Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring is Sprung!

Inside at least.

Outside however we have been buried in snow again today. At least 40 cm has fallen so far and it's still coming down. I had to wear snowpants just to walk to the store for catfood. If I could find that damn groundhog right now I'd make him shovel my sidewalk!

Back in the house we are all pretending that it really is spring and there is no such thing as snow. The tomato plants that have been living in the sunporch all winter are perking up as the daylight increases- they know it's almost time to go outside even if the weather doesn't.

Some new seedlings are up as well- I planted peppers and more tomatoes last week and many of them are eager to get going too!

I restarted the shiitake kit and it is fruiting again- not as abundantly as the first round but they sure grow fast!

This was yesterday

And this was today

We should have delicious fresh mushrooms ready to pick by the weekend!

In the meantime I'm just going to curl up with a new bunch of library books and some homemade French Onion Soup. It's a great way to use up some of the onions that are beginning to sprout.


* 4 large red or yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced. (I used a mix of both)
* Olive oil or butter or both
* 1/4 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 4 cups of beef stock – you could use veggie stock if you browned the veggies first and add 1 tsp of soy sauce
* 1/4 cup red wine
* 1 bay leaf
* Salt and pepper
* 4 slices of stale bread, toasted
* 1 cup of grated cheese (Swiss, Gruyere and Parmesan are traditional but any hard cheese works. I used Fruilano, Morbier, and cheddar)


In a large saucepan, sauté the onions in the olive oil or butter on low heat until well browned, but not burned, about 30-40 minutes (or longer). (Add the sugar if using, about 10 minutes into the process to help with the carmelization.)

Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute- don't let garlic burn. Add the stock, wine, and bay leaf. Simmer until the flavors are well blended, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve you can either use individual oven-proof soup bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese.

Put into the broiler for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings

Take that Mother Nature!


  1. I love that mushroom kit.
    It looks like chocolate cake that grows you mushrooms, awesome!

  2. I'm craving some of your onion soup right about now. Looks yummy!

  3. ellie, I love that mushroom kit too! It's so cool to watch them appear out of nowhere. I really want to buy another one, maybe oyster mushrooms next time.

    Sarah, it was the perfect dish for yesterday's weather. If you lived closer I'd have invited you for some!