The Great Labor Day Weekend Pearl Onion Suppression and Book Drop Jam

September 2, 2008 at 1:54 am (Food, Local interest (Baltimore-Washington), Music)

It all began, innocently enough, with a desire to make an Americanized version of Boeuf Bourgignon. This French beef stew works especially well for me because there are no potatoes in it. Potatoes, as we all know, are tasty and filling and loaded with carbohydrates. In addition, they lack fiber, which is such an important carb  buffer for Type 2 diabetics like myself.

Our recipe for “Classic Beef Bourgignon” comes from The Art of Cooking for the Diabetic by Mary Abbott Hess. This dish has for several years been a great favorite of ours. Provided you use fresh ingredients and the highest possible quality stewing beef, you’re sure to enjoy a delightful repast.

Yesterday we were going great guns purchasing and assembling ingredients for our stew. We like to do this the day before we actually do the cooking. That way, the vegetables are still quite fresh, and we can time the actual cooking process however we want to.

Well, as I was saying, we had just about everything we needed in order to make our lovely stew when we came to one of the key ingredients:pearl onions. I mean fresh, not frozen. We went to three different supermarkets – no luck. This caused Ron to announce portentously that we were in the midst of a Pearl Onion Suppression.

The elusive quarry

The elusive quarry

Meanwhile, on the way to one of the supermarkets, we stopped at the library in order to return some materials. Alas, we found the book drop hopelessly jammed. Several patrons, anxious about fines no doubt, were standing about and debating what action to take, if any. I sighed deeply and put my bag back in the trunk. It was turning into one of those days…

Luckily we had the radio on and were being treated to a particularly fine performance of Rachmaninoff’s glorious Second Symphony. Such wonderful, yearning, unabashedly romantic music! (So much so, in fact, that Eric Carmen borrowed a line of melody from the adagio movement for his 1975 song, “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again.”)

Anyway – I love it. It saved the day.

This is the recording we were listening to.

At last, early this afternoon, we found not only fresh white pearl onions but also red pearl onions, which we hadn’t even known existed, and another little onion cutie called cipolline! All were found at a marvelous new supermarket recently opened in our area: Harris Teeter. Thanks, guys; you rock!

Oh – and the beef bourgignon was absolutely delicious!

1 Comment

  1. Ann Darnton (Table Talk) said,

    It’s amazing how often a piece of music can save the day. I have to admit, that for me it wouldn’t be the Rachmaninoff, I enjoy his piano music but somehow have never come to terms with the orchestral sound. On the other hand we were listening to Britten’s Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra yesterday in a recording I hadn’t heard before and dancing round the room with joy. I don’t know about you but I should make more conscious time for music in my life.

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