Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I Like It That Way

You will find this to be a more oniony soup than the usual kind but, as the cross old lady said when a stranger told her that her slip was showing, "I like it that way." ~ Margaret Yardley Potter

One day, last winter, I had a craving for some French onion soup.

onion soup - adding flour2
Banish the onion from the kitchen and the pleasure flies with it. Its presence lends color and enchantment to the most modest dish; its absence reduces the rarest delicacy to hopeless insipidity, and dinner to despair.
~ Elizabeth Robbins Pennell
I had never made it before and went in search of a recipe. I decided on this one. It was more time consuming than I'd imagined, allowing the onions to caramelize but it was also incredibly yummy. This is what six or seven large onions simmered down to.

onion soup - wine and flour
I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food. ~ W. C. Fields
The recipe states that wine is optional. Ha! I wouldn't possibly consider opting out of adding this flavour enhancer.

onion soup - grated gruyere
Cheese is milk's leap toward immortality. ~ Cliff Fadiman
And given the choice between Gruyere and Parmesan cheese, I went for the former. I probably even added a bit of the latter.

Unfortunately, there were no photos take of the finished product. It disappeared far too quickly. Plus I forgot. Mostly, I forgot (I did mention the wine, right?). But it was delicious. I strongly recommend this recipe. If you happen to make it, please let me know how you like it.

pboro sunrise
Nature unfolds her treasure at the first ray of sunrise. ~ Kishore Bansal
A winter sunrise possesses so many vibrant, jewel-tone colours. This was the view outside my apartment window, a few mornings back.

We've had some crazy weather, this winter. We keep jumping from above-seasonal highs to deep freezes, only to warm up a day or two later with rain, freezing rain or a large dump of snow. Someone (probably my sister) on Facebook suggested that Mother Nature might be menopausal. That sounded about right. As I type, we are experiencing freezing rain which weather-watchers predict will turn to rain as the temperatures rise to just above freezing over the next few hours.

clear windy day
A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water. ~ Carl Reiner
This image of the eastward-facing view across Little Lake was taken last week, after a snowfall and before the melt.

View of the Q and then a giggling trail of mermaids appeared in our wake. We fed them oatmeal. ~ Tove Jansson
The water tower you see straight ahead belongs to Quaker Oats/PepsiCo. This factory has been in Peterborough since 1902 but was rebuilt after a devastating fire destroyed it in 1916. When the wind is blowing just right (or just wrong), you can smell the sickeningly-sweet smell of their flavoured oatmeal wafting through the east end of the city. At first the scent is pleasant - like fresh baking but eventually it can permeate the air quite relentlessly, forcing you to find something with which you can overpower it. Like wine.

too cold to sit copy
Nothing burns like the cold. ~ George R.R. Martin
It was a brilliant, sunny day but very windy and much too cold to just sit for a while. The windchill was around -24C (-11F). I played around with the colour/effect in this and the next image in Photoshop a bit.

winter doc
And finally Winter, with its bitin', whinin' wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow. ~ Roy Bean
You can see by the absence of footprints that nobody had interest in stepping out on the dock.

across the lake
Winter lies too long in country towns; hangs on until it is stale and shabby, old and sullen. ~ Willa Cather
A glance southward.

full  moon feb 2016
Here am I floating
'round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do.
~ David Bowie
A couple of evenings ago, we had a full moon. This image was taken shortly after it rose. Unfortunately, it was snapped through two panes of  less-than-sparkling-clean glass, one window screen and the branches of a tree a city block away. Still, it demanded I take its picture. Bossy old moon!

More photos coming up.. eventually.


Jenn Jilks said...

Beautiful photos, my friend! And qitty. I mean, witty. Blame that on MY wine! :-)
Stay warm, we've had rain all afternoon!

Leah J. Utas said...

Excellent pics, and the onion soup onions look so warm and inviting.

TexWisGirl said...

i like your bright, wintry scenes. and i love french onion soup. glad yours was GREAT!

William Kendall said...

That's a good meal for a winter's day.

Cloudia said...

Gosh you so clearly convey Place and Person! Wonderful, sharp, jewel like post

Betsy Brock said...

Isn't it still winter? haha... I bet that soup was wonderful!

Boy, do I love that picture of the moon! Wow!

Marie Smith said...

