Northwest News

Quiche-cooking classes offered at Kathleen's Cafe

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It must be remembered that a quiche is not just a quiche.

What separates the good from the bad when it comes to the classic dish starts with the crust, according to Kathleen Murchison.

"All of my crusts are made from scratch," said the owner of Kathleen's Cafe on Bethel Road.

"They're not store-bought," Murchison said. "They're not frozen. They're made fresh every day."

And they're one of the reasons Murchison is going to accede to customer requests and offer cooking classes in her small eatery, starting with instructions on creating quiche.

Since opening Kathleen's Cafe a few years ago, Murchison said her quiche has become one of the most popular items on the menu.

"I just started serving it and everybody just raved about it," she said.

And it's of the dishes her patrons most inquire about in terms of unlocking the mysteries of making a really good one.

"Everyone's been asking me if I could do a cooking class," Murchison said. "It was pretty much by request."

Although thought of as an example of French cuisine, according to the website foodreference.com, quiche originated in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen, which was then under German control.

In fact, the term is derived from the German word for cake, "kuchen." The French renamed the region Lorraine when they took it over from Germany.

"The original 'quiche Lorraine' was an open pie with a filling consisting of an egg and cream custard with smoked bacon," according to foodreference.com.

"It was only later that cheese was added to the quiche Lorraine. Add onions and you have quiche Alsacienne. The bottom crust was originally made from bread dough, but that has long since evolved into a short-crust or puff pastry crust.

The website states quiche became popular in England sometime after World War II and in the U.S. during the 1950

"Because of its primarily vegetarian ingredients, it was considered a somehow 'unmanly' dish; 'real men don't eat quiche.' Today, one can find many varieties of quiche, from the original quiche Lorraine, to ones with broccoli, mushrooms, ham and/or seafood, primarily shellfish. Quiche can be served as an entree, for lunch, breakfast or an evening snack."

Murchison is charging $40 for her cooking classes, which includes lunch prepared by the students, and she's keeping the size of the class to a maximum of 15.

The class lasts about two hours, she said.

"We're just going to do one particular one, but then I'm going to show them how to make any kind," Murchison said.

Starting, of course, with the crust.

Murchison hopes to hold cooking classes monthly, moving onto pies, soups, muffins, cupcakes and scones, "a little bit of everything," she said.

Signup sheets for the classes are available at Kathleen's Cafe, 1093 Bethel Road. More information is available by calling 457-1093.

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