Sometimes you’ve just got to take shortcuts, and try things just for the fun of it. Biscuit mix, baking mix, whatever you call it has been around a long time. When I was a young mother, rather than buy the mix ready-made, I used the largest Tupperware cake-taker (upside down, as a container) to mix my own. I don’t remember all the measurements, but it started with five pounds of flour, the requisite amounts of baking powder and salt, blended with shortening (not today’s all vegetable shorting, but Real Shortening) using a pastry blender — a hand tool, not an electric one! I still have one.
I made biscuits, pancakes, muffins, shortcake, all from my own baking mix. Today I bought the premier brand of baking mix and tried a new recipe. It sounded good and I had all the ingredients: ham (luncheon meat), pineapple tidbits (love to drink the juice) shredded cheddar, eggs and half & half.
I have a fine,deep Pyrex pie plate which the directions said to spray with cooking spray. ??? Why? I smeared it liberally with unsalted butter. I’m not very good at following directions. Next it said to cut softened butter into the baking mix With A Pastry Blender, ah, ha! Or with two knives if your lacked one. But not me, nosirree. I’m Old School. Then I was supposed to add two tablespoons of boiling water. I nuked some water and did that and then stirrred like hell with my meat fork. I’ve always used a kitchen fork or two prong meat fork for the last step in bringing together pizza dough, pie crust and biscuit dough. As the dough obediently clumped together, I mused at the change of technique. It looked like I was making a crust for the Quiche, but the method was backwards. In the old days, before frozen, ready made pie crusts, the directions were to cut in chilled butter and add Ice Water.
Dough ball ready, I peered at the instructions: “Mash down and spread evenly with hands over bottom and sides of pie plate.” What???
Whatever became of sprinkling flour on your work surface, rubbing flour on the rolling pin, rolling out the crust and popping it in the dish? They cut out a bunch of unneeded steps, that’s what. I smushed and pushed the dough all over that pie plate thinking, “I could never have done this with pie crust dough; it’s too delicate.” With that done, I turned my attention to the filling.
Chop, chop,chop that luncheon meat ham; dump in the shredded cheddar, drain the pineapple, drink the juice, add the pineapple. There.
Now it’s time to mix the eggs, half & half and white pepper.
Have I told you about my eggs? I have the best eggs in the world. My daughter raises hens: Buff Orphingtons, beautiful reddish brown fluffy chickens. There are 14 hens and two roosters, housed separately. The hens are let out to graze in the late afternoon, ONE rooster is allowed out each day. They take turns. I think it is hilarious, but she says it keeps the roosters from fighting over the hens! Anyway, now that our early spring is here, the hens have begun laying in earnest. Val says she gets a dozen eggs a day! She comes to visit once a week, always bearing gifts of three or four dozen eggs. The are beautiful, in all shades of reddish brown shells, just like the hens. I share them out with our son’s family, and some to the man next door who takes our garbage cans down to the street. But still, I am making fritatas, Quiche, boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, you name it.
Back to the Quiche. I poured the egg mixture over the filling and, wouldn’t you know it, that moment my camera ran out of juice. Had to plug it in to charge its battery and wait until my beautiful dish came out of the oven to picture it.
It was a delicious lunch/supper for me. His Majesty has yet to try the Quiche. Real Men and all that jazz. But I was pleased not least because it comes out of the dish so well… that’s what slathering butter on your pie plate will do. The crust is delicate but it holds together and you can, once it’s cooled down, eat it like a fritata. Bits of Ham and Pineapple, all held together with Eggs and Cheese, in a crust made of baking mix.