Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Water Shutoff, Pickles, Anniversary, Bowling,

Matt is due for a severe thumping, having got up at the crack of dawn (well it seemed like it) and showered well before the water was supposed to be shut off, we eventually left to go bowling and I saw the notice that he had read two or three days ago - it said 12 - 4 pm. Grrrrr. We were both hanging around Monday morning with nothing much to do waiting to go bowling. I did pickle some cucumber slices but that didn't take too long.

The pickles I have been making lately involve reheating the pickling fluid and adding fresh spices to the jar then whatever I want to pickle is stuffed in as full as I can get. Boiling juice is poured over, lid is put on tight and when cool put in fridge. This stuff would not last like pickles done in a hot water bath, but they suit me down to the ground and I am the only one who eats them.

I had almost forgotten that today, Sept. 25th, is our wedding anniversary - 46 years - unbelievable really. So I booked a table at the Red Lobster again, guess what, they sent free dessert coupons because it was our anniversary. We'll be there for lunch again on Thursday with the travel league crowd.

There were only 3 of us on our team today so it went a bit quicker than usual which is not good for me. I ended up bowling the first game, terrible, sitting out and using a bowl ahead for my second game and then bowling fairly well for my third game. Don't know if we won any points at all as we left before the other team had finished.

Having posted a fairly complicated recipe for French (Canadian) Onion Soup yesterday, here is a much simpler recipe which I got from my mother many years ago.

French Onion Soup

1 tbs butter                                                                      1 2 lbs onions, chopped
1 sm tsp curry powder                                                     2 pints chicken stock (5 cups)
1 tbs Marmite (or beef extract which can be                  Salt and pepper to taste
found in the US)                                                              Croutons
Cheddar cheese

Melt the butter and soften the onions in it, adding the curry powder. Add the chicken stock, marmite and seasonings. Simmer 20 mins. To serve, sprinkle croutons over soup in bowls and grate cheese over the top. You can pop the bowls under the broiler to brown the cheese if you wish.

Have a great day

Monday, September 24, 2018

Water Shut Off,, Hurricanes,

We have to be up somewhat earlier tomorrow as the water is due to be shut off yet again. Need to get our showers in before hand. Of course, as we will be prepared, it probably won't happen. I think they are gradually replacing all the piping in the building - I don't know that for a fact but it seems probably as they were getting lots of leaks and pipe breaks etc. I guess it would take way too long to do the whole lot at once and we would be without water forever.

Heard from another friend in North Carolina that, although there is plenty of water around, everyone is safe. Excellent news. I get the feeling that nobody really believed Florence would cause so much flooding. Considering there was one hurricane, when we lived there, I think it was Floyd but don't quote me, that decided to hang around one part of NC for a few days causing a lot of flood damage, one would think people would remember. However, Googling, it appears to have been in 1999  This picture is the kind of thing I remember seeing on TV at the time.

I must admit I haven't had French Onion Soup in a very long time. I remember particularly, when I was fairly young, a bunch of us used to go to the Kursaal in Ostende, Belgium, which was a kind of casino, theatre, dance hall, and drink and dance til the wee hours. Then we would wander back home stopping at one or other of the cafes and having some French Onion Soup before we ended the night. This recipe is somewhat different and certainly not traditional, but it sounds pretty good to me. Traditionally it is made with beef broth, this one is pork.

French (Canadian) Onion Soup

2 lbs lean slab bacon, in one piece
1 whole pig's foot or two halves
8 large yellow onions—1 whole, 7 sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 gallons of water
1/4 cup rendered pork fat or vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 12-ounce bottles brown ale
6 rosemary sprigs
Freshly ground pepper
12 oz rustic bread, cubed
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
6 garlic cloves, peeled
4 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (about 1/2 pound

1. In a pot, cover the bacon, pig's foot and whole onion with the water and boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until the foot is tender, 3 1/2 hours. Strain the broth and return to the pot, reserving the bacon and pig's foot.

2. Boil the broth until reduced to 2 quarts, 25 minutes; skim off the fat or refrigerate overnight and then skim off the fat. Remove all the lean meat from the bacon and pig's foot, cut into bite-size pieces and reserve.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the rendered fat. Add the sliced onions and season with salt. Cover and cook over high heat, stirring, until the onions are wilted, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook until the onions are very soft, 30 minutes. Uncover and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the onions are lightly browned, 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour until smooth.

4. Return the pot to the burner. Add the strained broth, ale and 4 of the rosemary sprigs and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until the soup thickens. Simmer the soup for about 15 minutes, until no floury taste remains. Add the reserved meat and season the soup with salt and pepper. Discard the rosemary.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the bread cubes, melted butter, garlic and the remaining 2 rosemary sprigs; season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until the croutons are crisp. Discard the rosemary and garlic.

6. Preheat the broiler. Ladle the soup into heatproof bowls on a baking sheet and top with the croutons and cheese. Broil for about 2 minutes, until bubbling, and serve.

Servings: 10

Author: Hugue Dufour

Have a great day