Today my youngest child Spencer stayed home from school. Though not feeling well, he does have an appetite and is ready for comfort foods. I normally restrict dairy products to the occasional pizza, so the kids were thrilled with my menu proposal. Dinner tonight is pancakes, bacon and Quiche Lorraine. Well, the recipe is called Quiche Lorraine. I may alter the ingredients just a bit.
I do not have any fresh green onions, so in goes the dried onion powder. At least my kids will not complain about the chopped green discs—bonus points for me. I don’t keep Swiss cheese on hand, but I had Gruyère left over from a fabulous onion soup. So I suppose I am cheating Lorraine by instead slipping in a Swiss cousin. Adding insult to injury, I add a cup of shredded cheddar to boot. She might have forgiven me before, but now I am crossing the line with an English cheese.
The recipe calls for whipping cream. We don’t need that much fat in dinner—who does? Don’t tell Lorraine, but instead I pour in half and half. I sneak a thick, hot piece of applewood bacon while the kids are not looking. Red pepper? No thanks. White pepper? Sure, I double it and add a pinch of unrequested black pepper. Nutmeg, where is the nutmeg? Oh yeah, the apple pies from Thanksgiving last week wiped out the nutmeg. No nutmeg.
The recipe calls for ten ingredients. I omitted or substituted six and even added one not on the list. So I did not follow the recipe exactly. Maybe I am not so good at following directions. But the kitchen smells good. The boys set the table without being asked and want to know when dinner will be ready. I swat at their attempts to sneak a piece of bacon.
The pancakes are steaming. The orange juice is poured. The plate of the sick child is loaded with bacon. All three kids like the quiche—more bonus points for me. Sometimes it is okay to ignore the directions, to bend the recipe rules. The real trick is figuring out which directions to follow and when to make your own rules. Bon Appétit.