Learning To Cook (Reluctantly): Day 2

I needed marshmallows, though. I was making a yam for lunch, and I think it was Hemingway who said that a yam without marshmallows and butter is like a day without sunshine. Which is a solar eclipse.

It might not have been Hemingway.

Look, if eating yams with marshmallows and butter is wrong, I… will probably no longer be able to eat yams. And this was fantastic, by the way. Look at it. Look at how delicious it is:


Its beauty is blinding

This was insanely good (thanks to Lindsey for the microwaving suggestion) and easy to prepare. All you have to do to microwave a yam is stab it a few times with a fork beforehand and then… push the potato button on the microwave. Which goes for about 8 minutes? That worked.

Under normal circumstances I’d have gone to City Bakery and spent around $15 at the salad bar.

And then I made a quiche. I really did. Out of all my life achievements, this may be the one I’m proudest of. Look at it. JUST LOOK:

Notice how the light is actually playing off it, almost lovingly. No, I’m not a hero. I’m not a super-genius. I used this really simple recipe that I am about share with you. Gird your loins for how delightful and easy it is:

Quiche Lorraine Ingredients:

1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked
1 tablespoon butter
12 bacon slices, crumbled
1 bag Swiss shredded cheese
1 small onion, chopped
4 eggs
2 cups heavy cream


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Spread crust into pie plate or quiche plate.
2. Spread crust with butter. Sprinkle bacon and cheese on crust.
3. Chop onion and sauté. Add to crust.
3. Beat eggs with rest of ingredients. Pour into crust.
4. Bake 15 minutes. Turn down to 325 degrees and bake 40 more min. Let stand 10 minutes.

There was also some insistence from interested onlookers that fennel be added (fennel is like a weird little onion; it’s like the Richard the Third of the herb family) so I did that. If fennel were a person it would look like this:

Who is this actor? I know you know! Retro snap!

I also made a berry salad with blueberries and strawberries (the same ones I’m using in the parfait) and some goat cheese and nuts. You know what was delicious, also? That. It was a really easy meal, and it gave me a chance to cook for friends rather than going out to dinner. And it is comically satisfying to see people you like enjoying the food you’ve cooked. I also deliberately wore a dress that makes me feel like I just stepped out of Little House on the Prairie, and I think that helped.

Otherwise, I imagine I might have bought a egg white feta wrap at Starbucks? That seems likely. So, $4 more saved.

Good. Total saved today: $24.

(Although I think the real savings come in insofar as I do not idly buy, say, a $4 cup of coffee while I’m out getting my egg white feta wrap, or one of the $5 cookies at City Bakery, or any of the things that you buy simply because you’re in the places selling them.)

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    • alexandra

      Another good preparation for yams that is good for your spicy-food days is to microwave it and then put salsa, salt, pepper, and a little bit of cayenne on top (unless your salsa is sufficiently spicy already). You can even put shredded spinach on top too. Really healthy and super yummy.

    • Eagle Eye

      Put the marshmallows into a ziplock bag with a corner of bread. The moisture from the bread will keep them from going stale. This also works with keeping brown sugar from turning into a brick.

      • Jennifer Wright

        Thank you, this is brilliant.

      • Sarah!

        I used to work at a kitchen store and we sold a thing which was basically a hunk of terra cotta that did the same thing, if you’re looking for something more permanent. Ask for a brown sugar stone at any kitchen store. I assume it would work with marshmallows as well although I’ve never tried it.

        To keep stuff from going stale, I close all my bags with hair ties. You can get them really tight and also I always have them laying around

    • Ellen W.

      Garam marsala also goes really well with yams. At least for me. Now I’m hungry and it’s 2 hours to lunch. Drat.

      • Jennifer Wright

        Eating leftover quiche. Opted against microwaving it because it would make it rubbery but THEROETICALLY – in a pretend office with an oven – can you pop these things back in the oven and have them come out as well as they did on the first day?

    • Courtney

      Jennifer, try putting your parfait in a mason jar. That way you can make it before work (or even better, the night before) and still eat it at your desk. It’s also a great option for things like smoothies or iced coffee that will save you $4.50 a pop.

    • Fabel

      Yayy, your parfait is the prettiest!

    • Georgie

      What the hell is a yam anyway? I always thought they were sweet potatoes but apparently they grow on tropical vines? Mind blown. Quiche looks excellent by the way. Have you watched Julie and Julia for cookery inspiration?

      • Sunshine

        I would also like to know what a yam is, please. Like Georgie, I was under the impression yam was just a different name for sweet potato.

    • MR

      That quiche looks wonderful.

    • Ewa

      Thank you for sharing the beauty;) That, and you motivated me to make a yogurt parfait this morning!

    • Jerusha

      Well done, Jennifer!

      (Although my South African face is judging you for eating marshmallows with a vegetable. That is definitely an “only in America thing” for us!)

      • Jeanette

        Maybe that’s a New York thing. Growing up in California, I’ve never heard of marshmallows with yams. I always eat yams on their own, roasted. YUM.