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How a Quiche Got Me into College

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Ever since I could walk, my father has been teaching me how to cook. He used to guide my small hands around the knife handle, instructing me how to chop vegetables efficiently. As I grew older, his lessons became more advanced. Lately, he’s been focused on plating and presentation. Throughout my childhood, I’ve learned about every step and aspect of preparing a meal. I feel that I entered adulthood when I combined his advice with my own ideas to create a dinner that was the culmination of my learning experiences.
Everyone was out of the house one day, and I decided to cook a special dinner because a family friend was coming over that evening. I flipped through my mind’s recipe book, stopping when I found a quiche. It was the perfect food to eat with guests, but my mental page with its recipe was blank. I had never seen a family member make a quiche before. This meal was slightly daunting, but the fact that it was unknown increased its allure. Down in the basement, I knew there was a white porcelain quiche dish. I found it after a few minutes of searching, and committed to my plan.
Next, I went online and found a recipe containing many ingredients that were already in the house. For everything else, I walked to the grocery store and purchased what I needed. As I started cooking, I only glanced sporadically at the recipe. According to my father, recipes are suggestions, not rules. Filling the quiche, I customized the ingredients for my family. I used less cheese and more onion than the recipe called for in order to cater to our tastes. I needed to start slicing the tomatoes more thinly after I noticed they were occupying too much space. Creating this quiche involved being vigilant. I was preparing many vegetables at once, cleaning utensils I no longer needed, and adjusting the crust. Even though cooking with my father was energetic, I discovered that cooking on one’s own can be a complicated task that challenges the brain and body.
I was immersed in making the quiche when my father walked in the door. As I poured in the egg and spinach puree filling, he asked if I needed any help. I replied that I wanted to do it myself. I had already had his help, for years, and the quiche was under control. It was the first meal I had cooked completely on my own, and it represented my planning skills, adaptability, and independence.
Our guest was late, but I had prolonged the baking process to accommodate that, so everyone got a warm slice when she arrived.
“That looks divine!” she crooned.
The quiche tasted even better than it looked. The firm, buttery crust supported each bite. Soft cheese was the first sensation, but each vegetable tone had its moment, none overpowering the others. Eggs and cottage cheese gave the quiche a forgiving texture that was rich, but not so rich that we were satiated after just one slice. The only sounds were contemplative chewing and scraping forks.
The conversation started when our guest asked how I made the quiche, ensuring that I was a part of the discussion from the beginning. This was the first time I had felt fully included when adults were talking. I sat with them, no longer metaphorically at the kids’ table. My creation had brought us together and provided my loved ones with food and happiness. 
After dinner, I cleaned the kitchen. I had created this meal from start to finish. That night, I finally earned the right to say that I can cook. My father always said the cooking lessons were to save me from living off junk food and instant ramen in college. In fact, the cooking lessons gave me so much more. I’m ready to cook for myself and others in a new kitchen.
 




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