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A Short Cooking Lesson

I love to share new cooking ideas with you, so here's the latest thing I've tried. Now there may be some amongst you that have no interest in preparing caramelized onions, and if that's the case, I suggest you skip most of this post. It was only in the last five years or so that I became aware of this humble little delicacy. Humble in the sense that onions are fairly cheap, or at least they used to be, groceries costing what they do these days. Preparing them the traditional method by using a large pan on the stove top, stirring for up to 45 minutes until they become just the perfect shade of caramel is somewhat tedious. Voila! Through the magic of the internet, I've tried a new, more streamlined method. It still takes forever, however, you dear reader/cook, will spend a much shorter time stirring. Using a cast iron skillet, I filled it to the brim:
They look a bit shiny don't they? Mixing about 2 Tablespoons of Oil (use what you like), as well as 1 T of salt into them with my fingers, I covered the pan and placed it in a 400 degree oven with the timer set for 15 minutes. Timer goes off, open door, slide out pan a bit, and stir. Repeat 15 minutes later. And repeat again. By now the onions should be shrinking dramatically, leaving a bit of liquid in the bottom of your pan from all that steaming. I removed the lid and baked about 10 minutes longer. If, by now, they still aren't the color you're looking for, place them on the stove top and stir over low heat until they are. Or, at least that's how I did it. Here's how I like them to look:
Not overly attractive, but oh so delicious! A week ago Sunday, Kathy gave me a gigantic fresh cabbage from their garden. Hmmmm.......what to make with it? Once again, through the magic of Google, what I thought might be a crazy idea, turned up here: New York Times  So, I whipped up some tart dough, and here's what was for dinner:
Not quite as pretty as their version, but tasty nonetheless. Speaking of cooking, when I read this recipe in that 1933 Better Homes and Gardens cookbook I told you about, I laughed SO hard I nearly cried. Listed under the appetizers,

Mushroom Cocktail

Use 6 small mushrooms for each cocktail. Drop the mushrooms, with about 1/2 inch stems into boiling water and cook slowly 15 minutes. Add 1/2 t of salt just before removing from the water. Drain and chill the mushrooms thoroly (sic). Divide 1 cupful of tomato catsup among 6 cocktail glasses, which are set on plates beside crisp lettuce leaves on which the mushrooms are arranged.

What do you think? Didn't know you were getting two recipes did you? 70 years from now I expect someone will laugh at my cabbage and onion tart.

Mary called on Friday. What a delightful conversation we had, veering all over the subject map. One of the reasons she called was to quiz me on blogging. Which reminds me, with little fanfare, my last post was #800. Seems like only yesterday it was 700! My how time flies when you're having fun!

Anyway, she had all sorts of excellent questions, but it was her last few which stuck with me. Who, she asked, are you writing for? Yourself, or an audience? Furthermore, she wondered whether I thought of one person in particular when I sat down to write. I answered "both" to the former, and "it varies" to the later. Truth be told, however, I mostly just sit down and begin writing whatever pops into my head, for better or for worse. :)

Saturday, at the absolute wrong time of the day, I scooted over to Miss Lois's garden to see how her tulips were growing. Too much light for the flowers, but it sure does wonders for the leaves! She's got all these purplish ones, and a gorgeous bunch of pink ones:

Sunday the weather was glorious, and when the weather is glorious, people come out of hibernation. The market was crowded with folks, lots of whom were buying, not only food, but art, jewelry, plants, you name it. Guess what a new vendor was selling? Terrariums! Some kind folks bought at your blogger friend's booth. In fact, quite a few did, for which she was very grateful. Not to mention, happy.

I'm trying to decide whether to go to bridge class tonight, this being Valentine's Day and all. Mr. Bruce leaves in the morning for the rest of the week. Should I, or shouldn't I? I'll ask him. Of course, he's my Valentine every day of the year!

Before I go, there's one more thing I want to share which has not one thing to do with cooking. While still looking for that  Silver Springs family photo, I opened a box full of cards and letters that were my mothers'. One in particular caught my eye,  a single spaced typed letter from us to my Mom. More specifically, it was a Christmas letter, which baffles me to no end because she knew all of the Peck happenings from those days. In any case, I won't bore you with too much of it, but here's how it begins,

Dear Mom (we thought you'd be amused),

Merry Christmas from the Peck family! We hope that 1990 has been as good to you as it has to us. Here are some of the things that have recently happened around here. (Sound familiar?) First of all, very exciting!, we purchased the computer on which this letter is being typed. We also had cable installed.--The Peck family bursts into the '90s!

What follows are paragraphs describing the wonder that was the Peck household in those days. The next to the last paragraph reads like this:
We have an addition to our family. A little over a month ago a stray tabby cat showed up at our home. She invited herself in and has not left since. We named her Cooper, after our favorite, Special Agent Dale Cooper, on the television show, Twin Peaks.

How about that? The Peck family bursts into the '90s! Reading this made me smile. What surprised me the most is that we have had a computer for 21 years now and it's still pretty much a mystery to me. 

 P.S. I nearly forgot to tell you the good news--Alissa also got a job at University of Texas which makes the transportation problems a moot point!

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