My Little Victory Garden, Entry Nine: Gimme a Little Quiche!

One of my favorite Spring sights: Our Japanese Maple unfolding all its beautiful leaves to receive the sun's rays.

When I started these posts, I was a little worried about having enough content.  After my first two or three entries, however, I now struggle with CUTTING enough content to avoid overwhelming our reading friends with too much information!  This week was certainly another struggle.  Included in today’s post will be information about the bargain eggs at St. Francis of the Woods on Highway 33, the opening of the Edmond Farmer’s Market and some treasures I found there, a beautiful olive oil, tea and vinegar shop in Edmond, broccoli and why it bolts, and…101 ways to cook with spinach.  Okay, I’m joking about the spinach – I’m just sharing one way.  If I were going to write a book on 101 ways of anything right now, it would be, “101 ways to pack 12 gallons of cleaned lettuce in your refrigerator.”  We’ll get to that.  But first, my journey to St. Francis of the Woods…


St. Francis of the Woods Retreat is a GREAT place to pick up fresh, inexpensive eggs. Located in Coyle, OK on Highway 33, the lay of the land is a fairly sprawling establishment, with winding gravel roads taking a driver across the retreat space easily while being navigated by signs indicating the various buildings. However, finding your way to the eggs is a little different matter. I received a tutorial from their grounds manager, so I'll provide it for you. Just drive into the main entrance, and continue to drive past the library and retreat centers... past this shed, then look to your left to find the Chicken House.


There it is! The "Winnie-the-Poo" colored house is where you go. Just park and walk in through the little door. There are signs guiding the buyers on how to manage their Honor System. There is a (truly!) coffee can for your money. It's probably better if you take cash, but they've accepted a check from me before. The eggs are $2.00 per dozen. You write down your name, how many dozen you took, and how much you left in the can. Then, collect your eggs from the fridge and go!


By the way - if you are interested in seeing the chickens, just walk around to the other end of the Chicken House and there they are!

Now, the reason I took you here is to simply make a point.  The locavores in California tell me fresh eggs off farms sell for $5.50 and $6.00 per dozen out there.  However, you COULD pay close to that right here at our farmer’s market in Oklahoma.  And, even local farms like the one I highlighted when making the omelet a few weeks ago was being resold, and was $3.50 per dozen.  At $2.00 per dozen, the eggs at St. Francis of the Woods represent the true “local sharing, kinder and gentler” price.  This is why I generally purchase from them, and buy around four dozen at a time.  I share with my neighbors, and I treasure little secrets like this that help keep my food budget manageable.

Now, if you’re up for experimenting, finding some “Made in Oklahoma” local recipes and meeting people or trying new things, then the Farmer’s Market is certainly the way to go.  Having so many producers in one spot is great.  The Edmond Farmer’s Market had their opening weekend this past Saturday and of course I had to stop by:

I ALMOST brought glad I didn't!
One of the local vendors I met was from Meeker and had a bakery. I purchased a loaf of Garlic Sourdough bread from his Schoenecke Pecans, Fudge & Bakery stand. It's okay, but it tastes like garlic powder and that's not my favorite flavor to lead out the palette first thing in the morning. I got home and Mick grabbed a slice and put honey on it!? I'm going to try it again in a different way, but when I looked at the label, there are weird ingredients that appear to be preservatives. I understand why people need to use preservatives for shelf life, but I'm not sure I'll choose to eat them. One more note: I've eaten another slice of the garlic bread. My instincts say "no" on this product. I'll try something else from them before choosing not to visit any more, however.
This stand presented me with an especially pleasant surprise. Right behind the pork rinds and pickles display was Laura Womack, owner of Reno co-packing company and a former high school friend. I sampled some of their crisp, lime pickles and bought a jar. They're sweet and a little like a dessert pickle you would include with a multi-component garnish. Then I noticed they sold microwavable pork rinds, thus saving on the fat content. My mother used to like those so I purchased two containers of them as well. Laura and her husband started their company several years ago, and are now "co-packing" (packing for other producers who don't have the equipment or facilities approved to prepare their own products) for 40 companies. Their business is located between Oklahoma City and Yukon, and they just recently got the approval to begin raising their own building. Good luck, Laura!
Here are some other artifacts from my weekend Farmer's Market shopping and my own garden: My Basil didn't sprout out, so I bought a plant. I may need two or three before the end of summer, but one will get me started. I also purchased another Thyme plant since Tonks ate my first one. This is a lemon thyme. I tasted it and decided I could potentially cut the lemon juice from my thyme salad dressing recipe. I harvested some broccoli, Swiss chard and spinach...and lettuce. Lots and lots of spinach and lettuce.
I washed and washed, and spun and spun!...Eight gallons of lettuce and spinach this weekend!

