Thursday, January 21, 2010

French Onion Soup

I have read - too many - recipes of how to make French Onion Soup. Moreover, I have read FAR too many opinions from people - even French cooks - who snoot the idea of "factory" broth - store bought instead of homemade - and how it "degrades" the recipe. There are SO many variations of the recipe, I was at a loss, but not for long.

I have been cooking since I was 4 years old. I am not a "professional" per se, but I not only learned from my mother, I invented my own recipes. I was making soft chocolate chip cookies LONG before anyone ever put them on the market. It was a mistake, really. One day, I was making my beloved chocolate chip cookies and as was my want, I always stood there, as a kid, and watched them back the entire process.

No, I didn't go do something else. I would have the oven light on and I would watch them bake. A wild hair hit me one day and I thought, "what would they taste like if I pull them out early?". I was instantly in love. I was - 10 years old at the time. My mother had some group of women over for whatever function they were doing - they all ate my cookies and demanded - and I DO mean demanded - to know how I made them that way. I refused to tell them. I thought: A good chef keeps his cooking secrets to himself. I gave them clues, but I really didn't tell them that the only difference, at least in my version of it, was cooking time. Soft, gooey, still-melting choco chips. Ohh, the yum of it. I gave that stuff up long ago - you can watch your belly grow when eating stuff like that.

Totally off-subject, as normal. The point is that I always add my own stuff - or do things my own way - in cooking someone else's recipes. I have decided to combine all of what I have read and do my own thing. I have 20 pounds of onions - if you're going to do it, do it right. Tomorrow after I get off of work, I am going to start cooking them. I was going to put them into a slow-cooker as some have suggested the easiest way to do it, but I don't really LIKE the way onions turn out out of a slow-cooker, so I'm going to pan-fry them. Probably at least 2 large pans full of it. Butter, a small amount of salt and just cook them down. I have done this many, many times on a lessor scale - I love that stuff. It takes a while to cook them down, but they are talking cooking them REALLY down. I already have a good feel for cooking onions, I'll get it to where I think it will taste good in a soup and I will refrigerate them overnight. Saturday, I will actually make the soup and see what comes out of it.

It is a trial cook for me. I will figure out what works and what doesn't and I will cook the stuff again - and again - until I have my perfected version of it. Isn't that what a cook does? You make it the way that tastes good to you. Most likely, if you like, a lot of other people will, too. Around here, my cooking disappears quickly.

I can say that even if the first batch isn't "perfect", it will be good. A cup of chopped onions contains 64 calories. I am looking at calorie content. I don't normally care about veggies and fruits - though fruits usually have much higher calorie counts - I really couldn't care less about calories in an onion. I eat onions in differing food frequently. No, it's the bread and cheese in French Onion Soup that should be looked at in calorie content. I may very well find a reduced calorie content cheese and bread that will help my diet.

Whatever the case, I am actually psyched about trying to make this stuff and see what I come up with.


It's raining cats and dogs outside, there is little chance that anyone is going to be working on any construction sites today. They - the forecasters at least got this one right, they said there would be a deluge, there certainly is one going on at the moment.
the branch's computers were all shut down - happens for some reason every single time it rains. Took forever to get everything going again in here and now I only have limited time before I have to sign in for work.

Anyway, I found a 5th wheel travel trailer - for $400. It looks perfect on the outside, the inside needs some work. For $400, I'd take the thing as a project to turn it around and resell it.

Also found a 26 foot travel trailer - perfect on the outside, inside needs lots of work. They took the walls off, took out the carpet - couch - all that stuff is gone. They want $600 for that thing. I haven't actually seen either of them in person, just looking at pics that both parties sent me. Prolly, I'll offer the travel trailer dude $300 just because it will take some time to put in carpet and walls and all that, not to mention some money (though, I'm the king of finding good used stuff cheap, and not just on Craigslist, either).

Meanwhile, the definers of what are going to happen at my branch that I work out of are slowly coming out. Calling it a "Hybrid" store, the talk is that plumbing will get one end of the building and that side of the yard and we - will get "this" end, the end I'm at currently and will split this place in half, also splitting the rent cots.

Just a quick synopsis since my time is rather limited. If I get either trailer, I intend on renting it out for $250 or $300 per month for several months and then get rid of it. It's nothing permanent and I already have takers for it if I get one. I know, seems odd, but I sit here and think of ways to make money without having to get a second job, basically.

Well, that's it. Probably not much to do today since the forecast is for rain all day long, but you ever know.

Have a great day!

Decatur, Alabama. Got there last night - decided I didn't have enough hours to offload - about an hour and 15 minutes on the clock, tak...