Friday, September 13, 2013

A comfort food from my childhood

I knew Cliff and I would have crustless spinach quiche today, because that's what I made for our main course yesterday, and it makes four servings:  Two for yesterday, two for today.  

Crustless spinach quiche

4 eggs
1/3 cup half and half (or milk)
1 1/2 cups (6 oz) shredded swiss or mozzarella cheese
1 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
4 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
1/2 tsp salt

1.  Beat eggs with half-and-half until light and fluffy.
2.  Blend in cheese, spinach, bacon, lemon juice and salt.  Pour into lightly greased quiche dish or pie pan.
3.  Heat oven to 350.  Cook 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  
4.  Cut into 10 wedges and serve.  

I cut it into 4 wedges, and by my figures that comes to about 250 calories per serving, even with all that cheese.  

I nearly always forget to add the lemon juice, so I guess it isn't needed.  This is a recipe I had forgotten about for ages, or when I did think of it there was no bacon in the house, or no chopped spinach in the freezer.  I don't have to worry about eggs at the present time, since I'm getting about six a day from my hens.  In fact, that's what jogged my memory about the recipe, wondering, "How can I use all these eggs?"  
However, this is not the dish from my childhood that the title speaks of.  My mother, grandma, and aunts probably never heard of quiche.    

I needed to decide what to fix to go with the leftover quiche.  I decided to use the half-head of cabbage in the refrigerator to make stir-fried cabbage with onion and green peppers.  I could have made smothered okra, but we just had that a few days ago.  Looking at all the tomatoes sitting around the kitchen, it came to me:  Macaroni and tomatoes:  I love that, and I never think to make it!  
So I skinned a few tomatoes, chopped them, and cooked them with finely diced bits of sweet pepper and onion to make stewed tomatoes.  When that was well cooked, I added some salt... not much, because I don't salt heavily.  And I added enough sugar so there was a pleasant sweet taste to it, and enough corn starch to thicken it.  I poured in the macaroni I had boiled, and took a taste.  Perfection!  
Cliff's Aunt Gertrude is the only person I know, other than me, who still makes macaroni and tomatoes.  She serves the dish at almost every family dinner at her house.  When we're there, I'll see it on the table and think, "How come I never remember to make that?"  

I've seen and heard it called a depression dish because it doesn't cost much to make. 

And there's plenty left for tomorrow!

How many of my readers aged fifty and over ate macaroni and tomatoes as a child?  I'll bet most of you, especially those with roots on the farm.  How long has it been since you've made it?     

And now I'm remembering another favorite:  Creamed macaroni.  It's something I used to ask Grandma to make when I spent time at her house.  Another depression dish.  


Joyce Rector said...

Donna we just fixed mac & tomatoes at the hospital last week, not everyone coud have this dish, but those that got it loved it. No they weren't all over 50.

nerves05 said...

I've ate that a million times growing up.
Also rice and Tomatoes is another we have ate quite a bit.
Also Rice and egg's with Fried Bologna.. GOOD stuff!!
Poor folks food but so good.


Never in my life had macaroni and tomatoes. But I have had a spinach quiche. Yours sounds good.

Margaret said...

I'm well over 50 but have never had mac and tomatoes. Maybe it's a regional dish? I do LOVE quiche though.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

We ate Macaroni and tomatoes often when I was growing up. My children enjoyed it too. I also make it with some browned hamburger and onions added. It was and still is a favorite dish at my house.

CountryDew said...

I've gotten so I love leftovers - almost prefer them to the first meal, because I don't have to cook it!

krueth said...

My mother in law makes the macaroni and tomatoes, and my kids LOVE it. They ask me for it but without the home canned tomatoes its just not the same :-) The Quiche sounds delicious, I never think to make that. Wendy

Nancy said...

We had macaroni and tomatoes quite a bit when I was a kid. My Mom would also make "breaded tomatoes." I haven't had either one since I was a teenager, but we sure ate them.

Carlene Noggle said...

And here I was thinking my mama made macaroni and tomatoes up herself! Whenever I want to feel like I am at her table I make this. I just use canned tomatoes, store bought. Mama always added a little butter, salt and pepper to hers, so I do too. Just had this a week or so ago!

Lori said...

I'm not quite fifty, but I grew up on macaroni and tomatoes. My parents were children in the depression, so it makes sense that it's something my Mom would make once in a while. And, like you, I rarely think of making it. Now my mouth is watering for some!!! When I was a kid I thought no one but our family ate macaroni and tomatoes, but one day I was at my best friend's house, and her mom had made some. Guess it was fixed a lot more often than I thought and all across the country.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

I've eaten macaroni and tomatoes all my life, and still make it several times a month. It's cheap, quick and just plain good.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Oh, and I won't be 50 until October 23rd. ;)

Diane@Diane's Place said...

I've eaten macaroni and tomatoes all my life, and still make it several times a month. It's cheap, quick and just plain good.