I love this time of year. The garden is done, my pantry, root cellar and freezers are full and it’s time to begin enjoying some of this wonderful food. The old adage “we are what we eat” is quite true so it is important to always seek the best quality in the foods that we prepare.
This is the main reason that I became a gardener. Studying nutrition, it was apparent that plants and animals fed “extras” would provide additional nutrition for me and my family. This is the reason that I put kelp meal, greensand and azomite powder in all of my garden beds. These ingredients are high in trace minerals and—because they get into the plants—they get into me.
I also routinely (every day) throw flax seeds out to the chickens. This increases the good omegas in their eggs. I also give them all of the garden weeds in the summer, kitchen scraps year round and kelp meal in the winter. They love corn and I make sure to soak it overnight in water to make it easier for them to digest. Again, those glorious trace minerals are coming to my family and me (a friend of mine, after checking out our coop and chicken run said to me, “these chickens have won the chicken lottery!”).
One of my favorite things to make, thanks to our happy chickens and the bounty of our garden, now stored away, is a delicious quiche. I often cheat and buy the frozen pie crusts instead of baking my own; do what works for you. Then I cover the bottom of the pie crust with grated cheese (gruyere is best but cheddar will do). Cut up an onion and stir fry it in coconut oil or butter. If desired, slice a red pepper and put it in with the onion right away. I like these to be quite soft so I stir-fry them for about 15 or 20 minutes. If I have foraged for mushrooms, I add them or take a few out of the freezer, adding them to cook for the last 7 or 8 minutes. When the vegetables are soft, remove them from the heat.
If I still have some spinach left in the garden (which I still do this year), I’ll wash it, break it into small pieces and steam it for about 5 minutes. Spread the spinach on top of the cheese. Then spread the onion mix on top of that.
At this stage, I might add cut-up scallops. Or ham. Or shrimp. Or crabmeat. Or broccoli. Or peas--whatever is available for fun and variety.
To be sure it's ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Now make the custard. With a mixer, beat 3 large or 4 small eggs in a large bowl. Add 1 ½ cups of milk, ½ teaspoon of dry mustard, 2 tablespoons of flour and a pinch of salt. Mix thoroughly. Pour into the quiche pan and put the quiche pan on a cookie sheet. Often, the custard spills over the edge and this will save you from having to clean the oven. Bake until firm—about 40 to 45 minutes. For me, this is outstanding. What do you think?
And, just because....
Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens.
Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer!
Celeste's new book on living lightly on the Earth is due out September 25, 2014.