Thursday, July 28, 2011

Requiem for a lost warrior: Buster the cat update

Last week the great hero-cat Buster got rode out of town on a rail.  Granted living with a warrior is not easy.  Blood is shed.  Relationships can be strained.  Frequently, stitches are required.  But my mouser is gone and I am sad.  The first incident was unfortunate -- Buster attacked another cat.  But cats do fight each other. It's their nature.  The second incident was also unfortunate.  Buster sent a little white dog to the vet hospital but the stupid dog (it's my dog so I can say this) shouldn'ta oughta have chased after that particular cat.  I don't care if Buster was sitting on our front walk. The dog should have known she was out classed by a factor of 10.  Sadly, Buster left gashes on the arm of the sweet  lady who walks the beagle and animal control had enough. Buster was relocated.  My peaches got eaten by squirrels no doubt while they were singing ding dong the cat is dead in celebration of their new freedom.  Goodbye Buster.  I will miss your mad skills even if you were a menace. 

China: 5000 Years of History in 26 Days

gate by ahamiltongreenDear readers. Can you forgive my 30 days of silence? I can only offer the excuse that access to Blogger is blocked in China.

From July 1-26 I toured that massive country including Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai with a group of Chinese-born teenagers including my daughter Lia and her dear friend Jenny.

During the first half of the trip our days were managed by CTS (aka China Travel Service). We luxuriated in four star hotels and gorged on scrumptious multi-course banquets. Educated, diplomatic and well-connected tour guides shepherded us to the front of endless lines as we worked our way through the sights that represent major moments in Chinese history.

Our long but comfortable march took us through Tienanmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Great Wall, The Peking Opera School, The Song and Tang Dynasties, as well as art museums, shadow puppet shows, the terracotta warriors, traditional gardens, traditional foods, traditional shops, river towns and more.... all representing what seems like an endless stream of human activity and more than 5,000 years of Chinese history.

Between sights, we traveled on first rate tour buses with good sound systems and good air conditioning--the kind of buses that are never too hot or too cold, too loud or too soft. Together with  40 wonderful fellow traveler we scratched at the surface of a country that is too big to understand in the same way that the Grand Canyon is too deep to comprehend until you get on a mule and plunge the depths.

During the second half of the trip our accommodations changed. We stayed in a Chinese boarding school--think hard beds, bad food, gasping air conditioners and guarded gates to keep us in as much as to keep others out.  Uncomfortable?  Oh yeah.  But here we were invited to pass through a massive gates that both figuratively and literally guard the guts of China and here we began to reach a deeper level of understanding about what it means to be part of the complex ancient and at the same time all new behemoth of China rising.

I hope to work through my memories and photos with you over then next few days.  Take care and thanks for your patience.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

911 for a charred pot

Before: a charred mess
of a chili pot

Maybe it's my approach to cooking.  For one thing, perhaps smoking hot isn't the best temperature for every food.  For another, when food is bubbling away, maybe it would help to peek under the lid once in awhile...maybe a little stir would help.  Whatever it is, I find myself trying to repair a mess of charred crust on the bottom of my pots now and then. If you have a beloved pot with charred food on the bottom don't despair,  this no-fail method will get your pot back on the cooking line fast.
After: ready for the next fire

  • Fill the ruined pot with water ... 3/4 full is a good start
  • Add a generous handful of baking soda
  • Cover and heat to boiling
  • Turn down the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes
  • Use a heat-proof spatula to scrape the bottom while it simmers
  • Empty the mess into the sink and fill with HOT water
  • Scrub the remaining black crust with baking soda using a scratch-proof scrubbing pad (like the back of a blue sponge)
  • Rinse and repeat if necessary.  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Broccoli for Jessica

Broccoli can be fun!  Well...maybe fun isn't exactly the right word, but it you work with this cancer fighting ninja, you can create a healthy side dish that doesn't suck.  Here's how:
  • Chop a head of broccoli into small pieces (less than an inch).
  • Coat them in olive oil. I use extra virgin and make sure they are.
  • Throw them in a smoking hot wok or frying pan.
  • Toss in a generous helping of salt and pepper.
  • Sautee for 3-4 minutes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Real Deal: Seasoning Cast Iron Woks and Pans

