My Nana was the strong and capable matriarch of a large family – including quite a number of strong and capable women. When she
passed away 3 years ago I was fortunate to be left, as I had requested, all of her recipes. These include lots of interesting old recipe books and lots and lots of recipes on handwritten scraps. I look at my own recipe book – it too has lots of empty pages, but is thronging with loose scraps of paper with handwritten recipes on it. I like to think of this as the legacy of years of sharing amongst friends rather than an inability to get round to pasting the recipes into the pages!
Nana was quite a cook. As with most women of her generation she was resourceful and thrifty and she was interested in making a tasty meal with a minimum of fuss and expense. She served on many committees, worked tirelessly for the church and was the quintessential plate bringer, catering with cups of tea and sweet and savoury goodies for I imagine thousands of people in her lifetime. Endless toasted bread cases were filled with smoked fish and white sauce or creamed corn and cheese or creamed mushrooms and bacon. Loaves and loaves were made into asparagus rolls using the thinnest sliced fresh white bread with the crusts cut off and lightly buttered and rolled up on the diagonal with a spear of tinned asparagus, or gherkin rolls – again thinly sliced fresh white bread, spread with cream cheese, rolled up with a gherkin within and sliced into bite sized pieces. As with most Nanas there were the sweets – Nana was a wonderful baker; banana cake was a specialty as was the shortbread she cooked by the tonne to give as gifts – on a picnic plate covered in glad wrap – to her many, many children, grand children, great grand children and guests at Christmas time.
In her latter years my memories of lunch with Nana are of exactly the same shared meal. A vegetarian crustless quiche, boiled eggs, undressed coleslaw and bread and butter served with love and endless cups of tea, conversation and laughter.
There were many other treats to come out of her kitchen and I look forward to sharing these recipes on Bachology in the future. The recent Waitangi Day here in New Zealand marked the 3 year anniversary of my Nana’s passing. In the spirit of her memory I would like to share the recipe I use for a Vegetarian Crustless Quiche – this recipe is by another famous New Zealand mother figure – Alison Holst. My children love this quiche, it makes a great meat-free meal and is also fabulous, even cold, the next day in school lunchboxes. It is also the perfect picnic dish. Enjoy!
Self-Crusting Potato and Vegetable Quiche
This quiche is a great way to use up leftover cooked veges, or for maybe using up those orphan veges languishing in the fridge that are getting close to past their best. I use almost any vegetable, your imagination is your only limit.
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup self-raising flour
- 2 cooked potatoes
- 1 cup drained, cooked asparagus or spinach or mushrooms or broccoli (or what have you.)
- 1 cup grated tasty cheese
Cook the chopped onion and garlic in butter until tender. Cool. Stir in the eggs, salt and milk and beat with a fork until mixed. Pour this into a large bowl containing the flour and stir with a fork until just combined. Add the potatoes cut into 1cm cubes, the chopped, well drained vegetables and cheese.
Pour into a prepared 20-23cm pan. Garnish with sliced tomato, or thinly sliced red and green peppers if desired. Bake at 220ºC or until the centre is firm when pressed. Serve with salad or cooked vegetables.
My notes: I often add green soft herbs for a flavour enhancement and I tend to cook this in a rather deep dish rather than a flan or pie dish which means the cooking time can be slightly longer. Enjoy it!