Sunday, April 29, 2012

Why We Keep Chickens

Just one look at this photo of the quiche that my youngest son, Anthony and I prepared, justifies why we keep chickens.  No, do not adjust your screen, it really is that yellow. We don't want to eat eggs from industrial chicken farms, whose chickens never see the light of day, breathe fresh air, or get to live out their lives scratching the ground for bugs and the occasional worm.  Our chickens free range in our yard, eat all our vegetable scraps, and yes, they all have names.  We have been keeping chickens for 12 years now. They provide fresh eggs daily, and are a great source of entertainment.  Our first flock was friendlier, as the kids were younger and handled them more. With all the children nearly grown, this flock is less handled, but none the less, come when called, always looking for a handout.  Some breeds are more friendlier than others, but we love them all, just the same. 

What I love about quiche is that you can use any vegetables you have on hand.  In winter and early spring, I toss in frozen veggies, late spring, summer and fall, you can use homegrown.  Pretty much, just use whatever is your favorite and what you have on hand. Today's recipe is simple and delicious. We made our own pie crust, but you can use store bought too.  This recipe is an altered version of the Cheese and Broccoli Quiche from Linda's Kitchen by Linda McCartney.  Again, use whatever pie crust homemade or frozen and any veggies you like.  She used goat cheese in hers.  We don't have goats yet, but I am working on wearing my husband down, as we have already been approved to own goats at our little urban farm.

Quiche Your Way

Pie Crust
6 tablespoons of shortening
1 cup and 2 tablespoons of flour
4 tablespoons of cold water

Cut shortening into flour till it looks pea sized or course crumbs. Stir in water one tablespoon at a time with a fork.  Once incorporated, mix with hands and shape into a ball.  Flatten into a disc and wrap with wax paper. Put in fridge for 30 minutes to chill.  Remove from fridge and roll out to fit a deep dish pie plate.  Bake blind.

Quiche Filling
1 small onion diced
16 oz of frozen veggies, or equivalent of fresh, whatever you have and love to eat
4 large eggs
2/3 cup of milk
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Steam veggies with onion until cooked, but still slightly crisp. Drain and place veggies in prepared pie crust. Sprinkle with cheese. Beat together the eggs and milk, and then pour over veggies and cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.

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