Baked Onions for dinner-
Slice off the top and bottom of as many onions as people eating them. Slip off the papery skins. Place them each on their own generous square of foil, and top with a 1/2 to full teaspoon of any concentrated stock (demiglaze) and a butter pat.
Loosely cover the onion, and twist the foil at the top. Place on an ovenproof dish, then in a preheated 400-425 oven.
Bake for an hour at least, and serve alongside some beans, coleslaw, and cornbread. If you have ripe tomatoes, slice them and sprinkle with pepper. Everything will sop up the lovely oniony, salty juices. Yum.
This leads immediately to how to make cole slaw the way my mom does. Flecked with coarsely ground black pepper, creamy with a vinegar tang, it is a true southern slaw. No sugar anywhere in sight. The only sweetness is that which exists naturally in the cabbage.
Mema's Cole Slaw-
Thinly slice a half or whole fresh cabbage, or shred it in a food processor or use a grater. Put it in a large bowl, and dress with a heaping spoonful of good mayo (homemade) or in a pinch- I like organic Spectrum. Grind over with lots of black pepper, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a tablespoon or two of raw cider vinegar. Mix it gently together. Serve with spring onions laid right in the bowl, along the side, cleaned and cut so that the green tops are about 3 to 4 inches long. This was just the way my dad liked them- that bit of heat that is such a complement to the cool slaw.
Now for the cornbread-
Put a bit of oil or earthbalance vegetable shortening, lard, or other fat of your choice in your cast iron skillet, and put the skillet in the oven as it preheats to 425.
While it preheats, stir about 2-3 cups of Red Mill cornmeal mix, an egg, and enough buttermilk, kefir, or whey in a bowl to make a thick, lump-free, pourable mixture. No buttermilk? You can use plain yogurt and a bit of milk instead. If you desire (and plan ahead!), you may soak the cornmeal first in the buttermilk. Once soaked, add 2 tsp. baking powder, and a half tsp. baking soda, and a tsp. of sea salt.
When the oven has reached 425, and the fat has melted in the pan, remove it from the oven, and quickly pour in the batter. It should sizzle as it hits the pan, forming the beginnings of a wonderfully crisp crust. If you like, you can artfully and carefully put a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or sage in the hot oil in the pan first, then gently pour the batter over, trying not to swamp the herbs. They will make a lovely decoration on the bread when it is turned out, and lend a delicate flavor.