Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pie Day & Quiche

My mission this month is to record the stories of my four great grandmothers. Though I am sharing new, unrelated content this week, I am referring you to my post about my great-grandmother Barbara. It’s perfect for today because it features her St. Patty’s cabbage recipe!

The Tale: March 14 > 3/14 (3.14) = Pie Day
Celebrate Pie Day with a slice of family lore and a piece of quiche

My sister and I share a lot of things: dark hair, big brown eyes, clothes (without permission) and our best friend Rachael. 

Our Rachael is a treasure.  And these are a few things that you should know about her:

A)   She graduates from medical school in May
B)   Her family comes first

Rachael was more than happy to share some pie-riffic family stories to celebrate Pie Day (today’s date is 3.14) and, as a doctor, she knew just how to make her quiche recipe “skinny.”

With Rachael and Julie at Rachael's bridal shower, March 2011. I was a bridesmaid and Julie was maid of honor. Rachael was the matron of honor and I was maid of honor at Julie's wedding last October. She truly is the third sister. 

On Christmas, her family is all about pie.  They eat quiche on Christmas morning and live off Pastete Pie for the week between Christmas and New Year's Eve. For those of you who speak German, or know just a little bit, you may notice that pastete is German for pie.   Rachael’s family is well aware of the doppel title, but the name has been passed between several generations and the recipe cherished.

The recipe is attributed to Rachael’s German great-grandmother Clara.  She was the first generation born in America and was raised in the Irish Channel, New Orleans. Clara had 13 children, nine of which survived; and the very youngest was Rachael’s grandfather Elden — who had a sibling about 30 years his senior.


Elden’s wife Lois (pronounced Loyce) and Clara had a very special relationship.  And, Clara gave her daughter-in-law the family recipe.  Lois made the dish every holiday season. Rachael said you make the pies on Christmas Eve and eat them until New Year — and then not again until the next Christmas.

But Lois, according to Rachael, liked to feed all year.  She said she remembers as a little girl her grandmother making giant breakfasts with pancakes, meats and every type of egg.  Rachael’s toddler brain processed all of the food before her and she exclaimed, “Mimi, I’m just a little girl. I can’t eat all of this.”

Carol & Lois

When Lois passed away in 1989, the family realized that they didn’t have the recipe for the savory German meat pies, so Rachael’s mother Carol and her sisters-in-law set out to reconstruct the recipe from memory.  The matriarchs brought their pies to Christmas Eve dinner and compared ingredients.  The women found a treasure a few years later, Clara’s handwritten Pastete Pie recipe. 

This pie is so beloved, that I will not be sharing the recipe with you today.   As much as I love providing my readers with delectable stories and recipes, I understand that some things should only be shared in the family. 

But, Ms. Carol and Dr. Rachael were kind enough to share their healthy quiche recipe, in addition to their stories.

The Recipe: Quiche
And it’s green for St. Patty’s Day

Rachael snapped this photo of a quiche she made last weekend. YUM!

·       1 small container Greek yogurt
·       Chopped garlic
·       1 small onion, chopped
·       1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (can use fresh)
·       1 (6 ounce) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled (or garlic herb laughing cow cheese (6 oz))
·       1 (8 ounce) package shredded cheddar cheese
·       Salt and Pepper to taste
·       1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust (wheat)*
·       4 eggs, beaten – or 4 egg whites and 2 eggs
·       1 cup milk – low fat
·       Bacon – for a fatty quiche*

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Saute garlic and onion until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in spinach, feta and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon mixture into pie crust.
In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper.
Pour into the pastry shell, allowing egg mixture to thoroughly combine with spinach mixture.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle top with remaining cheddar cheese, and bake an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until set in center.
Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

*Editor's tips: I use vegan pie crusts because many other crusts contain lard.  And, prosciutto and turkey bacon are a skinnier meat alternative. 

This recipe is part of my "make it skinny for Lent" initiative. 

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