14 August 2008

Clean out the fridge quiche

I didn't get a chance to blog this before our vacation, but I ran into somewhat of a time crunch once I realized I had no idea where I had packed away our luggage. With almost every major airline charging for the first checked bag, I had to make sure I could find the perfect carry-on suitcase out of the sea of broken-zippered, ripped fabric contraptions I have somehow never thrown out.

I also was faced with the perennial conundrum: how to eat everything in my fridge so as not to have to throw it all away. In the past, I've come home to curdled cream, moldy bread and all kinds of disgusting, and quiche seemed like the perfect way to use up all those eggs.

Since it's a hodgepodge of ingredients thrown together all at once, I don't really have a recipe (unless of course, you find yourself in the situation where you have precisely the same quantities of food in your fridge as I did at that moment). I did, however, blanch the veggies before including them in the pies and I used a mixture of eggs (only four in two pies!!) and fat free half-n-half (usually reserved for my morning coffee) as the basis for the meal.

In the process of this pre-vacation fridge ritual, I was quite pleased with my waste-not-want-not skills over the last few months. It only took one meal to clean out the perishables, and the only items left were those that withstand the test of time (butter or Romano cheese anyone?) I come from hearty eating stock in the Midwest, and when I saw my mother's fridge it reminded me how much I used to waste. Two open bottles of olive tapenade, really old leftovers, a variety of cheeses that weren't consumed at a steady rate the whole time I was there, and an abundance of fruits and vegetables that had seen better days...I knew I got this hoarding behavior somewhere. When I stocked the entire kitchen to the brim, I was always confounded by a sense of anxiety once dinner rolled around. What to eat??!! Just as looming a question as how to eat the entire contents of one's fridge, I would inevitably pick a few ingredients and then proceed to eat an unsatisfying meal.

But ahoy! I have reformed my anxious ways and learned to plan my meals on Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee, curled up on the couch with my dogs and cat. I've come to cherish those quiet mornings and to really relish the effectiveness of planning. Only once in a great while do I find myself in need of a grocery run midweek, and it's really saving me some much needed grad student dough. Driving to Moscow (7 miles) once a week pays. As a point of reference, I bought lettuce in Moscow for 49 cents while it was 79 cents in Pullman. Imagine the price gap between more substantial purchases and you've got a lot of money that I can put toward paying off my damn car (sigh.).

Thrifty shopping aside, I tip my hat to the criminal genius who convinced me to sign my auto loan when I was in college. Damn car.


Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

That looks delicious! Only 4 eggs in 2 pies? What kind of eggs you got? Dinosaur eggs?

Dr. Food said...

I know--I didn't think it was possible myself, but I used a combo of eggs and fat free half and half, and somehow this miraculous quiche(s) didn't flub out on me! It's only the kind of miracle that happens when you must stop cooking for a few days, and you need a good reason to begin again.