Seasoning a cast iron wok
I've been singularly unimpressed by the advice on the web about seasoning cast iron pans and woks.  I guess you get what you pay for right?  Luckily enough, the good people at Cook's Illustrated  have taken matters into their capable hands in their "Summer Grilling" issue.  Adapting their technique for seasoning cast iron grills, here's the method that finally worked to give my cast iron wok a lovely indelible sheen.
  1. Heat the pan as hot as possible. You're aiming for smoking hot. 
  2. Dab a smidgen of cooking oil on a paper towel or rag.  Using tongs rub the oil on the hot cast iron until it turns dull.  Expect a lot of smoke... use the vent or better, do it outside on the grill.
  3. Repeat
  4. Repeat
  5. Repeat and keep repeating until the metal stays shiny. It took me about 8 repetitions.
This method creates a sheen on the wok.  The wok becomes remarkably easy to clean... just wipe it down.  Nothing sticks.  Thank you Cooks Illustrated.  It's well worth the cost of an issue to know these things.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bermuda Grass Update

In April I spent a few hours pulling, digging and grubbing out all the little pieces of Bermuda grass I could find in a few patches of my garden.  This included rebuilding some of my lambs ear beds.   So far the results aren't bad.  I keep after the new growth as it emerges.  The real story will be told in August when the ground gets hard and no amount of water will keep plants alive in this bay clay soil.

Garden Update June 7, 2011: The Triumph of Roses

Last year June 7th brought my first handful of green beans and I thought last year was cold... this year the weather was cold and rainy until yesterday and nothing is happy about it.  The basil is shivering, the tomatoes are slacking off.  The poor Italian lemon is bereft in a poor canopy of scraggly yellow leaves.  On the plus side, the lettuce is still growing and the strawberries pay this kind of weather no-never-mind. Also doing well are mint, chocolate mint and red chard.  And roses... the roses always seem to triumph don't they?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Great Wall of Lettuce a Year Later: Failure Report

While the Great Wall of Lettuce was a wonderful experiment.  It was a failed gardening technique.  Because I was unwilling to go the full 9 yards into hydroponics, the plants were spindly and undernourished.  I wanted to use worm tea as fertilizer but it didn't really work that well.   And while the plants got sufficient water, they lacked sufficient sun.  If I had more energy this year I would try it again in a more felicitous exposure, but I suspect that the roots would burn.  Maybe in the fall.   Maybe one of you guys is willing to try the project and report back.  I would like to find a way to make it work.  And I hear that persistence is the character trait most responsible for successful living.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Advice for Living Well

Now that I feel old, here's my list of things I use to manage my life.

(1) Don't get angry... nothing gets me off kilter more than anger.  And I've learned that nothing is worth the damage it does in terms of the impact on my family.  So whenever someone pisses me off I have learned to ask myself: it is worth it?  As a result I walk away from a lot of potential conflict.   

(2) Nothing is worth getting sick over ... nothing.  I do less at work.  I care less about volunteer positions.   I make mistakes, say I'm sorry and move on.  I blow off high maintenance people.  I define my responsibilities in a newly narrow band.  I mute a lot of emotions that would otherwise take over my life. 

(3) Yoga, garden and walk.  Limit aerobic activity to days when I feel marvelous (1x per year?). Gardening... some days it means dragging myself outside, sitting on the grass and scratching the dirt with a fork -- but touching nature is very healing for me. 

(4) Art and dream therapy... both really free me from the stranglehold of untended emotions.  When emotions get stuck in my body but don't have a path to my rational mind, art helps release them.  I draw impressionistic images that feel to me like the sensations in by body then I list words to describe what I see in the picture. 

(5) Forcing myself to stick to a routine and good sleep habits.  Up by 8am weekdays, 9:30am weekends... no matter what.  No naps.  In bed by 10pm.  No media before bedtime.  If (when) I get into a cycle of waking up at night I just get up and read or practice mindfulness meditations lying in bed.  I let go of my fear about being exhausted the next day... oh well... a slow day tomorrow... so it goes.  Pasta for dinner again.

