I met Edith when we were both working for the same humanitarian organization. Based at headquarters, my job included debriefing returning expatriates from the field. It was iffy work – half the time they came back exhausted, shell shocked, suffering from some nasty health problem, and a good many would return, hastily drop off their various pieces of paper work, never to be heard or seen from again.
Edith was an exception, despite her mission being in war-ravaged Darfur, she waltzed into my office refreshed and radiant. Shortly afterwards, she was back to see me, ready to help in any which way she could whilst waiting to be sent out to the field again. Since that time, her career has taken her to some of the most devastated countries on earth, including Chad, the Central Africa Republic. Her and her now husband were also part of the Haiti earthquake relief response.
As an aid worker, we leave our homes with the key intention of serving others less fortunate than ourselves. The idea that our lives will irrevocably change whilst doing this, and the fact that many of us may not return to live in our homelands for a very long time, is something we don’t consider when we start out on our journey and quest. It seems, the more we do this type of work, the smaller the world really is, its boundaries and borders begin to break down, yet we also begin to realize that life is giving us back far more than we ever expected. We find new friends from all corners of the world, many who end up adopting the role of a pseudo family member. Some of us end up with new nationalities, and like Edith (and you can include myself in that example) love can finds us in the most unlikeliest, and seemingly strangest places.
When I did a call out to some friends last week, asking if anybody was happening to go to market that day, Edith replied that yes, she was off to hers.
Now living in Sèvres, a small town on the South West of Paris, with her husband, she shops at the Marché de Sèvres for the majority of her groceries. She says this quiche, a rustic beauty in the making, is a kitchen regular, and is made with fresh eggs, feta cheese and olives, and then finished off with slices of juicy beefsteak tomatoes.
Merci Edith et Bon Appétit!
1 cup of milk
1 large sheet of puff pastry
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2/3 cup of feta cheese
2 zucchinis (cut into rounds and grilled)
¼ cup black olives
4-5 sundried tomatoes (optional)
2 beefsteak tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven grill.
Grease a 23cm quiche pan or round deep dish baking pan.
Use pastry to line the base and sides of the pan, pinch down the sides firmly.
Cut the zucchini in rounds, lightly brush with olive oil, and grill on each side until the colour slightly blackens.
Soak the sundried tomatoes in a cup of water for ten minutes to remove their rubbery texture.
Roughly chop the sundried tomatoes into small pieces.
Beat eggs, and stir in milk, salt, pepper, set aside.
Scatter the fetta cheese into the quiche pan, follow by the zucchini, sundried tomatoes, olives, sliced fresh tomatoes.
Pour the egg and flour mixture into the quiche pan.
Bake for about 35 minutes or until the quiche springs back when touched, and takes on a nice golden top.
The inside should be moist, but not runny.
Serve with a green salad, a glass of red wine and dream of Paris.