Winter has decided to finally arrive or so the weather forecasts have proclaimed for this weekend. Friday as I sat writing this column I heard a weather alert on the scanner that noted 3-5 inches of snow was forecast for our area in the early morning hours of Saturday followed by freezing rain before turning to just rain late in the afternoon.

By the time anyone reads this column, we will know whether that forecast was correct or not. Weather is always changing so what is forecast may arrive earlier or later or sometimes not at all. We may gripe about it but I’ve come to understand one of the reasons why in our rural area of Pennsylvania there is so much uncertainty.

The weather alert I heard was from information released by the National Weather Service out of Pittsburgh. And while many of us may consider that close it is not close enough. When the NWS focuses its radar in our direction, those actual pieces of equipment must be raised to get a higher angle to read the clouds we see above us. As that happens, the forecast can become more guess work than definitive because the equipment may be reading only the top edge of the clouds, wind streams, etc. that are actually above us.

What is forecast may be correct but will it be what we see here on the ground or will it be taking place high above us. But while it may not always happen just the way it is predicted, the NWS has been reading this area as well as getting feed back from weather watchers on the ground locally and all of that helps them forecast future weather patterns.

So far we have had a fairly mild winter. It is not the winter of my youth nor is it the winter of my day’s youth. Nowadays it’s not often that I hear about a local youngster getting a sled for Christmas. That, however, was one of the prime gifts to get when I was growing up in the 60s.

For dad it might have been a “jumper,” which from what I can tell was a seat attached above a ski. It’s name came from the fact that Dad and his friends would slide down the hill (on sitting above the lone ski) and then hit a slope which would place them airborne (think winter olympics) and jumping a fence. The fence was made of barb wire in a farmer’s field so I can’t say it was the safest activity.

My grandmother only saw him do it once (from what dad tells me) and then said she never wanted to watch him do it again. What seemed fun to a young boy likely looked like a fatal accident waiting to happen for my grandmother.

In my time it was regular sleds or round “saucer” sleds. We’d still have our spills but for the most part they weren’t life threatening. My younger brother put a stick into his leg from slidding down the hill by the old Falls Creek Elementary School but it didn’t cause any major damage.

Beyond sledding we mostly built snowmen or an igloo to crawl into. There was always something fun to do outside back then.

Nowadays there seemed to be much less snowfall and more ice leaving most children without a hill to slide down or a pile of snow to roll into a snowman.

And while we’re not in the sub zeros for temperature, my older bones still say it’s cold enough. I’m thinking my younger self might have felt the same because I usually prefered staying in and reading to going out to make snow angels.

Which makes this recipe one of my favorites. I have shared it before but for those who have missed it, this is an easy recipe for quiche. It’s easy and quick to mix up and is very adaptable to what you like to eat. Other than basics of eggs, evaporated milk and sour cream, all of the remaining ingredients can be changed to meet the likes of those who will be eating it.

I started making quiche not long after I graduated from college. It wasn’t something mom made. She was more likely to do eggs over easy with pancakes or waffles. I can remember ordering it at restaurants but it always seem so full of chunks of onions that I wasn’t really a fan. I’m not a fan of putting onions in my eggs.

The recipe came from a friend of mine who I was visiting when she made it for our supper one night and I was hooked.

The recipe was simple. Three basic ingredients – eggs, sour cream and milk – and then add whatever other ingredients you’d like to make the type of quiche you’re hungry for. I’m partial to broccoli and bacon in my quiche but I’ve also used mushrooms and spinach. Even the cheese can be a mixture you prefer.

I’ve made this recipe for guests at breakfast during the holidays as well as for lunch when I’ve paired it with a side salad.

A store bought “deep dish” pie shell works beautifully for quiche.

This is a rich dish. With the combination of eggs, sour cream, milk and cheese so a small piece goes a long way but it is definitely tasty. I have also made this recipe with Eggbeaters to make it a little healthier. If I had one done with eggs and one with Eggbeaters I’d know the difference but both are delicious. So feel free to experiment with low fat cheeses and sour cream, Eggbeaters and turkey bacon.

If you have leftovers, just refrigerate until the next day and pop a slice in the microwave for 30 seconds or so and it’s like you just made it. Definitely yummy.

QUICHE

Makes 1 quiche

3 eggs

8 oz. sour cream

1/2 cup evaporated milk

1 deep dish frozen pie crust or make 1 pie crust (for a deep dish pie pan)

Any kind of shredded cheese: Longhorn, Muster, Monterey Jack, Colby, Cheddar (I use a combination of Longhorn, cheddar and a ColbyJack blend)

Add: cooked bacon, fresh spinach, fresh broccoli or fresh mushrooms or any veggie you prefer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the eggs, sour cream and evaporated milk until well blended.

Shred the cheese if you’ve bought it in bulk. I use my food processor for this.

Place the frozen pie shell on a cookie sheet. Then put the amount of cheese you’d like in your quiche in the bottom of the pie shell. I usually mix a blend of three cheeses together and place enough to cover the bottom of the pie crust. It depends on how rich and how cheesy you want the final product to be.

Crumble up the cooked bacon and add it to the pie shell or add sliced mushrooms, spinach (I would cut this up a little) or broccoli (I usually put this in the processor so it is fine and blends well with the egg mixture rather than just putting in broccoli florets but again it is a matter of taste.) You can select just one item to put in or a combination of items. The amount of each is also up to you. Put a little or a lot. Make it your own.

Finally, take the egg mixture and pour it into the pie shell. Don’t worry about mixing it with the items you’ve already put in the pie shell, the egg mixture will fill up the space all around those ingredients. If you think the egg mixture isn’t getting to the bottom of the pie shell, then use a spoon or a knife to just move ingredients a little so the mixture settles. The pie shell may be full but all of the egg mixture will fit.

If I’m making several types of quiche I will sometimes save out a couple slices of mushroom or a broccoli floret and place the appropriate one in the center of the quiche before I put them in the oven. That way once it is done cooking and the egg mixture has fluffed out and covered all the ingredients I will still know which quiche is which.

Place the pie shell on the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes.

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