Life in the Slow Food Lane

I was sitting in the orthodontist’s waiting room while Tigger got her teeth adjusted, reading an essay by Joel Salatin–one of the guru gods of the sustainable agriculture/slow food movement.  In the essay, he advocates opting out of the industrial plastic food machine by a.) buying only local, sustainably grown food (or growing it yourself), and b.) learning to cook. 

At 4:00 p.m., he writes in a scathing tone, most people have no idea what they are going to have for dinner.

I glanced at my watch: 4:45 p.m.  And nope, I had no idea.  I hung my head in shame.  While it was down there, I mentally reviewed the contents of my refrigerator.  Four half-empty jars of barbecue sauce.  Several types of pickle.  Leftover canned refried beans.  Ah, I went to the farmers’ market on Saturday!  I had local, sustainably grown vegetables in the crisper!  Oh, and farm-fresh eggs laid by pastured hens.  An idea formed.  Frittata!  4:50 and I had a plan.  So get off my back, Joel.

Back in my kitchen, I discovered a Pillsbury pie crust.  Industrial.  Non-sustainable.  But there it was.  I changed my plan.  Quiche! 

TR’s just-in-time, almost sustainable Quiche

Olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 kohlrabi, peeled and shredded
Your favorite seasonings
Shredded cheese

5 eggs
1 cup milk

Pie crust
Make your own, or use Pillsbury if you are prepared to pay the psychological cost

Heat oven to 350 degrees

Make the filling: saute onion, garlic, carrots, and kohlrabi in olive oil until tender and all the water’s cooked out.  Season liberally.

Make the custard: crack the eggs into the milk and whisk the hell out of it.  Add a little salt and pepper.

Pre-bake the pie crust: place crust in pie plate and put it in the oven for 4 minutes. 

Now, scoop the filling into the pie crust and spread evenly.  Sprinkle shredded cheese over it.  How much cheese depends on the ages of your children.  The younger the children, the more cheese you need.

Pour the custard over the cheese.

Sprinkle paprika all over the top.

Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes after you remove it from the oven. 

Pat yourself on the back and dig in.

’cause I know y’all don’t know what a kohlrabi is.


21 thoughts on “Life in the Slow Food Lane

  1. I held that up at the farmer’s market and the guy couldn’t tell me what it was.  So you do or don’t eat the leaves?  And what does the bulb taste similar to?

  2. I DO know what a kohlrabi is, because it’s in my son’s book, “Eating the Alphabet.”  I’ve never eaten one, though.  I wouldn’t know how.  I mean, now I know you put it in an almost-sustainable quiche, but aside from that, pure ignorance.

  3. @ydurp – @madhousewife – I will instruct you in the ways of the kohlrabi.  See that big round part at the bottom?  That’s the stem of the plant, and that’s the part you eat.  The leaves are edible too, but no one seems to eat them.  I feed them to my rabbit.  So, you cut the leaves off, cut the root end off, and peel the stem with a scraper, like you would peel a carrot.  Then you slice, chop, or shred the stem for cooking or eating raw.  It’s delicious with hummous or in a salad.  It has a sweet flavor and tastes a little like broccoli, being part of the same family.  The quiche was quite delicious, even in the opinion of my picky nine year old, who had no idea how much vegetable matter she was consuming.

  4. Did you get the cheese from a sustainable, moutain pasture grazing, hand milked, happy to give the milk away to a local farmer, goat (or cow I guess)?  Sounds good regardless.  Happy Tuesday!

  5. You went way more sustainable than I did in my scramble for an idea at nearly 6pm yesterday.  But I had a painter in my kitchen until 5:30pm, so that’s my excuse for serving frozen pre-cooked chicken from Purdue to my unsuspecting family.  I served it with whole wheat cous cous and frozen green beans, both purchased locally at Trader Joe’s but imported from FRANCE.FAIL.

  6. @turningreen – Oh, Trader Joe, how could you?  There’s another essay in the book (Food Inc) that discusses the horrid working conditions endured by the farmworkers who pick the grapes that go into TJ wine.  @Gungaboy – Well, it was Tillamook cheese.  I think one state away counts as “local.”  At least it wasn’t from France.

  7. “Pastured” is the un-legal hippie green-speak term to distinguish from the USDA legally defined “free range”, a term which here means, “the chickens can see an open door from where they stand while they are fed from vats of offal inside of a huge room coated with chicken shit and rotting feathers.” Really.

  8. There is the ideal ,and there is reality. You seem to have come closer to the ideal then I might have under the circumstances. I just recently bought a food processor which definitely helps make slow flood a little bit  faster.I wish our culture could slow down in general but it seems to be all about multitasking and errandsWhat i would give for a day without a timeline>.

  9. My partner now owns and manages Flowerfield Enterprises and Flower Press, the businesses started by Mary Appelhof, who wrote Worms Eat my Garbage. You, of course, have a rabbit, so you probably don’t need a worm bin.

  10. The first CSA I belonged to was quite fond of kohlrabi.  We got one, or two, in our bag every week for over a month.  I made kohlrabi every which way.  I now break out in hives if I even see one.  In the CSA’s defense, however, they also provided us with the best cabbage I have ever had – who knew I would ever make a statement like that – and introduced me to the joy of brussels sprouts on the stalk.

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