|Image by Sarah Korf|
Once upon a time, when I was a child, my mom made impossible pie for dinner. One of my siblings asked why the quiche-like food was called "impossible pie." (We were too young at the time to have "quiche" in our vocabulary, and that may have been the reason.)
"Because it's impossible to make anything better!" my brother piped up.
"Or because it's impossible to make anything worse," I grumbled.
My poor mother. Despite my picky eating and just plain not eating, I learned a lot of important life lessons from her, many of them regarding food. For example, whenever my dad cooked, she'd say, "Marry a man who's as nice to you as your dad is to me." (I did.) I also learned things like "Don't eat soap" (I don't), and, most importantly, "Don't wash more dishes than you have to."
My mom is a master at this last one, as you'll notice from her comment on my chili recipe a few months ago. She's amazing. This isn't something every woman gets to learn from her mother, so I thought I'd share her secret here and show you exactly how it's done. (She'll probably leave a comment that will eliminate one more dish. Just watch.)
Some general tips: Cutting boards double as plates when you're just having a snack -- especially if it's cheese and crackers or a sliced apple. Meat can be cooked in a saucepan before adding spaghetti sauce. And the only reason not to mix measured ingredients right in the measuring cup is to support the mixing bowl industry.
For the real demonstration, I'll make impossible pie (which I like now -- it's funny what adulthood does to you), after which I'll only have to wash the following:
one cutting board
one one-cup measuring cup
one four-cup measuring cup
one 8x8 pan
1 C meat (cooked, chopped)
1 C cheese (shredded)
1 C vegetables (chopped)
Layer that in a greased pie plate, 8x8, or 9x9.
Then, mix the following together and pour over top:
2 C milk
1 C jiffy baking mix
Whatever spices seem appropriate
Bake at 350 for half an hour, or until it's golden at the top and a knife comes out clean.
I like that this recipe is flexible. I usually make it pizza-themed (pepperoni, ham, sausage, half cheddar and half mozzarella, green pepper, onion) or breakfast-themed (ham, sausage, cheddar, green pepper, onion). This time, I used precooked ham, cheddar, green pepper, and red onion. I also didn't measure everything at exactly one cup.
Watch carefully to see how it works: