I watched the sun slip behind the pinky-orange veil of the horizon tonight and felt both relief and nostalgia for the end of the summer. It came so fast–the days a blurry swirl of long afternoons riding bikes, and late evenings sitting in the driveway watching the street lights come on well after 9PM. Sun-soaked days, and the near-permanent smell of chlorine on our skin, in our hair and in our washed out suits laid dripping over the edge of the tub. These are my favorite moments from the last several weeks. And just like that, we’ve turned the corner, coming face to face with September and all of her ups and downs.
We didn’t plant a garden this year, but friends and neighbors have shared the fruits of their labors with us from week to week and I’ve been conscious not to let their gifts turn soft on my counter.
To everything there is a season.
The day after a neighbor fell ill, I offered to bring dinner, not entirely sure in the moment, what on earth I had available for fixing. It seemed like such a small offering, but I had vegetables threatening to languish on my counter and eggs a-plenty, and so I opted for my favorite easy one-dish meal, crustless quiche.Caring for others doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple. Use what you have. Give it away.
My children scattered to the various corners of the house to play while I stood in the kitchen, chopping and sautéing. Crustless quiche is an easy fix, and though it requires a little prep, none of it is rocket science. Once the sausage, zucchini and onions had all been cooked until soft, the mixing is simple and fast–therapeutic even, (if it relaxes you the way it does me, watching the magical transformation of a few basic ingredients into something entirely different).
Sage, salt and pepper are the only spices necessary to give this meal a lift, to help enhance the flavor of the eggs and add some flavor to the otherwise mild zucchini. Tomatoes teetering on the edge of just right and too ripe made an unexpected but decidedly beautiful topping to this one-dish-wonder. I confess I marveled at it a long time when I pulled it from the oven. It was the simplest thing in the world, but it’s wholesomeness and unintentional beauty stunned me. I hadn’t used a recipe. I had made it on instinct, from memory.
I do so love to feed people.
When I carried the quiche next door later that evening and laid it on my neighbors counter, I hoped it would feed their bodies as much as it fed my soul to make it. Sometimes I feel so selfish in the kitchen because the mere act of the work brings me such ridiculous delight that it feels like I’m serving myself first. Not every night, and not every meal–tonight, for example, I have skipped cooking and encouraged everyone to “fend for themselves”. But this summer, while the days ran long and the kids played until they dripped with sweat, I walked miles around my kitchen island, for fun, for others, for myself. This space has become a sanctuary, the stove top, my altar.
Tonight’s blushing sunset felt weightier than all the others. It could be because I’m tired. More tired than I have been, as we work to settle into our new fall routine. But I think it felt significant because the days are shrinking. The nights are growing cooler, and the mornings becoming slower to reveal the dawn’s light. It’s the end of on season, which of course means too, that something new begins.
Change is a good thing, I remind myself. You don’t need a recipe to figure it out. You’ve endured it before. You’ve seen how beautifully it can unfold. trust your instinct. Better still, trust the one who whispers wisdom to your heart.
Keep it simple. Use what you have. Give it away.
- 8 eggs
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (substitute coconut milk if making dairy-free)
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese (omit for dairy-free quiche)
- 1 cup diced zuchini
- 1/2 cup diced onion
- 1 tomato
- 1 lb breakfast sausage
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Cook breakfast sausage in skillet.
- While sausage is cooking, dice onions and zucchini.
- Remove crumbled cooked sausage from pan, drain on paper towels.
- Add onions and zucchini to the same skillet you cooked the sausage in, and saute in sausage grease until soft.
- Remove veggies and put zucchini, onions and sausage into large mixing bowl, let cool.
- Once the sausage/veggie mixture has cooled a bit, crack 8 eggs into this mixing bowl.
- Add cheese and heavy cream to egg, sausage veggie mixture, and stir to combine all ingredients.
- Add a teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper and a heavy pinch of sage to mixture and stir.
- Pour blended quiche ingredients into greased pie pan
- Slice tomato rings and lay them gently on top of the quiche, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until knife comes out clean.