So many of my writing friends have confided, that, like moi, they sometimes feel like frauds. They claim to be authors, but this niggling doubt, this negative editor-in-the-head hoots in laughter which they try to quiet before the whole world hears. That same guy lives in the side of my brain where cooking happens.
I claim the identity “author” loudly and often. Mostly that is to reassure myself, not necessarily to inform anyone else. But I have recently come to consider the same fraudness might be taking over my cooker identity as well. Yikes! I need these guys to move out of my head so I can do what I do.
Now, to be fair, I have never claimed “chef”, Heaven forbid. I don’t even claim “cook”. I call myself a “cooker”. A good cooker, or so I tell everyone.
I always offer to have the party at my house. I love hosting meetings. It is a chance to shine, to bask in the warmth of their admiration, that I, a busy writer, takes the time to whip up delectables simply because they showed up at my house.
I take cookies to play rehearsals. Partly it is to clean out the stuff from my house so I don’t get even fatter, but, truth be known, I like that they like my food.
And who would argue that I cook well? Surely not the people I’ve worked my PR magic on, telling them how much I love to cook, telling them how I develop recipes, showing off my cookbook collection, asking them to sample potential Pillsbury Bake-Off entries!
So, am I as good a cooker as I claim, or is it smoke and mirrors, the kind of PR Madison Avenue has trained me in so well? Say something often enough, and people will come to believe it is true.
I just had one such meeting at my house. People said they loved my quiche, but was it the golden mound they saw emerge from the oven sitting beside two kinds of muffins that convinced them it was wonderful? Or was it, really, the food?
Here is my basic recipe for quiche. Try it and tell me what you think. Am I a fraud good cooker?
1 ½ c Asiago cheese, shredded, divided
8 strips crisp bacon, chunked
3 c fresh spinach (or 1 c cup asparagus, broccoli, etc.)
3 green onions
1 c chopped mushrooms
2 c heavy cream
1 t nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400°. Put piecrust in pan and sprinkle bottom with ½ c Asiago cheese. Put bacon pieces over cheese. Put veggies on top of bacon.
Whisk together eggs and cream. Add nutmeg. Mix in ½ c cheese. Pour over veggies. Sprinkle last ½ c of cheese over the top. Bake for 1-1 ½ hours until risen, brown, and done in middle (insert knife to check when middle doesn’t jiggle when you move pan).