Archive for July, 2013

Food Store Deli Diary – May 22

Friday, July 12th, 2013

It was my night to prepare fresh ham salad and turkey club salad for the deli case.  This normally means a trek through the store for some of the necessary condiments needed for the recipes; which would be ranch dressing, bacon bits and sweet pickled relish.

Dressed in my white deli smock and Boar’s Head cap, I set-out to gather the needed provisions.  As I neared the dressing section of aisle 5, a young mother with her two young daughters seated in a shopping cart were before me.  I needed to pass the cart to get to the ranch dressing.

A little blond girl, approximately 3 years of age, sat in the child seat at the front of the cart, facing towards me.  A little brown haired girl, who appeared to be about 5 was seated inside the cart.  She was facing the other way, towards her mother, who was reaching for products on the shelves and pulling the cart sideways, rather than pushing the cart from the front.

Just as I was passing the cart, the little blond girl in front twisted her body, extended an arm and tapped her older sister on top of the head.  Then she quickly about-faced, and with an utterly straight demeanor, acted as if nothing had happened.

I caught this interaction as I passed by and was reminded of my own childhood, when my siblings and I would often play the mystery tap game. We actually named it; ‘Tip-Tap.’  It was a fairly straight forward but fun game to play.  You sneakily tap your brother or sister when they least expect being tapped, preferably when there’s somebody else in the near vicinity who might be blamed, then you distance yourself from suspicion by either quickly moving out-of-sight, or feigning innocence…  “What? Me? No! Never! Why would I want to tap you and risk catching your cooties?”

‘Nice fake-out, little girl,’ I thought as I passed their cart.  I was impressed with how well this little tyke was able to pull-off her ruse.  It honestly never entered my mind that she would be sophisticated enough at the game to even consider the strategy of timing it so that somebody else would be blamed.  I mean, she was all but 3 years old. And sitting in the bumper-seat of a grocery cart!  Surely, she was merely at the ‘tapping and feigning’ level, she couldn’t possibly be devious enough at that age to even dabble at ‘deflecting blame,’ could she? (more…)


Easy As Pie

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche

I just love making a quiche on the spur-of-the-moment, using whatever ingredients I might have handy.  But I hate paying $3.99 for Pillsbury unroll and fill refrigerated Pie Crusts.  In these days when we’re all trying to squeeze the most from our dollars, paying four bucks for what is essentially just flour and vegetable oil seems a bit ridiculous.

In a perfect world, I would love to make a pie crust for my quiche with real butter.  But that would require a pastry blender, which I don’t have.  And while I do have a rolling pin, I’m not crazy about the idea of a big, long, messy rolling dough episode in the kitchen – which would totally take the ‘spur-of-the-moment’ out of my spur-of-the-moment quiche.

So, I went on-line and found an Easy Oil Pie Crust recipe by Carroll Pellegrinell at  No pastry blender or rolling pin needed.  I gave it a try, and was quite pleased with the results.  I mentioned it to my sister, who asked me to send the recipe.  I figured I’d do better, and share the recipe on my blog.

Easy Oil Pie Crust
from Carroll Pellegrinell at


1 cup flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tblsp. cold milk or water

Whisk flour and salt together with a wire whisk.

Stir in oil.  Stir in milk (or water).

Mix completely.

Place dough in the middle of a glass pie plate and spread dough out with hands, covering the bottom, and over the sides.

Fill and bake according to your favorite pie recipe.

Tonight, I made a spinach and mushroom quiche. I covered the bottom of the pie crust with spinach,  mushrooms and diced onions (sautéed together first in a dab of butter).

Then I whisked 5 eggs together with about a 1/4 cup of half & half.  I stirred about 3/4 cup of freshly shredded muenster cheese* into the eggs, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I folded the egg/cheese mix on top of the spinach/mushrooms and placed in a pre-heated 375° oven for about 30 minutes. Halfway through, I added a topping garnish of a little spinach and mushroom and sprinkled about 1/8 cup of shredded muenster cheese on top. Yummy!

* Bonus money saving tip:  Ask your local deli if they offer cheese ends at a discounted price.  I shredded my muenster cheese from an end that I purchased for just $2.99 per pound. I bought a big shreddable hunk for a little over a dollar, and still have more cheese leftover for a future meal.