So, what to do with all this lettuce and spinach?  Well, it’s time to give a few friends the “gift of lettuce,” that’s for sure.  The spinach is another matter.  I can freeze it and cook things with it that can also be frozen.  My choice today was quiche because I didn’t have much time.  I make quiche about twice each year but make several at the same time so I can freeze them.  They’re so perfect for breakfast, lunch OR dinner, and go nicely with sides of veggies served either hot or cold.  Tonight I’ll share with you a quick and easy recipe to make a version of Quiche Florentine (w/spinach) and also one I’m dubbing Italian To-Die-For Quiche.

True confession number one: I purchased Pillsbury ready-to-use refrigerated crusts.  I hate paying $3.00 for an item that would cost .50 to .75 to make, but I was out of my special shortening (with a percentage of lard in the mix) and I don’t really use shortening for any other purpose.  I DID have a box of back-up crusts in the freezer.

The first recipe includes the following ingredients (for the spinach-bacon version): six eggs, 1/4 c. half n’ half, one diced fresh green onion, 2 c. spinach sauteed, 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar, ground pepper.  Just prep your ingredients (the bacon and the spinach), then throw everything into a bowl, mix really well, pour into your pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.  Cook longer or shorter depending upon your preference for the color of the crust and top.  Here are a few shots of my building task on this recipe (click on any to see a larger view):


Thanks for saving my night, Pillsbury.

There are those nice St. Francis of the Woods eggs! Next week, I'll have my first order of Wagon Creek Creamery products from the Food Co-op, so I'm excited about that.

I always try to balance out the greens and bacon in the shell right before putting in the oven. Balance. It's a good thing.

Where is the final product?  Below.  But first let me tell you about my Italian To-die-for Quiche.  I forgot to show you my beautiful purple asparagus I purchased at the Farmer’s Market from Gully Hopper Farm’s owner, Marilyn Hannigan.  So tender!

So here is the recipe for this quiche: Six eggs, 2 oz crumbled Feta Cheese, 3/4 c. shredded Italian cheese blend (or any one of the five cheeses – such as mozz, parm, romano, etc.), 3 stalks of purple asparagus diced, the rest of my leftover Cordero Farms Sweet Italian lamb sausage from two weeks ago (I TOLD you…, if it smells good – I use it! – it smelled great), five minced basil leaves, three cloves of garlic minced, one half of a green onion chopped, and ground black pepper.  I didn’t use 1/2 and 1/2 because there was so much dairy already in this recipe.  That decision worked out just fine.  Here are a couple photos of the building process for this quiche:

The best part, of course, is the “taking out of the oven and cooling them as quickly as you can then TASTING” part.  Here are photos of THAT part of my night…

And speaking of my camera, do you see the little florets already forming on my broccoli? I put up a photo of this situation on a gardening page I use for questions and the experts said that our weird weather patterns in Oklahoma probably caused it to bolt. And, I should cut it and eat it NOW before they open up. So I did. But, I think my plants are putting out more broccoli so I may get some more before the process is over. I certainly hope so. I've never grown broccoli, and now I never want to "go back" to store bought again. Tender, tender, tender!


Here is the finished spinach and bacon quiche. Divine!
Ooh, yummy! Mick called me on Monday afternoon while I was in Tulsa just to tell me "your quiche is really good." The fact that he called about anything in the refrigerator is a testament to the fact that it was indeed yummy.
And, HERE is the Italian To-die-for Quiche. I only named it after I tasted it.
This is my second piece. The first one didn't make it anywhere except into my tummy. See that little piece of melty-white cheese dripping? I took care of that right after clicking the camera.

I had so many things on my list to write about I couldn’t decide what to leave off.  Here is a short tidbit I’ll just share with you without rehashing my conversation.  A place called “W Bar M” sells Wild Boar meat.  THIS I need to check out.  You can too if you’d like.  Simply visit: and their items are for sale on that site.  I need to find a decent priced, locally grown bacon and I think I may just try wild boar bacon – why not?

Finally, just for fun I’m sharing this photo with you to close out this post.  My daughter and I were gathering sheep shower to eat while outside (we never get enough to bring in for salads), and while she was picking through some of hers, she found this tiny formation of insect eggs on the bottom of a leaf.  Word to the wise – always check before you put something in your mouth…AND, you never know where you’ll find beauty next.  Rylee’s fingernails are stained from applying hair color to her clients at her school…beauty there, and beauty here.  Have a great week…and if you have time, give someone you know or love a little quiche!

My Little Victory Garden: Entry 8 / Entry 10



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