Comfort food and glorious photos. A perfect winter combination.

Ruth Hiebert said...

Fantastic winter scenes.I think that moon shot is perfect just the way it is.

Red said...

For all the challenges your winter has thrown at you, you remain quite happy and have got some great photos.

stephen Hayes said...

The colors in that snowy sunrise are incredible, and your French onion soup looks yummy.

Indrani said...

Good series of capture of the process. I am craving for some soup right now.

Naqvee said...

Food photography is my love actually! You really must have made an exceptional soup :) Hope you are enjoying your life more with each passing day.
Love Naqvee

ADRIAN said...

Next time you make the soup make lots and use some of the onions to make onion marmalade. Not to go with the soup but to go with meat or cheese, I love it and it takes little longer to caramelise twice the number of onions.

Bob Bushell said...

I love onion soup, and the landscape images, fabulous Hilary.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Menopausal weather indeed, hot flashes every other day!

Theresa said...

Yum, I love onion soup too and make on often on a "cheap week" grocery wise since onions are pretty inexpensive in these parts and there is always wine in the house.
Beer has worked in a pinch BTW. Different but still good.

Linda at To Behold The Beauty said...

Beautiful wintry scenes with a little dab of color in each. I especially liked the one with the bench. There are days here in Amish country when the sickeningly sweet smell of flavored oatmeal would be an improvement. :)

DJan said...

As always, I enjoyed every one of your pictures. And I've been enjoying your B&W binge on Facebook, too. That moon is magical, even if she IS bossy. :-)

Out on the prairie said...

I get some nice bones and bake them brown and then boil to make a stock for that soup.

Tabor said...

That moon shot is excellent!! Do not belittle it. I think you are so good in finding the beauty in where you live and expressing it historically and artistically through your photos. Hang in there, spring is just around the corner.

Linda said...

That sunrise is gorgeous, and I love the pristine snowscapes. I also checked out that recipe and it sounds delicious. Did you use the brandy also or just the wine?

SK Waller said...

Gorgeous photos, as always!

When I lived in a suburb of Denver some years back, I could smell, depending on which way the wind blew, either the hops from the Coors brewery, or the sickening sweet sugar from the Jolly Rancher plant. Both grew old very quickly.

Mage said...

Wonderful stuff...but you know that. The quotes are quite delightful too. Hope you weathered the storm well.

Karen said...

That smell is a strong one from my childhood. When I was in grade 4 or 5, I went to a school just the other side of court house hill (it's now apartments). Our class went on a tour of "The Quaker". It happened to be the day they were making puffed wheat. Did you know they make it just like popcorn? It gets steamed then into this thing they call "The Canon". That's what the smell comes from. I just love it. Sometime I buy puffed wheat and when opening the bag I try to get my face right in there and smell my childhood.

Rita said...

Lovely photos--and quotes, too. That winter sunrise is stunning and I love the bossy old moon. Hope all is going well with you? The weather has been back and forth here, too. Menopausal--yes, that fits--LOL! :)

Kerri Farley said...

Lovely shots! and I'm so glad that Moon was bossy - awesome catch!

Unknown said...

Hilary: You have finally outdone yourself with these photos. Just as I was thinking, "She may wind up with her own television cooking show", the third image appeared and what a capture it is. Bravo!

Eddie Bluelights said...

Gosh, that moonshot is fabulous . . . :)
Eddie x

messymimi said...

Based on the pictures and the ingredients, i can imagine that soup looked delightful and lasted about a nanosecond!

Anvilcloud said...

I like that soup, but it has been forever since I've had it.

Good set of pics. I really like the penultimate one.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I made French Onion Soup many years ago, possibly on such a cold day as the one you describe. It has been much too long. I wonder if we have enough onions...
I grew up near a pulp mill and its pungent odor. The smell that always assaulted my senses, though, was from the Purina factory in El Paso, Texas. I'd think I was smelling something good only to realize that it was dog food!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Beautiful moon shot and the soup sounds wonderful!

Daryl said...

NYC has been having those same 'swings' of temperature/precipitation ... i think i will be using your sister's analogy

Rambling Woods said... take amazing nature photos!...Michelle

photowannabe said...

I never whine about wine....
Crazy weather is right but what delightful photos Hilary.
I do think the moon is my favorite.