A Classic Quiche Lorraine and the Demise of Gourmet

October 5th, 2009

Rainy days and Mondays rarely get me down. I love cool gentle rain and staying inside with the lamps lit and nothing much to do on a lazy Monday. Afterall, I have the rest of the week to do important things like organize and prepare for a “Meet and Greet” that we are hosting for some local politicians running for office, clean my house for said meeting, and gather some pumpkins and mums for the yard.
We went out to eat last night for my Birthday – it is humbling to know that I now qualify for Medicare. Where oh, where have the years gone? But back to the point of this post. After splurging last night and enjoying a quiet day today, I felt like making a humble dish for supper and to me that means quiche. I have cooked many quiches in the past, some complicated and some unusual, but I decided to go back to a classic and the best classic that I know of is Julia Child’s quiche Lorraine. Some quiche Lorraines add sauteed leeks or Swiss cheese, but Julia’s contains only heavy cream, eggs, and bacon flavored with salt, pepper and nutmeg. An optional step is to blanch the bacon in simmering water to remove its smoky, salty taste. I happen to like the smoky taste of the bacon so I have never done this. It is up to you.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1 8 inch partially cooked pastry shell placed on a baking sheet
3 to 4 ounces lean bacon (6 to 8 slices, medium thickness)
3 eggs or 2 eggs and 2 yolks
1 1/2 to 2 cups whipping cream or half cream and half milk
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of pepper
Pinch of nutmeg
1 to 2 Tbls butter cut into pea-sized dots (I skipped this)
Cut bacon into pieces about an inch long and 1/4 inch wide. Simmer for 5 minutes in water. Rinse in cold water. Dry on paper towels. Brown lightly in a skillet. Press bacon pieces into bottom of pastry shell.
Beat the eggs, cream or cream and milk, and seasonings in a mixing bowl until blended. Check seasonings. Pour into pastry shell and distribute the butter pieces on top.
Set in upper third of preheated oven and bake fro 25 to 30 minutes, or until quiche has puffed and browned. Slide quiche onto a hot platter and serve.

On another subject that does get me down, I have just heard that Conde Nast has decided to stop publishing Gourmet magazine. In our tight economy, sales are down and for some reason it makes sense to them that this magazine is expendable. Gourmet has been published since the 1940’s. It is an institution in the food world and for some of us a tradition that is as important as Mom and apple pie. This rash action on their part is unbelieveable. Sometimes there are more important things in life than the bottom line. The economy will turn around someday and then where will we be? Left with populist magazines like Paula Deen’s and Rachel Ray’s I’m afraid. I have nothing against either of them, but there is a place in the publishing world for well written food articles and insightful prose.

12 responses to “A Classic Quiche Lorraine and the Demise of Gourmet”

  1. Happy birthday Penny. I qualified for Medicare back in August of this year. Time flies when you’re having fun.

    Oh I love a good quiche and Julia’s recipes always work – you can count on it. Have fun with your meet and greet.

  2. Mary says:

    Happy Birthday, Penny. I’ve had years to adjust to the shock of being eligible for medicare. Worse for me though was an add by an insurance company that began with “If you were born in 1940…” The add was ran about 20 years ago and it was the first time I was aware I was getting old. Have a great day.

  3. Happy Birthday… You don’t look a day over 29, but then my eyes went years ago…

    That is a fabulous picture with Julia’s book next to your Quiche. Your blog always puts my straight ahead photos to shame…

    Couldn’t agree more about Gourmet, and I just started cooking seriously… Shame. But, I used to be in the book business, and for a bit self published an in-house magazine. Facts are that a great deal of the mags we enjoy today will be gone in 5-10-15 years (yes, in our lifetime). Paperless is the way of the future. Like cassette tapes (or 8-track for people my age) replacing records, were replaced by CDs, and now music stores are closing daily because we get our music downloaded. Or worse, we file share, and that stops royalties to the performers, and suddenly, what used to be a wide mix of top forty from each of these styles of music… country AND R&B AND Adult Contemporary AND Rap (whatever that is) AND Pop AND Showtunes AND Folk (I could go on, but you get the idea)… Suddenly we do not have the choices, radio stations do not play a mix, and are never the first to introduce a new group. Magazines and books are headed that way. Publishing houses publish 25% of the number of book titles they did 20 years ago. At best, the internet will become the source for specialty publications. The knowledge will not go away, nor the resources. They will just evolve.

