It was over eight years ago that I joined the celebratory crowds in Chicago as president-elect Obama gave his acceptance speech. People flooded the streets and I danced with strangers to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” as we cheered and cheered, happy to be witnessing history being made and excited for what was to come. This Friday, even after eight years, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. (Well, I was, if I would be saying hello to our first female president, but . . . ) During the inauguration ceremony, I ran 8 miles on the treadmill at the gym with the TV off then came home and made this spinach pie from Michelle Obama’s cookbook American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America, added salt courtesy of my tears (just kidding . . . kind of).
On Saturday, it was wonderful to see news reports and friends’ pictures of the huge numbers of people who turned up for the marches in Washington, New York, Chicago, and cities across the world. I’m a little sad to say that I didn’t make it myself. I did go to see a beautiful concert of original music that benefitted the ACLU; I did increase my monthly contributions to Planned Parenthood. It sounds selfish to say, but I still needed a bit more time. However. This is really happening; my rights and others’ rights will be (are being!) affected. I’m still thinking, still processing, still trying to figure out what to do, but next time I’ll be thinking and figuring it out in the middle of these new crowds, working to protect rights won years and decades ago while making a new kind of history.
The Obamas’ White House Spinach Pie
- 1 unbaked pie crust (find my pie crust recipe here)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 lb fresh spinach, washed and well drained
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 8 oz Swiss cheese, grated
- fresh ground pepper
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened but not brown. Add the spinach in batches, and cook until wilted. Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 375°.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together with the half and half. Add the lemon zest, thyme, feta cheese, half of the Swiss cheese, and some freshly ground pepper and stir. Using your hands, squeeze out excess liquid from spinach and add to the bowl, stirring to combine.
- Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie crust. Sprinkle the remaining Swiss cheese over the top. Place the pie dish on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes, until center is set. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Can be served hot or at room temperature.