Two Amazing Things: Onion Dishes & Daily Life
This time of year we are digging around in our pantry, trying to find something fresh to cook with, our spring palates having been already primed by the planting of early spring crops, but there’s nothing to harvest yet. And all we find is root vegetables from the winter. It was, perhaps, a little spring cleaning of the pantry that inspired the first creation of this onion dish. We should have used this recipe on all the onions that my 17-year-old sister Joanna raised last year. As it was, the root cellar flooded and the onions all sprouted. We re-planted them, so we’ll harvest those onions twice! I first tasted this dish at a family reunion, the same one, in fact that we will attend tomorrow. What is there to say about onion casseroles? Well, if you take it to a potluck, folks will have lots to say. Until someone accidentally eats it, nobody likes the sound of an onion, cheese and rice casserole. And how to describe the flavor? That’s difficult as well. It’s not quite “sweet”, nor as full-bodied as “savory” but perhaps “buttery” is the word. Here’s the recipe, I’ll let you try it and decide for yourself!
Amazing Onion Dish
Sauté in Butter:
5 cups onions, coarsely chopped (big enough to stab with a fork)
½ cup long-grain rice, cooked
¾ teaspoon salt
Place mixture in 8x8 casserole dish. Sprinkle 1 cup shredded swiss cheese over top.
Pour cream (or ½ & ½ ) over all until mixture is covered, about 1 cup of cream.
Bake at 350 until cream is absorbed and mixture is bubbly, about 30 minutes.
There is some debate among others about whether my lifestyle is utopian or unrealistic. To some, it may sound like a storybook that our family eats homemade meals with our employees daily and incorporates our pre-schoolers into nearly every farm activity. To others, it sounds unfathomable that our family of adult siblings and their parents not only works together on a daily basis, but we still enjoy being together as friends as well. To me and my family, our life is very ordinary, very daily, and yet, always amazing. We don’t have a utopian life: there are days when we are grouchy and the others kindly put up with it or call us out. We stress about molehills, sometimes, and find bills that are past-due under a stack of papers. But at the end of the day, we count our blessings and realize that we have an amazing life.
One of our friends was talking to his mother about how wonderful his first visit to Kansas was, and how he loved the way we lived at our farm. His mother, speaking from her knowledge as an extremely successful East Coast professional, cautioned him that the way we lived in Kansas wasn’t a practical example of how today’s world lived and functioned. Or is it? While it may appear that our simpler standard of living and the literal living of our faith is merely playing in our own altered reality, we believe that our lifestyle is imminently practical. While it appears that we may be distancing ourselves from world realities, our heads are far from being buried in the sand. It is on our little farms that we strive to feed our neighbors, and thus, the world. We are only transient farmers, but our stewardship of creation is our gift to future generations. It is here, with our families and neighbors that we strive to model forgiveness and peaceable living that we wish to see in the world. In elementary school, children are taught that “Peace begins with me” yet as a society, we tend to leave that action item in the hands of children. It is here, in my daily life that I can be a positive difference on the world at large. And that can be as amazing as an onion casserole!