    Dickens (Charles from A Christmas Carol) was right… “We wear the chains we forge in life”.

    For good or bad, it is a world we all made (that last part was me, not Dickens)…

    OK, longer than you wanted to read

  4. Katy ~ says:

    I am saddened to hear that Gourmet will no longer be published. Their recipes were so upscale and provided me with inspiration to cook better and differently than my own food traditions.

    Quiche sounds so good tonight. Yours looks deeee-lish!!

  5. ARLENE says:

    Happy Birthday. I have just a few more years before I, too, qualify for Medicare. I keep asking myself how that can be!! I love Julia’s quiche as well. I lament the demise of Gourmet, not because it was my favorite food magazine, but because I do agree that this is just the beginning. The newspapers were the first hit, but now that it’s spread to our magazines, the rush to a paperless world is speeding along.

  6. Happy Birthday Penny! What restaurant did you celebrate in? That quiche sounds wonderful. I love quiche.

    I am upset about Gourmet too. So sad.

  7. Lyla says:

    It’s rainy here in Michigan so it’s BLTs tomorrow and then your delicious-looking quiche the next day. It’s perfect. Thanks.

    Another subject near and dear to my heart eloquently celebrated by you and your readers is the loss Gourmet and the impending demise of print media. Gourmet now goes the way of so many other significant magazines. The world is changing and not for the better. We need those long articles that force us to think about, digest and then think again about what we’ve read. The Internet promises quick and dirty, thus no one will have the patience for an article that lasts over a minute.

    Yesterday, a comic making his point that something was irrelevant,said,” It’s just about as useful as a degree in English.” As someone with a degree in English, I fear the loss of reading and writing which, whether your bent is medicine, engingeering, technology, or even ranching, forces us to use higher thinking skills and hone our creative jucies. It was because we experienced fiction that we learned to go beyond the real to imagine the almost unimaginable. Anyway, thanks for the paean to Gourmet. We’ll have to let future cooks know that,”Once there was a fleeting wisp of glory…”

  8. Penny says:

    All of you have expressed it so eloquently. I hate to think that the publishing industry is dying. Love the Dickens quote Dave, and your quote too. Lyla, you and I grew up in a good school system and home enviroments that encouraged reading and thought. Hope the current schools and parents are carrying on the tradition.
    Penny, We went to the Esmeralda Inn for dinner. It has an interesting history and the original Inn hosted many famous writers coincidentally

  9. Penny says:

    I would like to hear from more of you about Gourmet, love it or not. Let me know what you think.

  10. WHAT????????????? Gourmet is not going to be published? We have to do something! I know times are hard for print publications, but if they just put their creative talents to good use on the business side, things would be different. Believe it or not, there is a way we can blend the wonderful traditions of the past with the new ways of society and the future. Businesses that fail to embrace this possibility will surely admit defeat. What can we do get the people at Gourmet to actually *think* a bit more unconventionally?

  11. I love quiche lorraine, and make it frequently in cooler months!

    I was very sad to learn that Gourmet would no longer be published. I let my subscription lapse in the past year, but continued to buy most issues at the bookstore. I looked forward to my weekly emails and Ruth Reichl’s commentary (forgive if I’ve spelled her name wrong – no coffee this morning!). Gourmet stood head & shoulders above the majority of cooking/food magazines.

    At least I have my back issues and a few cookbooks… 🙁

  12. Jann says:

    Your quiche is beautiful-i haven’t eaten quiche in quite a long time.guess i need to make one!

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