Our morning starts at 6:00 am - we like to be up before the guests to assure that there is a freshly brewed pot of coffee ready and we are not looking like we just rolled out of bed. This group has some early risers - out to enjoy their morning run or looking forward to relaxing on our sunrise porch with their morning brew (did I mention that Bob grinds the coffee beans fresh every morning - it makes for such a wonderful cup of coffee!). So we have to start early to assure everything is ready when they are.
Today we are serving Quiche. I make the pie crust from scratch and guests always recognize and appreciate that. A friend of my mother's, Ellen from Wisconsin, taught me to make pie crust over 50 years ago and I still use the rolling pin and recipe that she gave me. The recipe is very simple - it's the technique that makes the difference -
PASTRY FOR SINGLE CRUST PIE
1.5 cups of Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons Cold Water
Sift four and salt together. Cut in shortening with pastry blender till pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle water over mixture and blend together (this is the tricky part - kneading the pastry ball for just the right amount of time and the right feel - it's what separates the pastry chef from the cook!).
The quiche filling is equally simple - combine 4 eggs, 1.5 cups milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese. Add in whatever ingredients you like - broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, bacon, etc. - and bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes.
Once the quiche is in the oven, it's time to set the table. I like to have this done before the guests arrive in the Dining Room. I think it's such a treat to come to a table that is all laid out with the good china and silver. It makes me think of the magic of Christmas morning (though my own mother never sat the table with china as far as I can recall - her china was kept safely tucked away in the china cabinet).
By the time the guests arrive at 8:00 for breakfast, we have fresh fruit, pumpkin bread, juice, water and coffee all ready for them. Once they are settled in, we bring in the quiche with a side platter of bacon and sausage. It's all very impressive and such a wonderful way to start the day.
Unless invited to join our guests, Bob and I will retreat to our quarters where we can hear the low voices (and sometimes very loud chatter and laughter) of our guests. This is my favorite time of the day, knowing that the guests have had a good night's sleep and are enjoying their breakfast. It's nice to know that we have provided them with a good start!