While Grace fumbled through some cookbooks tucked away on the corner of the counter, I clicked through the radio stations until Grace's mom said, "Stop right there!" when I got to some rather funky-sounding pop station.. She stood, holding a box. "I think my work here is done. Have fun, kids. I'll be back .... sometime."
Grace barely seemed to notice her leaving. She gestured at me. "Isabel, eggs and cheese and mild are in the fridge. Sam, we need to make plain old piecrusts. Would you preheat the oven to two-thirty and get us some pans?"
Isabel was staring inside the fridge. "There's, like, eight thousand kinds of cheese in here. It all looks the same to me."
"You do the oven, let Sam get the cheese and stuff. He knows food," Grace said. She was standing on her tiptoes to get flour out of an overhead cupboard; it stretched her body gorgeously and made me want in the worst way to touch the bare skin exposed on her lower back. But then she heaved the flour down and I'd missed my chance, so I traded places with Isabel, grabbed some sharp cheddar and eggs and mild, and threw it all on the counter.
Grace was already involved with cutting shortening and flour in a bowl by the time I'd finished cracking eggs and whisk in some mayonnaise. The kitchen was suddenly full of activity, as if we were legion.
"What the hell is this?" Isabel demanded, staring at a package Grace had handed her.
Grace snorted with laughter. "It's a mushroom."
"It looks like it came out of a cow's rear end."
"I'd like that cow," Grace said leaning past Isabel to slap some butter into a saucepan. "Its butt would be worth a million. Saute those in there for a few minutes til they're nice and yummy."
"Till they're yummy," I repeated.
"You heard the boy," Grace said. She reached out a hand. "Pan!"
"Help her," I told Isabel. "I'll take care of yummy since you can't."
"I'm already yummy," muttered Isabel. She handed two pans to Grace, and Grace deftly unfolded the pie pastry - magic - into the bottom of each. She began to show Isabel how to crimp the edges. The entire process seemed very well-worn; I got the idea that Grace could've done this whole thing a lot faster without me and Isabel in her way.
Isabel caught me smiling at the sight of the two of them crimping piecrusts. "What are you smiling at? Look at your mushrooms!"
I rescued the mushrooms in time and added the spinach that Grace pushed into my hands.
"My mascara." Isabel's voice rose above the increasing clamour, and I looked to see her and Grace laughing and crying while cutting onions. The the little onions' powerful odour hit my nose and burned my eyes, too.
I offered my saute pan to them. "Throw them in here. It'll kill it a bit."
Isabel scraped them of a cutting board into the pan and Grace slapped my butt with a flour-covered hand. I craned my neck, trying to see if she'd left a print, while Grace rubbed her hand in leftover flour to get better coverage and tried again.
The main reason why this section caught my attention and I thought that it would be a Weekend Cooking post is because the little chef (who is suddenly taller than me and so therefore I might need to rename) learnt how to make quiche last year at school. This is one of the recipes that he has since made a few times at home too. We tend to use puff pastry rather than shortcrust, but that's okay.
There is a certain irony in the fact that he likes quiche enough to make numerous times. Even when he was a toddler kid, he was always happy to eat quiche, but he absolutely refuses to eat any other type of eggs. Won't eat boiled, fried, scrambled eggs or any other kind of eggs. Even if the eggs are hidden (say in a potato salad or something) he knows they are there and won't eat it but quiche is fine
When he makes quiche, he uses the eggs and some milk to make the egg mixture. I am not going to be the one to tell him that is exactly how I make omelette (which he refuses to try), even down to the same kinds of fillings that he puts in the quiche - ham, cheese mushrooms etc.(maybe not mushrooms that look like they came out of a cow's behind though).
Unfortunately, given that he is now 13 and still won't do it, I suspect that he just will never learn to appreciate eggs. I wonder what would happen if I made a quiche exactly the same way and just called it an egg and ham pie?
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