“I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidian mind of man, that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they’ve shed; that it will make it possible not only to forgive but to justify all that has happened.” -Fyodor Dostoyevski, The Brothers Karamazov
I’m embracing fall, and feeling great about it. This weekend I gawked at squashes and gourd things at the farmer’s market, wore flannel, and drank pumpkin beer. Autumnal activities aside, though, I’m entering into the season with a whole lot of hope and positivity, and if you’ve had the misfortune of having asked me how I’ve been anytime in the last month, you know that this newfound optimism has been quite a remarkable shift in attitude. You see, I faced some disappointments this summer, and they were the sorts of things that really were nobody’s fault. They just were what they were. At first I was simply very sad, but then I also started to feel a sense of injustice about it all. I had no control over the things that happened- why, then, was I left feeling this down? And then, suddenly, everything that is wrong in the world came into clearer focus and I became even more sad and bitter. Why is there suffering at all? Why does everything have to fall apart, no matter how hard we try to scotch-tape them back together? If God says He is enough, then why do I feel so empty and why is the world still a mess?
These are big questions, and I don’t have the answers to them. BUT, there’s been a strikingly clear theme in the things I’ve been hearing and reading and seeing more recently. And that’s the fact that the world in its current broken state is not how God created it to be, and that things will be made right again. I think there is a God who is sad with us when we suffer, has been angry even before us about how messed up things can be, and has plans to fix them, perhaps using people to do some of this work. Things will be made right. This is not simply some religious crutch or comforting platitude that Christians use to get through the hard times in life. Or maybe it is, but who in reality doesn’t need a crutch? We have to lean on something, so why not lean on truth? I do believe that God will right all the wrongs. It’s truth. It is what it is.
I made a quiche with some things that I bought at the farmers market where my squash-gawking occurred this weekend. I wasn’t planning on sharing it, but 1. it ended up being tastier than I expected, and 2. the autumnal feel of it seemed appropriate for ushering in ALL OF THE FALL YUMMIES that are surely going to be filling the kitchen soon (all 3 of my housemates are excellent cooks, and I have accepted that I will be living in stretchy pants from now until next May). I hope you enjoy it and this wonderful season as much as I am.
kale potato and goat cheese quiche with whole wheat crust
For the crust (Adapted from Joy the Baker’s Five Tips for Making the Best All-Butter Pie Crust)
2.5 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) cold butter, cubed and chilling in fridge until use
1/2 cup cold buttermilk
For the quiche:
Potatoes of choice (I used small white potatoes), washed thoroughly and cubed, ~1 cup of potato cubes
Olive oil to coat potatoes while roasting, about 2 Tbsp
Salt, pepper, and oregano to taste
4-5 leaves Tuscan kale, rinsed, torn, and massaged with dash of sea salt
1 clove garlic, minced
Olive oil to saute kale, about 1-2 Tbsp
5 eggs (I used ~7-8 egg whites)
1/2 cup light or heavy cream
Salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
4-5 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese
1/2-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1. In medium bowl, whisk flour, sugar, and salt. Add butter cubes and work them into the flour mixture with your (clean!) fingers until butter is broken down and incorporated in. Work quickly! Some of the butter pieces will look like oat flakes, while some will look like peas.
2. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Use a fork to bring it together, try to moisten all the bits of flour mixture.
3. Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured surface; it will look shaggy- that’s ok! Knead the dough together with your hands a few times, but try not to overwork it. Knead into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
4. When you’re ready to assemble the quiche, take the disk out of the fridge and roll out into a 13 inch circle with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. It won’t be a perfect circle, but that’s ok! Move the dough around/flip it frequently to ensure that it’s not sticking to the work surface.
5. Place the crust into a greased pie tin (I used a cake pan), crimp edges as desired.
1. Roast potatoes: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Place the cubed potatoes on a baking sheet, coat with olive oil, and toss with salt, pepper, and oregano (or any other spices desired). Roast in oven until tender (about 20-25 min). Once done roasting potatoes, reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
2. Saute kale: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, saute garlic and kale until kale is wilted (about 5-7 min).
3. Prepare egg filling: Whisk eggs/egg whites with cream in a medium bowl. Add pinch of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste.
4. Assemble quiche: Sprinkle 1/2 of the shredded cheddar cheese onto bottom of prepared quiche crust. Layer potatoes, kale, goat cheese on top. Pour in the prepared egg mixture, then sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
5. Bake in oven (preheated to 375 degrees F) for ~30 minutes. Broil for 1 minute to get nice browning on top. Remove from oven, let cool ~15-20 minutes before serving.