(6) Mindfulness, forgiveness and boundaries.   Read a lot of books on these topics.  Seek out experiences that bring them into focus for me.  I really like the books "Boundaries" by "Townsend and Cloud"

(7) Speak like a preacher when necessary.... I find myself blathering a bunch of aphorisms from my youth like a mantra... They are very soothing.  Other people look at me like I'm a nut case but so what. 

(8) Get outside in the sun as often as possible even if that means sitting in a chair wrapped in a blanket.  Direct sunlight helps me regulate the body clock.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How to Draw a Tiger in Adobe Illustrator

Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Animals inspired the instructions below where you can learn how to draw a tiger in Adobe Illustrator.

(Click image to for a larger view.)

Click to see more Ed Emberley Drawing Books

How to Draw a Tiger in Adobe Illustrator

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ding Dong Bin Laden's Dead: Munchkins rejoice at the death of the Wicked Witch

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?  Dorthy frees the Munchkins
Just as the Wicked Witch of the West terrorized Munchkinland in the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Osama Bin Laden has terrorized the United States and the world since the tragedy of 9/11 with the destruction of the Twin Towers, the assault on the Pentagon and the downing of flight 93 in a Pennsylvania field.  Much like the Munchkins celebrated the death of the Wicked Witch of the East, the United States is celebrating the end of this bully and the cloud of fear we lived under as a result. Ding Dong the Witch is Dead indeed. 

Bin Laden wasn't a witch.  He was a maniac and the world is well rid of him and his malicious hatred. But underneath This American Munchkin-like joy at his death, there's ambivalence too.  To quote the Colbert Report:  "I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl who just shot bin Laden in the eye... I hope I am never again this happy over someone's death."   This quote from Martin Luther King in his book Strength to Love captures my sentiments: "Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."  But so does this quote from Clarence Darrow of Scopes Monkey Trial Fame: "I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction." 

The emotional reality of Bin Laden's death lies somewhere between Munchkin like joy and a Christ-like total forgiveness.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Twice cooked pork with leeks

Twice cooked pork

·         1 pound cooked pork (pork chops work well, but can use most anything) cut into very thin strips
·         3 large Leeks chopped
·         1 large red pepper cut into ¾ inch squares
·         2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
·         2 tablespoons black bean paste
·         2 tablespoons soy sauce
·         Vegetable oil

·         Heat oil medium high in wok or pan
·         Add red pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove peppers and drain.
·         Add leaks to pan and cook/fry until soft (5 – 10 minutes). Remove and add to peppers
·         Add pork to pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
·         Add chili garlic sauce, black bean paste and soy sauce
·         Stir and cook for a couple more minutes
·         Add vegetables, cook until everything is heated through. Serve.

Friday, February 25, 2011

My Worms Done Dun Me Wrong: Where's the Nitrogen?

All these years of feeding those little suckers through rain and shine and what do they give me?  DIRT... (Granted worms gnaw at rather than technically sucking their food).  I'm not getting the nitrogen I need from my worm compost and it's breaking my achy heart.  Read some great research about the nitrogen to carbon ratio of work compost here. And now a word from our sponsor: The Worm Book: The Complete Guide to Gardening and Composting with Worms

Shine: Joni Mitchell Reports from the Collective Unconscious

Joni Mitchell has released a new multi-media project including music, ballet and art.  Reporting as always from the fringes of our consciousness her work touches on the state of the species with both clear insight and hope. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Real Legacy of Tiger Mom Parenting: A Report on Depression among Asian American Teens

On the heels of the Tiger Mom phenomena NAMI has published a report about depression and suicide among teenage girls in the Asian American community.  It's not pretty.  Among the findings on this report:
  • Asian American girls have the highest rates of depressive symptoms of any racial/ethnic or gender group;
  • Young Asian American women ages 15 to 24 die from suicide at a higher rate than other racial/ethnic groups;
  • Suicide is the fifth leading cause of death among Asian Americans overall, compared to the ninth leading cause of death for white Americans;
  • Older Asian American women have the highest suicide rate of all women over 65; and
  • Among Southeast Asians, 71 percent meet criteria for major affective disorders such as depression—with 81 percent among Cambodians and 85 percent among Hmong. 
While the NAMI report raises awareness for an important problem, it also raises more questions that it answers.  For example, assigning all Asian Americans to one group is to combine almost unimaginably diverse demographic under a single banner; do different patterns emerge when you look at various subgroups?  What makes the numbers statistically accurate?  What are the cultural patterns driving this trend?  Does it have anything to do with what has recently become known at Tiger Parenting as popularized by Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother? I hope this report generates additional research to get more visibility into this topic.  You can read the NAMI report it here

