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!

Much used, well loved.

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.

These illustrations appealed to my Bohemian heart.

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!
XO Donna

Tomato and Onion Pie, oh my!

32 thoughts on “KINDER AND GENTLER

  1. Kathleen Thompson

    Ohhh la la! That looks wonderful! So sorry to hear you got Covid-19. We are prepping for a trip to Venice/Croatia/Corfu and being uber careful the next few weeks with this crazily contagious variant. I would love your quiche recipe. I just found my 1982 Better Homes & Gardens “New” Cookbook. It’s been a riot looking at some of the recipes!

    • Your trip sounds divine – I would be too paranoid to travel right now – so I hope I get over that!
      I can imagine the BH&G cookbook would be a hoot – this one just brings back sweet memories and the recipes are timeless. I will send recipe via email. Love y’all! XO

  2. Carrie Laymon

    Such a nice post. We have that cookbook, too. Jim bought it long before I met him when he started eating vegetarian back in the 70’s. That’s how he learned to cook. I’ll have to look up that recipe. It sounds delish. (And so glad you’re finally on the mend from covid.)

    • Thank you, dear heart. It’s such a sweet book, and it pretty much taught me to cook, too. Yay, Jim! The recipe is on page 210. Oddly, it’s a challenge to find in the index because it’s not under anything I would expect it to be listed under. LOL. Maybe it’s me?
      Nah! XO

  3. Liz

    The Covid experience sounds dreadful and it’s been happening all around us. So far, we’ve taken all the precautions we can and hoping to avoid the inevitability. So sorry this happened to you.
    The recipe sounds delicious and something we would love. Thank you for offering a copy. Stay well!

  4. Jean T.

    So glad you are recovering! Always enjoy reading your posts.
    I’ve heard that 80% of us are going to get some form of Covid, no matter how careful and how vaccinated we are. Case in point, My SIL has worked from home for 2 years, (no traveling,fully immunized and boosted ) had to attend an in person meeting with his boss. Both were wearing masks. The next day, the boss texted to say that his wife had just been diagnosed with Covid and perhaps was infected during their recent( and previously undisclosed) trip to Jamaica😳. Dan is now in quarantine upstairs at their home,apart from our daughter, and testing daily. Inconsiderate , ignorant humans are the only reason we are still fighting Covid after all this time.
    That pie looks yummy. Just bought the cookbook on ebay thanks to you. Haven’t eaten anything with 4 legs and a tail in 15 years and always on the look out for yummy meatless recipes. Take care!

    • Thank you for your sweet comments! Yes, this new variant is so highly contagious it’s a challenge to know what to do about it other
      than become a hermit. I can’t believe you can still buy the cookbook, that’s so cool!
      Recipe is on page 210, a little difficult to find in the index. Enjoy it! XO

  5. Jillian Tessler

    Oh Donna, so sorry. Everyone of our friends are coming down with Covid. Some feel bad and some feel horrid. Even though they have all been boosted, they feel horrible. I’m so glad you’re doing better And I’m sending you a big hug. On the good side, I booked our hair to Cancun today and I’m really looking forward to our trip. How many nights and what date did you book?

    Sent from my iPhone


  6. cat

    Hi Donna, So glad you are feeling better. I had Covid twice, 6 months apart, despite being vaxxed. Still can’t taste or smell right!
    I would LOVE to have your recipe for the tomato quiche – tomato is one flavor I can taste! Thanks!

    • Oh, I’m so sorry. Twice! Yes, my morning coffee tasted like dishwater until today. Since you CAN taste tomatoes, use the very best you
      can find. You’ll love this! Sending via email. XO

  7. Lyn

    My children were born in 1975, 78 and 79. Used this cookbook even after it fell apart.. Warmed my heart to see it on your blog. Thank you! So many sweet memories..

  8. Janet Danczuk

    Hopefully you have more immunity for future outbreaks! I’d love the recipe please. I loved on the south shore of Long Island in the early 70’s also.

    • Janet – you lived there, too? Cool! Unfortunately they are finding that infection with this new variant doesn’t confer more immunity… hopefully the newer booster this fall will do that.
      In the meantime, let’s eat quiche! Sending recipe via email. XO

  9. Lisa Dudley

    I would love to have the recipe for your Tomato and Onion pie…thank you for offering. Hope you’re feeling better!

  10. Susan

    I would love your recipe for the tomato quiche…it sounds delicious.
    So sorry that you had to go through the Covid experience.
    I hope you’ll be back to normal soon.

  11. YIKES SO SORRY………..seems everyone I know has COVID right now!
    They describe it has having a bad cold………only one had a temp of 103.
    sounds like it got you good!
    YES, thank you vaccine makers!!
    I am Gluten free and diary free so will pass but it looks delicious!

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