By Frank E. Vaerewijck, “The Firehouse Foodie”
Summer brings out the people, and as call volumes increase in most localities, so does the need for quick meals that can be reheated (as well as lots of sleep).
During the slower season, many of us enjoy larger meals that may be a little time consuming to make, but in the busy season, it’s quick, simple meals that are easy to reheat. In large systems, like big cities, where they’re always busy, these quick, simple meals are a staple. I am constantly looking for or trying out new recipes that will work for a “quick fix.”
My station is in a vacation resort area that is REALLY busy during the summer. In the winter months—the “off season” —we may have 500 residents in town on any given weekend. However, the “during the week” numbers are probably closer to 300. The in-season numbers, typically starting in May and running through late September, swell to closer to 65,000. Yes, you read that right: 300-500 citizens swelling to 65,000 in just weeks.
Going into season and coming off season, many vacation rental properties are booked at a slightly cheaper rate, so our residency numbers during those times still run around 2,500-3,000. So, as you can imagine, as our call volume increases, subsequently, our time to prepare, cook, and eat meals decreases.
We catch naps when we can, here and there, and pray for quiet nights, with enough time to sit down together, enjoy some brotherhood/sisterhood time, and a good meal. We love what we do, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
And “That’s Bringing the Firehouse Home!”
- 12 eggs
- 1 pound Bacon or Sausage
- 1/8 cup milk
- Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
- 4 cups peppers and onions stir fry mix
- 2 cups favorite cheese
- 2 pie crusts
- 2 pats butter melted
- Cook bacon or sausage in a pan thoroughly.
- Mix eggs well in a bowl. Part cheese 5050.
- Drain grease from meat, return meat to pan, add eggs, milk, and peppers and onion stir fry mix, sea salt and pepper. Cook until eggs are fluffy, add 1/2 of parted cheese and mix well.
- Line pie pan with 1 pie crust, place 1/4 of remaining parted cheese in the bottom pie crust.
- Fill pie crust with egg mix, even out in crust. Top with remaining crust. Brush crust with melted butter. Back for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Top baked breakfast pie with remaining cheese directly on crust and place back in hot oven with oven now off until melted.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes, cut into 8 equal pie slices…and enjoy!
Frank E. Vaerewijck has had a passion for the fire service that has spanned 20 years. He has been a volunteer and career firefighter and is currently a firefighter/EMT with Smithfield Volunteer Fire Department (yes, where the bacon comes from, THAT Smithfield). He has passed on his passion for the fire service through instruction and mentorship. That same passion he has for the fire service is shared with his love of food. In 2006, Vaerewyck won an Iron Chef-style competition sponsored by a radio station in Richmond, Virginia. That is where he also furthered his education by attending a Culinary Arts Program. As the Firehouse Foodie, he has been compiling recipes to be included in a cookbook that will give others the opportunity to see their hometown heroes not just as firefighters but as the firehouse chefs they truly are. Learn more by visiting www.thefirehousefoodie.com.