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Useful Social Media Links from Twitter Today

  • 5 Mistakes to Avoid when Marketing Online: from @peterjamesfreer
  • Useful Resources and Tips for Managing Your Virtual Staff: from @peterjamesfreer

No one is glamorous all the time: Even Gloria, the Modern Family Colombian bombshell

Who is this woman?  On a gray cold day even Sofia Vergara aka Modern Family's Colombian bombshell Gloria looks a tad frumpy.  Can a good makeup artist transform me like that?! 

The Day in Great Links about Marketing and Social Media

  • RT @marshacollier: Excellent Social Media Guidelines from IBM #custserv
  • RT @copyblogger: The Guaranteed Way to Radically Improve Your Copywriting -
  • The 4 Stages Of Understanding Twitter… via @bitrebels @jeanettejoy:
  • online advertising banner ads rewards the wrong behavior in content that is volume=more money ; volume=crap; crap =unhappy users

Best of the Superbowl

Thanks to Adage for this look at the most remembered branding in the Superbowl ads.  While VW nails Miss Congeniality, people remember the brand for some of the other ads best.  Of course Doritos and Bud are top of mind for millions on Superbowl Sunday so do you think there's a bias in the environment?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Burmuda Grass, Fleas and Sin

Burmuda grass like sin grows up through the dark earth and wrecks a perfectly good garden. It's the "gift" that keeps on giving.  Because like sin and fleas, complete eradication of Bermuda grass is a lifetime avocation. In the hopes of making headway this year, I've started digging and pulling roots before my soil turns into rock hard clay.  The other choice is to smother the stuff with black plastic, burning the roots.  The bad news is, you get to look at black plastic all summer long.  It's just the way it goes....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

3 Skills Kid Need from Art Programs (and don't get from Screen Time)

Arts-based learning is known to promote skills crucial to success in the workplace
  • collaboration, 
  • creative problem-solving, and 
  • the ability to apply learning across different disciplines.
More on this here Learning, Arts and the Brain
Findings and Challenges for Educators and Researchers from the 2009 

On a related note, media has a disturbing effect on kid's who take too much of it.  Kids who spend too much media time using miss out on some important skills like learning to focus and set priorities. Details here: 
Media Education in the Practice Setting: An Over view of Media and the Pediatrician's Role

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Turkey Orloff with Asparagus

One fourth cup Plain raw white rice
1 big Onion
1 One half Sticks butter
One pound Fresh mushrooms
1 Handful fresh parsley
springs; (3 Tb minced)
One half teaspoon Fragrant dried tarragon
1 # turkey slices (5-6) 
5 tablespoon Flour for sauce; plus extra (I forgot to dredge the turkey...damn)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cup Hot chicken stock
One cup mild grated cheese (swiss?)
1 to 1 1/2/# asparagus

Described as "Turkey breast scallopini gratineed with mushrooms, onions,
rice, and cheese.

Rice and onion soubise: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Drop the rice into a
saucepan with 2 quarts rapidly boiling salted water and boil uncovered for
exactly 5 minutes; drain immediately and reserve. Meanwhile peel and then
chop the onions in a food processor; (it needs no washing until after its
last operation). 

Melt 2  tablespoons of the butter+oil  in a baking dish, stir in the chopped onions, the drained rice, and One fourth teaspoon
salt, mixing well to coat with the butter; cover the dish and bake in
middle level of oven for about 1 hour, stirring up once or twice, until
rice is completely tender and beginning to turn a golden yellow. (I left out the egg)

Mushroom duxelles: While rice and onion soubise is cooking, trim and wash
the mushrooms. For the food processor, first chop roughly by hand into
1inch chunks, then process into 1/8 inch pieces, using the 1second onoff
technique. Mince the parsley in the machine afterward. By handfuls, either
twist mushrooms hard in the corner of a towel 

Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of the butter/olive oil  in a medium size frying pan over moderately
high heat, stirring and tossing until mushroom pieces begin to separate
from each other5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tarragon and parsley; season
to taste with salt and pepper. Stir half of the mixture into the cooked
rice and onion soubise; reserve the rest. Mushroom duxelles may be cooked
in advance and may be frozen.

