For most of us, Popeye was a part of our growing-up experience.

We all remember how, to a familiar musical accompaniment, Popeye burst a spinach can to create his "mus-kles" so he could do in the bad guys. Familiar, too, is the image of slimy green leaves slithering down the sailor's throat.Some of us have never grown beyond the Popeye definition of spinach. We still think of only slimy and green.

Others, however, have discovered the limitless uses and delights of spinach.

Spinach, fresh from early gardens, stands crisply as a salad ingredient.

Spinach, steamed, is a nutritional powerhouse. Spinach, blended, becomes an exciting side dish, a vegetarian main course, a tantalizing stuffing or a desirable dip.

Fresh spinach, economically priced and readily available, should be carefully washed, then patted dry. Crisp greens can be covered, refrigerated and stored for three to four days.

To calculate quantities, figure that one pound of fresh spinach is equivalent to one-half cup cooked spinach, or approximately the same amount as a 10-ounce frozen package.

Popeye may not be around much anymore, but spinach is a vegetable that still offers adventure. The possibilities are varied - but to indulge in such creative spinach escapades may, in fact, require growing up.

For June: `quiche and tell'

"Hugs and Quiches." "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche." "Love and Quiches."

The quiche - admired, yet maligned.

The quiche - simply a custard pie expanded. Quiches were originally egg, bacon and cream dishes. Cheese was eventually added to the pastry. Now a montage of ingredients are commonplace in quiche construction.

The quiche - a hefty lunch, a meatless supper or a dainty hors d'oeuvre.

Quiches suffer with a feminine, ladies luncheon label. Redefining that label is possible. Quiche is nutritious, economical, versatile and easy to prepare. Quiche is adaptable and can become a favorite for the entire family.

Send your favorite quiche recipes to the June Recipe Exchange.

Rules for submitting recipes are as follows:

1. Submit only one recipe per sheet of paper (but all can be mailed in one envelope). Include name and address with each recipe. Mail to Recipe Exchange, Deseret News, P.O. 1257, Salt Lake City, UT 84110.

2. No more than three recipes will be accepted from any one person.

3. Recipes must be postmarked no later than Friday, May 12, l989.

4. If identical recipes are received, the recipe with the earliest postmark will be selected for testing.

5. Recipes will be selected and tested by a panel of home economists, with the best recipes printed in the Deseret News food section the first Tuesday in June. Readers whose recipes are selected will receive $5.

Our thanks to readers who contributed spinach recipes this month:

Darleen Masters, Nancy Zitting, Daisy Goodsell, Ellen Adamson, Marian Smith, E. Steed, Jeff Thomson, Shirley Thulin, Diane M. Dansie, Loralee Thomson, Tiffany Thomson, Fay Sargent, Becky Bradshaw, Bonnie Conger, Vickie Huish, Sharon Sanders, Shauna Helie, Allison Liechty, Mildred Mansfield, Connie Thomson, Terri M. Bender, Ellen Koucos, Bruce G. Bender, Glenna M. Peterson, Rhonda Redding, Mrs. M. Zitting, Colleen Marshall, Jane Lassetter, Pat Walker, Lauri Jo Moncur, Suzanne Adamson, Donna Carper, Eva Bean, LeRue H. Reeves and Lori Walters.