Stage One: assemble ingredients.
Easy--take two dozen eggs out to reach room temperature. Less easy--grate a block of Swiss cheese and another of cheddar. Easy again--remove butter and shortening for pie crusts from freezer and keep chilled in refrigerator. Another easy one--thaw frozen spinach and drain in sink. Uh-oh--roadblock! Where's the flour?
Stage Two: clean out the pantry looking for flour.
This part took a couple of hours. After all, if you're gonna pull out everything in the bottom shelves, you might as well get them clean before putting all that stuff back. Maybe the recipe should start with "find vacuum cleaner." That was easy. Cleaning was easy; the shelves look great. Unfortunately, there was no flour in there.
Stage Three: defrost freezer (still looking for flour).
I could have sworn I had another bag of all-purpose flour in the freezer. I had to pull everything out to get to the bottom. I found several archeological artifacts frozen in the layers of ice clinging to the sides, and I found the bread flour and the self-rising flour and the cake flour and the whole-wheat flour and the spelt flour (don't ask) and the corn meal and the self-rising corn meal and even the two boxes of tapioca (please don't ask), but no pie-crust flour. There was a lot of ice built up, so defrosting before reloading seemed like a good idea.
Stage Four: find the old hot blow-dryer to melt the ice in the freezer (gave up looking for flour, didn't want to put all that stuff back into ice-clogged freezer).
The ice was an inch thick in places, and the chicken thighs were starting to thaw, so I figured I'd use the time-honored method of blowing hot air to loosen the glaciers. But where did I pack away that old hair dryer?
Stage Five: clean out bottom drawer of bureau looking for hair dryer.
Yay--found dryer in drawer, only had to remove two layers to retrieve it. Tossed layers of stuff back in drawer and turned my back on messy drawer. The quiches were far away already, and the freezer was waiting.
Stage Six: put freezer and contents back together.
Ahh, easy. I even discarded a few mystery packets. However, I still had no flour for pie crusts.
Stage Seven: persuade Husband to go to town for flour.
This was not so easy. Himself had just returned from a bus-driving trip, so it took all my wifely blandishments to get him out on the road again. (We were awaiting the final visit of the plumber to finish work on septic tank, so somebody had to stay home--and He had not been head-down in the pantry and freezer for the past few hours. I had to promise one of the pies would be cherry or blueberry. Okay. Fine. Just get me some regular pie-crust flour!)
Stage Eight: all ingredients are assembled. Put cold stuff in fridge, leave grocery bag of flour on table, warm up leftovers in microwave for supper, put DVD in TV and give up for today.
THE NEXT DAY
I have flour, I have shortening, I have pastry cutter, I have rolling pin! In three hours I had eight pie shells ready to fill with egg mixture. So I did. I made three ham & cheese, three spinach & cheese, and two broccoli & cheese, baking them halfway and then (aha!) freezing them for later. (I knew defrosting was a good idea.) One spinach version was baked through (to perfection) and was consumed for dinner that day and breakfast the next.
Unfortunately, I used up all the pie crusts on quiche, so the promised cherry or apple pie was postponed. What the hell--I have flour, I have shortening, I have pastry cutter, I have rolling pin! Uh-oh--where's the pie filling...............
To Be Continued (perhaps)