Preparing the turkey scallopini: Pound the slices between 2 sheets of wax
paper, with a rubber hammer, a rolling pin, or the side of a bottle, to
expand them about double and to then them down by half. These are your
turkey scallopinip cover and refrigerate them until you are ready to saute
them.  (I forgot to dredge them... )
Chop asparagus and sautee.  I put some pulverized asparagus  in the dux. as well.

Sauteing the turkey scallopini: Salt and pepper the turkey slices lightly,
dredge in flour and shake off excess, saute fro about a minute on each side
in 1 tablespoon of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter (more if
needed)just to stiffen them and barely cook through. Set slices aside on
a plate as you finish them.

The gratineing sauce: Make a turkey veloute sauce as follows.

Sautee I large shallot and one small leek.  2 T flour. 2 cups chicken broth. squeeze of lemon and pinch of taragon handful of swiss? cheese grated.  Splash of white wine, 1 garlic clove.  blended to make it utterly smooth... it was a little strong. 

Melt 4
tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat in a heavybottomed 2 quart
saucepan, blend in the flour, and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until
flour and butter foam and froth together for 2 minutes without turning more
than a golden yellow. Remove from heat and, when this roux has stopped
bubbling, pour in 2 cups of the hot turkey or chicken stock and blend
vigorously with a wire whip. Return to heat, stirring slowly with wire whip
to reach all over bottom, corner, and side of pan, and boil slowly for 2
minutes. Taste and correct seasoning. Sauce should be thick enough to coat
a wooden spoon nicely, meaning it will coat the turkey. Beat in more stock
by droplets if sauce is too thick. In the food processor or an electric
blender, puree the egg yolks with the cottage cheese (or push through a
fine sieve and beat in a bowl with a wire whip); by dribbles, beat the hot
sauce into the egg yolk and cheese mixture.

Assembling the dish: Choose a baking and serving dish about 10 by 14 by 2
inches; butter the inside and spread a think layer of sauce in bottom of
ish. Make a neat, slightly overlapping pattern of the turkey slices down
the center of the dish, spreading

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Inspiration or Motivation: Tell me?

What's the difference between inspiration and motivation?  Tell me tell me..

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pavan for a Dead Panini Maker

hKrups FDE312-75 Universal Grill and Panini Maker
My krups Panini  Maker (the FDE312-75 to be exact) died yesterday and I have passed quickly from denial and guilt to reach reached the third stage of grief: ANGER.  For starters, a known component issue renders this unit useless. Something that should be easy to fix (like a fuse) isn't.  Really people, do we need more dead electronics?  Here's the fix, but I can't get the screw unlocked.  Bad Krups.  Very BAD Krups. Thanks to epinion for a clear description of the problem.  This is why we love the internet.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tweet from email oh yeah!

I just tried twittermail by twittercounter... a shamelessly commercial app but really... who isn't deep down a capitalist in the silicon valley?  Yes you can!  You can send tweets from your email... and here's how

and here's the fine print: NOTICE: TwitterCounter may use cookies to collect and display data about your Twitter account when you visit third-party websites with The Visitor Widget installed. To disable this functionality you can log out of TwitterCounter. For more information please review our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service.

Parenting Tiger Style; Does it Work?

Is "Tiger Parenting" a panacea for declining academic standards in the US?  According to NYT columnist David Brooks... not so much:
"Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Carnegie Mellon have found that groups have a high collective intelligence when members of a group are good at reading each others’ emotions — when they take turns speaking, when the inputs from each member are managed fluidly, when they detect each others’ inclinations and strengths"  (NYT Op Ed Columnist David Brooks.  Read the full article: "Amy Chua is a Wimp". Jan. 17, 2011

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's Your Klout Poll

  What's your Klout classification.  Tell us! 

Vote Now: Typos on Twitter?

