Cats don't like peas

Today's recipe is: Pea Quiche

buddha with daffodils

I find it totally amazing that both of my cats refuse to eat peas. I buy them this really expensive cat food in sachets and one of the packets has Veal and Peas (no, of course they are spoilt!) and they both manage to leave all the peas licked and intact in the bowl. How do they do it?!? We have Buddha, named so for his corpulent body, and Puss Puss, who could also be named Moaning Monster but this takes too long to scream out quickly. I adore them and couldn’t live without them (mostly). Buddha is the only other male besides my husband I would be prepared to French kiss. He has one little, tiny, small fault. It’s barely noticeable really. It’s just that he seems to be getting a little cantankerous as he gets older. While on his diet, I once lifted Joerg’s pants leg and said “Bite Buddha” and he did. Such an obedient sweet baby! And it was a small bite, poor starving creature. Barely drew blood at all. Well, it is Joerg who has him on diet.

But he does seem to be taking the whole bite thing a bit far. While at my in-laws last year I heard shrieking and howling outside my window so I rushed out to save Buddha. But it was my child beating up the neighbours kid. The poor Fluffball was trying to get away, but Buddha had her pinned down. She did give him a good bite in the mouth, so it was off to the vet with him There was someone else in there with two Fluffballs, so I covered Buddha’s head, just incase they were the parents of our Fluffball. I mean Buddha comes from a good home, so how did he turn into Bruiser?? He thinks I’m his real mother – I haven’t had the heart to tell him about his biological mother – and we give him the best of everything, yet still.

Now don’t you go getting the wrong impression about my baby. All this started since he has been on diet. A full year and he hasn’t lost a gram (I told you I’m his real mother). He is a big boy, and I mean a really big boy. When we first started the diet, he tried various techniques to get me up to feed him. First he would lay on my chest turning his 7kg weight into dead weight. If this didn’t work, he would lay across my throat. This CAN cause breathing difficulties. And if that didn’t work, he would lay across my face. This DOES cause breathing difficulties.

But the sweet baby does bring me presents as a gesture of his love for me. A headless mouse on or beside the bed, a gall bladder, half dead snakes – he’s a fine and talented gift giver. We had a gold finch nest on the terrace with two babies in it. I was so proud of them as it was way out of Buddha’s reach. Tell me, why do birds fly downwards on their first flight???? My Buddha/Lassie came and got me, walked me the baby, nudged it and then led me back to the kitchen to give him some real food – no flesh on them new borns.

He puts Garfield to shame with his antics. I have a spray bottle to wet him when he scratches the furniture when he wants food (or fuss, or someone to play with). I had put the bottle down early one morning and Buddha tried to grab it and make a run with it! He’s so clever. He also assumes that if you are sitting at the computer you are not working and so have time just for him. He WILL sit on your lap and he MAY tolerate you typing with one hand, if you are very careful and stroke him often. If not, he may bite you. Understandably of course and we always apologize for disturbing him. Also, if your arm falls asleep and you decide to move him to his hand woven Nepalese Llama blanket, he may also bite you. He rarely draws blood though, so it’s no problem.

But nobody gives love and purrs like he does. Or takes up that much space on a bed. But I can’t sleep without his hot, black, furry body in the crook of my arm, so long live my Buddha Boy! And of course Puss Puss, but she will the topic of another post.

I think there is no leap to go from my beloved cat to today’s recipe which is a Pea Quiche. Do you??

pea quiche

(Serves 10 as a starter; or 4 as a lunch with salad)

I have made this a couple of different ways. One way is to add the peas whole or another is to puree them as in this recipe. The idea of pureeing them is that you only see them once you slice the quiche, so sort of a surprise addition, whereas whole you see them immediately. If you’re trying to con kids into eating peas, pureeing is the way to go!!

I use bought puff pastry which in France comes in a 230g packet, but you can use homemade pastry if you prefer. Short crust pastry works well too.

I have used frozen and tinned peas and find that the frozen peas have a nicer colour, but that the tinned ones work just as well in a pinch. In the photo they are tinned peas and I had doubled the quantity of peas for a vegetarian lunch quiche. This is a lot of peas and I probably wouldn’t do that again.

I use part cream and part milk to help keep the calories down and find that it doesn’t affect the flavour and it still sets well, but you could use all cream if you prefer.

230g pastry, approximately
300g / 10oz frozen or tinned peas
2 tbsp olive oil
6-8 mint leaves, chopped
3 eggs
200ml cream (a scant cup)
125ml / ½ cup milk
1 onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
200g / 8oz goats cheese

1. Line an approximately 26cm quiche dish with the pastry, prick with a fork, put a piece of baking paper on top of the pastry, fill with dried beans and bind-bake for 10 minutes. Remove the beans and paper.

2. If using frozen peas, cook in boiling water for about 3 minutes and then drain and refresh under cold water. Puree with the olive oil and mint leaves until smooth and then spread onto the pastry.

3. Beat the eggs and then add the cream and milk and mix well. Stir in the onions and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the peas and top with the goats cheese. (You can use crumbly goats cheese or slices from a log, which is what I used.) Bake for 20-25 minutes, remove, cool slightly then cut and serve. Enjoy!!

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