Caramelizing Onions (Slice, Cry, Stir, Stir, Stir)

Aldi had 3 lb bags of vidalia onions for 79 cents. I bought three and caramelized 2 1/2 of them. 

This is my work station…

I use a mandolin, but I’ve done it with a knife too. I’ve done it with a food processor, but I like my slices more controlled than it makes them. 

This is my bowl full of peels for the compost pile…


This is my face in agony…


It was awful. I lit candles. I chewed gum.  Like three pieces. That helped a little. 

I filled a pot…


I divided the pot…


All it takes is about 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter and tons of onions and some salt. I used kosher. And time. Like an hour… after you slice them all. 

Cook stirring frequently on medium high until they’re soft and starting to brown. (About 20 minutes)


Reduce heat to medium. Add 2 teaspoons of sugar to each batch and stir almost continuously for 30-40 minutes (yep) until onions reduce to a jam like consistency (and your face has an onion facial.)


After this point I was able to put it in one pot to get dark. An enameled Dutch oven promotes browning better than nonstick and a light pan helps you judge color better than a dark pan. 

Jam like…



Made 3 cups. That’s a lot of work for such a tiny yield, but this keeps in a fridge a long time. 


I use my onions on hot dogs and sausages. 

I add a good amount to broth for instant French onion soup. I stir it into my mixture for quiche for the BEST quiche you’ve ever had. 

How about you?  What’s a labor intensive recipe you make that’s totally worth it?

Long Lasting

Today is our 10 year wedding anniversary. 


The last gallon of milk I bought was dated today. So nice of my milk to celebrate with us… by going bad?  Oh well, our marriage is not “Best before” today. It’s going to get better and worse. That’s a vow. 

The 10 year traditional gift is tin/aluminum. The modern gift is diamond jewelry. Seriously!  That’s a big price difference. My dad was theorizing that 10 years is not what it used to be when it comes to a lasting marriage. He said it seemed way more of a milestone now in our divorce prone world. 

I recently visited with a couple about to celebrate 50 years. I asked them if they’ve outlived all of their wedding gifts. She told me stories of a glass bowl set of many colors. She said a few broke and one red one is now white from being washed in a dishwasher.  (There’s some symbolism in there if you scratch the surface, I’m sure.) The gift they still use and has lasted is a hot/cold chafing dish. 

As much as it is frustrating when something we use all the time breaks, I think, well, our marriage has lasted longer than…

Our coffee pot (I’ve broken three, no four!). Our toaster. All of our non stick pans (if their coating is gone, you’re supposed to replace it.) A blender. A microwave. A dryer. Two DVD players and two Blu Ray players. 

We’ve lasted through several world events. Three presidential elections. Three summer Olympic Games.  We survived several life events, including some of the big stressors. Having kids, check check. Moving, check. Changing jobs, check. Illness, check check. 

It’s fun to take inventory like this. What has your marriage outlasted? 

What is keeping up with you?  Our electric tea kettle still works.  Thanks Grandma and Annette. Our red cloth napkins have made the journey with us too. Thanks Tarrah.