Today’s celebration was made possible thanks to the folks at Clements’ Market and Hans Kissle. They are not the creators of Quiche Lorraine but it was because of them that I was able to celebrate today. They got the save for the day and I was grateful.
My day started as usual and as part of my morning ritual, I looked ahead at what the celebration for the day was going to be. Today was Quiche Lorraine Day. I’ve heard of this before, but never really knew exactly what it was. In my mind it was a quiche made with Swiss cheese and spinach. Turns out it’s actually a quiche made with cheese and bacon. This day was getting better already. I peeked at a few recipes online and they didn’t seem too complicated, so I looked for an easy one (I literally searched for “Easy Quiche Lorraine which, if Lola saw this, she would probably make the joke that this was her nickname in high school) and I found a recipe where you basically toss your egg ingredients into a pre-made pie crust and it cooks in about an hour. That seemed feasible. I had to work today so I figured I could stop at Clements on my way home, get all the stuff I needed, and then get home to some quiche making.
Then work happened and I was essentially running around for about 8 hours straight. I was finally on my way home at 7 pm. I was tired and not very motivated. Lola had messaged me with the idea of just getting some pizza for dinner and that sounded like the best idea I had ever heard in both taste and in ease. Then I remembered my quiche plans. Even the idea of making a quiche at this point was distressing to me. Nope, it wasn’t going to happen. Quest be damned, I just didn’t have it in me. I started thinking about how else I could celebrate this day and was coming up empty. For the first time, I really felt that this would be a day I couldn’t deliver. I was just about to call our pizza order in when I had the idea of stopping in at Clements just to see if they carry any quiches. It was a long shot – I don’t recall ever seeing them there before – but it was worth the five minute stop just to check. If this quest was going down, at least I can say I put up a little fight.
Clements is our local supermarket and they have been a godsend to me throughout this quest. I probably have gone there 4 or 5 times a week over the last 300 days which is not only a testament to their convenience but also insight into the life of the unemployed. I have mentioned them a lot throughout this quest as they are always my go-to spot for supplies, although I do branch out to a few other local places depending on what I need. They have helped me find some unusual items (Scrapple stands out in my mind as well as Centerville Pies) and they are sometimes tuned into my quest, at least on their social media channels. In the store, I suppose I am just some weird guy that comes in far too often looking for the oddest array of food items. That’s what I looked like today when I came through the door – a tired, hungry, probably sweaty guy in search of his Quiche Lorraine. When I entered, I paused for a moment and thought about what section I should look in. There is no established quiche section there, at least that I am aware of, so I didn’t know if I should look in the freezer section, in the bakery or in the deli. For some reason, perhaps instinct, I made a beeline for the prepared food section where I will sometimes pick up their seven layer bean dip, some sandwiches or some other grab and go foods. There, on the top shelf, was just what I needed: quiches.
Not only did they have quiches, but they had ample supplies of Quiche Lorraines. There were two different brands of them, even available in two different sizes. It was like I had unlocked a special section in the Clements video game that unleashed the quiches and I was the Mario swooping in collecting points. I wanted a beam of light to come down from above with an angelic chorus of praise ringing out to signify my discovery. I let out and audible, “Yes!” cementing my reputation as that crazy guy coming through the store. I was excited. My quest would continue.
I went with the large quiche from a company called Hans Kissle. I have heard of them before, I think they make a potato salad, so just having that familiarity made me go with their product. They are based out of Haverill, MA, so pretty local on the grand scheme of things, plus the quiche just looked good. It had a nice crust and the egg part looked nice and fresh. The directions said it would reheat in about 30 minutes in the oven, and that was perfect too. Sometimes frozen foods take over an hour to cook and I couldn’t wait that long. This quiche was not frozen so it would reheat pretty fast. I made my purchase and went home to tell Lola about my find. She was actually excited too which is nice of her because if I had visions of a pizza in my head and someone brought me home a quiche, I’d be pretty mad. I turned on the oven and within forty minutes, I had a nice hot Quiche Lorraine on the table.
A quiche is actually a savory custard made with cheese, meat, seafood or vegetables and served in a pastry crust. It’s an egg dish and it is the eggs that are the key to making that custard which creates a more solid texture for the filling than you get in an omelette or frittata. Quiche Lorraine gets its name from the Lorraine region of France where the dish originates. While Lorraine is in France, it used to be under German rule in medieval times so the dish is actually German in origin. The original Quiche Lorraine was made with cheese and lardons which is kind of a cubed pork fat. Bacon was eventually substituted for the lardons and that is what the modern day version has become. It was actually really delicious just as you might imagine because it’s essentially eggs, cheese and bacon in a pie crust. But it does have a unique flavor to it, and that’s partly because of the custard which gives the whole tart a distinct texture. Firm but full of flavor. There were lots of bacon pieces mixed throughout and the Swiss cheese, which I am never a proponent of, actually gave it a nice creamy addition. Finally the pie crust was nice and crusty too adding a bit more texture to each bite. I was a fan and Lola was too.
That’s how Clements saved me again. Just when I was giving up hope, they delivered. They came through. That’s what your local supermarkets should be all about. A spot you can rely on, that delivers what you need when you need it. They care about you. They can be a bit pricier than the other supermarkets but they give you something you can’t get at the super stores. They give you the service and personal touch. They are the community and they care about the neighborhood as much as we do. I guess I am just grateful for having them so close by. They turned my National Quiche Lorraine Day into a win that ended with a tasty dinner. So thanks Clements! I look forward to more days tackling this quest with your continued support. I’ll keep being that weird guy browsing for lardons and spumoni.
Next up: National Strawberries and Cream Day