Burnout (Recipe: Slow-cooker Caramelized Sweet Onions)
Well, it happened. I never thought it would. People told me to get prepared because I would recognize it sooner or later.
“Not me”, I said.
I was wrong. I became afflicted. It happened just like they said it would despite my protests of “never me”.
Burnout won. It won in the writing department. And the cooking department. I no longer had the energy, drive or ability to write or cook. This presents a major problem when you write about cooking.
Writing burnout was the first occurrence. My creative juices just slapped congealed up on me. Not only did they congeal, they froze. Sitting down in front of my computer and attempting to write was like being transported to a foreign land where I neither spoke the language or knew the customs. After opening up a screen to start writing a new blog post, I would just sit and stare at the blank page.
Nothing happened. Not only did the words not appear on my computer screen, they weren’t popping up and down in my head, either. It was as if I had forgotten how to maneuver around my brain. Words that regularly traveled the synapses from my brain to my fingers to the computer keyboard, decided they were flat-out tired of making the trip and would rather stay in bed with the covers pulled over their heads.
Somehow I think those writing neurons that didn’t want to fire influenced the cooking neurons to do the same. Obviously weak, the cooking neurons followed the directions set forth by the writing neurons. They would probably jump off a cliff if instructed to do so. Whenever I would confront my mother with “Why can’t I do so and so because everybody else is doing it”, her standard response was always, “If everybody jumped off the cliff, would you want to do that?”. Apparently, my cooking neurons fit into that category. They just followed along and didn’t ask any questions of the writing neurons. Writing was clearly superior to cooking among my neurons.
There’s no plausible explanation for this affliction.
I wasn’t depressed, I’m ridiculously happy.
I wasn’t bored, I love writing and cooking.
I wasn’t sick, I’m healthy as a horse.
Anyway, I think the affliction is finally cured. I HOPE the affliction is finally cured. Seven hundred twelve words have just made the trip across the synapses. And they didn’t even have to stop along the way for coffee or ice cream. That’s a very positive sign.
As for the leadership role of the writing neurons over the cooking neurons, I’m not expecting any changes. As soon as the words started flowing, I had the urge to smell onions cooking. Sweet onions that cook for a long time until they are a beautiful bronze color.
Thank heavens my writing and cooking neurons are in sync with my grocery buying neurons and I have a basket full of onions patiently waiting for their next assignment.
Y’all come see us!
Slow-cooker Caramelized Sweet Onions
yield: 1 1/2 pints
Caramelizing onions in the slow-cooker is about the easiest thing you will ever do in your whole entire life. You can make a whole batch at once, freeze them in small containers and bring out what you will use within a week.
The length of cook time will squarely depend on the type and size slow-cooker you use. I set mine on low and let the onions cook for 24 hours. They were perfectly caramelized without being cooked to a mush. The variety of onions will affect cook times, also, as each has a slightly different water content. I can’t give you the percentage of water contained in each variety of onion nor the anticipated cook times for each make and model of slow-cooker. Rather, I would simply suggest that you make some mental notes the first time you cook these onions to get an idea of the ideal cook time for your situation. If there is a first time for you, a second time will certainly follow. These onions are too delicious, too versatile and too easy to be forgotten.
My preference for onions is always sweet onions. I use Vidalias when I can get them. When they’re not available, I will opt for which ever sweet onions I can get my hands on.
3 pounds sweet onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
few sprigs of thyme
Spray bowl of slow-cooker with nonstick spray to make clean up easier.
Add sliced onions and remaining ingredients. There’s no need to strip the leaves from thyme. Simply place the sprigs on top and remove them before eating the onions.
Cover. Cook on medium/low for 24 hours or on high for approximately 8 to 10 hours until the onions are a deep caramel color. Stir once or twice toward the end of the cooking time.
Use on sandwiches, salads, omelettes, soups. Serve as a side dish with meat. Chop fine and mix with butter for a delicious compound butter that is outstanding atop steaks. Use a garnish for dried beans (navy, pinto, blackeye peas, etc.). I’m making French Onion Soup with these babies!
Freeze in small containers. Take out only what you think you will use up in a few days.