Stubborn damn onions

January 16, 2010

I am currently sitting in an armchair in my friend’s house in Memphis, eating a grilled cheese sandwich, every bite of which is being followed from my hand to my mouth by the mournful eyes of two very sad Springer spaniels who have not been fed for the past six months.

Or so they would have you believe. They were, in fact, fed about an hour and a half ago. I know this because I fed them myself. Obviously they have short memories, or believe I am a serious sucker for sad spaniel eyes.

Get over it, Cubby and Pippy. Ain’t happening.

I’m in Memphis, once again playing private duty nurse to my friend, post-surgery. All is well and she probably doesn’t really need me here, but here I am, and at least I can cook for her.

Which brings me to the stubborn onions.

You may recall from a previous post that said friend enjoys French onion soup. So I betook myself to Kroger this morning to pick up a bag of sweet onions, en route to get the dawgs from the vet where they’d been boarding since she’d been in the hospital and the first couple of nights she was home.

We got home, got dogs settled, and got her back in bed, and I set out to make onion soup. Only to find that, once again, the damn things wouldn’t caramelize.

I peeled. I sliced. I sauteed. Six of those babies, in a couple tablespoons of butter and a couple tablespoons olive oil. With salt, pepper, and a tad of marjoram. And a dab of honey. And they cooked and they cooked, and they got softer and softer, and sweeter and sweeter, but they were still as blonde as Doris Day. (You don’t remember Doris Day? Shut up.)

I turned up the heat. That helped a little, but not much. Another 15 minutes, and we’re now up to about the color of weak tea.

At which point, I gave up the ghost, reached for a bottle of red wine that I’d cracked open the evening before, and hit it with a shot of that — maybe  a third of a cup. Let that simmer away, and NOW I’ve got some caramelization goin’ on. Added the broths and let it simmer, maybe another hour.

Friends, I am here to tell you, I will never make another pot of French onion soup without a shot of red wine in it. It’s fine stuff. And it’s even better with a grilled Fontina-and-Havarti sandwich. (Same premise as the big damn crouton, and a lot easier.)

Finishing off the rest of the wine for dessert, and about to get a little work done while I watch the Tigers (a rare treat, as we don’t get CSS in bee-yoo-ti-ful downtown Hot Springs). Meanwhile, I continue to be astounded and pleased at the response to my blog challenge for help to Haiti — a dozen or more food bloggers are doing it now, and Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman who kicked off the whole thing, has sent damn near $10K down there based on the blog-readers’ comments. My paltry donation won’t touch that….but if all of us send what we can send, from prayers and good thoughts on up to cash and water and blankets — well, we can at least make life a little easier for those poor folks down there.

So go back to my Friday post, here:, and comment, and get yourself counted on the donation register between now and noon Friday.

And meanwhile, you and y’mama ‘n ’em enjoy the rest of your weekend.


One Response to “Stubborn damn onions”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    How is it that dogs can do that? They even seem able to manage a slightly scrawny look.

    Onion soup… j’adore onion soup!

    Too bad about the caramelization. Might they have been overcrowded in the pot so that they were braised rather than sauteed? Good rescue though.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: