I met when I moved to Austin a lifetime ago, I’ve always eaten well. Often on a tight-budget as a single-mom, but always well. Going back to my hippie roots always makes me happy. Food should be delicious, made with healthful ingredients, and beautiful. I am happy I made this quiche before I got sick; it made me feel better knowing that my son was enjoying it!
It is beautiful, no? if any of you are interested in the recipe, please leave a remark in the comments – I will gladly send it to you. It’s fabulous with a nice salad, a glass of buttery Chardonnay, and pears or peaches for dessert. And just as good when reheated in a toaster oven the next day!
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