Are you good or bad with English conventions like spelling and punctuation? I'm in the bad column and let me tell you youngsters, writing really sucked in the old days before IBM invented the Selectric Typewriter. But enough ancient history. Tell me what you think. Does spelling matter on Twitter?

Calcium, Recyling, Groupon & Klout

Ok.. Point taken. It's random. Very random. But that's where the world is from behind my eyeballs today. Here's what we learned about the world since my last post:
--Calcium might be a magic bullet for exercise induced heart palpitations especially in people with Mitral Valve Prolapse Syndrome and Fribromyalgia (
--Why you don't recycle pizza boxes and bottle caps
--Groupon sometimes offers really really great deals, but they are few and far between
--for my loyal readers who like social media, Klout is really really fun. Try it to see if you have any influence on the "Conversation" and learn who in your network does... Leave me a comment and let me know what your Klout score is today. Really, I want to know.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A memorable quote from Obama's Tuscon speech:

“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do,” he said, “it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Do Good Looking People Get the Job? The Ugly Betty Effect

Ugly Betty Plain and Beautiful
Are good looks an advantage to job hunters?  The answer is: It depends according to a recent study from from Ben-Gurion University.  Pictures were attached to resumes.  The resumes with pictures of "attractive" males were nearly 50% more likely to get a call from recruiters compared to "plain" males.  Resumes with no picture garnered the least response.  "It follows that an attractive male needs to send on average five CVs in order to obtain one response, whereas a plain-looking male needs to send 11 for a single response," explains Ze'ev Shtudiner, co-researcher and Ph.D. candidate.

Surprisingly, attractive women were LESS likely than plain women to get a call from recruiters.  "Among female candidates, no-picture females have the highest response rate, 22 percent higher than plain females and 30 percent higher than attractive females. Our findings on penalization of attractive women contradict current psychology and organizational behavior literature on beauty that associate attractiveness, male and female alike, with almost every conceivable positive trait and disposition," explain the authors.  Read the study here

All the Lonely People: List of Social Media

Back to work: Measuring Social Chatter

The holidays are over when dead fur trees lie down on the curb and colored lights go dark.  These signs tell us it's time to get back to work.  President's day is coming, enough domesticity, so let's turn our minds to measuring social chatter. 

In the old days, PR and Ad people used to have access to readership data collected by the publications to define their "product".  Today it often feels like we're flying blind.  Sure, we have Google analytics, but that only measure one game.  With YELP, twitter and all the other social media out there, how does a rational ad guy keep track of who is reading what?  Good question.  Ad Week suggests tracking Social Chatter.  Seems like a good idea.  But does it work?  Let me know.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Revewed Faith in Photography: Vivian Maier

A stash of more than 100,000 photos discovered in Chicago reveal life in the '50s with poignant force.  The artist's work is being shown for the first time in the US in at the Chicago Cultural Center.   Vivian Maier is her name.  See more gorgeous photos and read the unusual story of the discovery here.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Crock pot Carmelized Onions redoux

It works!  Yes, the Slow Cooker caramelized onions taste great!  The however is, it takes 8 hours.  This recipe is great if you want to toss the ingredients into the Crock Pot over night.  But it's not very energy efficient.  There's some disagreement about energy useage and slow cookers.  Here are both perspectives:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Domesticity: Slow Cooker Camelized Onions

 Carmelized onions make great pizza and can perk-up an otherwise ho-hum meal.  Besides that, they keep for weeks in the fridge, so it's my go-to plan for those old onions that are starting to overstay their welcome in the pantry.  Here's the magic: make them in the Crockpot instead tending them on the stove.  Set them up in the morning and enjoy by dinner.   However, today I'm attempting to speed up the process because I forgot to start them this morning....(and otherwise dinner is looking a pretty ho-hum).

  • 6-8  baseball-sized onions (about 4 pounds) peeled and halved
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 stick butter (more or less)
How to:
  1. Slice the onions in the food processor (using the slicer blade of course)
  2. Put them in the Crockpot insert
  3. Add the oil and butter
  4. Microwave on high 5 minutes to speed the cooking process (the crockery insert safe)
  5. Put the insert back in the slow cooker and turn to high
  6. Crack the lid to let the steam vent
I'll let you know how long it really takes... (and if it works at all)