A sideline project for an IT guy who likes to cook

Ray and an Onion

Mighty Joe
Mighty Joe

If we were having coffee I’d apologise for cutting short my Ray Harryhausen update from last week….see it more as a teaser to this week’s share!

I had a friend up to stay, using the exhibition at the Modern Art Gallery as an excuse for a long overdue get together.  The exhibition started off with a brief who is Ray and how did he get into Stop Start Animation.  He went to see King Kong 31 times!  That is some commitment.  Talked through his dedication and love of technique and then worked through his various input to movies ending in the culmination of the models from Clash of the Titans and Jason & the Argonauts.  Really nice couple of hours looking at a lifetimes work of ingenuity.

We followed it with lunch in the Museum garden, a rare spot of sun cutting through the dreich days which was welcome.  Then we went to see Dune where my sons joined us.  A great treat for the eyes and the effects in stark contrast to those heady days of Fay Wray screaming from the top of the Empire State Building. It only covers half of book 1 apparently and I’m left wanting more.

Dune Trailer

On the writing front, I’ve been stretching my legs by thinking about the humble onion:

Many recipes begin with the humble onion and so it feels right that we start here.  Onions form the flavour basis of so many cooked dishes that I get nervous when we don’t have one in the fridge.  For me they are the unsung hero of a dish, a supporting actor that barely gets a mention but makes the story whole and complete.

There are many ways to chop an onion, the best is the one you feel most comfortable with.  The only instructions I got from my gran was to ’peel and slice’ it.  So that’s what I’ve done over the years.  Gradually I just got in the habit of top and tailing trying to cut as close as I could so as to not waste any at the same time as making it easier to peel.  I’d then slice it in half down the now exposed root, which will give two halves to peel.  From that point you can either slice or dice.

This modest vegetable can take you on a culinary journey, and with a tweak here and there you can jump from flavour base to flavour base.  A simple complimentary flavour through to the back bone of a stew or a curry paste. 

Work in progress which I hope to tackle over the weekend.  On the menu, it’s fairly simple I’m planning a simple cream, onion and pasta dish to aid with the writing. Possibly a roast chicken.  The idea of this weekend is just to take it easy, there’s a few moments where I will no doubt be a taxi driver for the footballer in the house, other than that a weekend of refresh is required.

The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.


  1. Lydia C. Lee

    I love the ode to the onion! Lovely and what would we do without them?! #WeekendCoffeeshare

  2. Natalie

    I like your gran’s advice to “peel and slice” an onion. Your menu plan sounds delicious. Thank you for your #weekendcoffeeshare.

    • akeerie

      Thanks Natalie, and thanks for hosting.

  3. Thistles and Kiwis

    Look forward to reading more about onions, an essential ingredient in so many things 😀

    • akeerie

      Got to be in top 10 of most used ingredients for a cook!

  4. Gary A Wilson

    Ah – the onion is one of my all time favorite veggies. Let to my own, I slice off the top and bottom, slice in half as you described, and peal but then I plan each cut to leave large slices that I can pre-cook in olive oil (maybe some garlic) only to where each piece starts to get soft, then it’s off the heat and set aside until whatever I’m making is ready for them. I love large still whole pieces of onion that I can both taste and detect the texture of a still, barely crunchy slice.

    But my wife, who like onions fine but can’t have them unless they are cooked beyond recognition due to some stomach malfunction they cause her, means that I don’t get them unless she’s not involved with the meal. Sigh.

    Then, about Dune. Did you read the book, books or see any of the previous movies made from the books? The book came out when I was in high school and my whole group of reading peers went ga-ga over it. The book hit cultic levels of popularity and then they was me. I just was not impressed and did not see what others saw. I’m a terrible follower unless I agree that something is worth such devotion so I let that parade move on without me.

    I’m seeing many comments about how good the new movie is but they sound so much like the book cult my friends all joined 45 some odd years ago.

    I’ve not decided if I’m going to drop hard cash for a theater seat and will most likely wait until I happen across it on Netflix or Prime.

    • akeerie

      Hi Gary, be assured no cult joining going on, although both my son and I have put the book on our Christmas list unbeknown to each other. I think it’s just a good story and you can see where mr Lucas maybe got his ideas from! I also think it’s quite a hard story to film in such a vast way. Visually it was stunning, and feels like something that should be seen on the big screen.

      I love the way you cook your onion, I love a quarter of a red onion roasted in olive oil and garlic…in fact it’s my plan for this evening with some sausage and made a slice of haggis!

  5. PamelaS.Canepa, Writing and Living

    Happy Saturday! I myself like onions and appreciate their many health benefits. I love the photos. Have a great week!

  6. Debbie

    I once wrote a post about the layers of an onion – how funny to think back on it now. I like your words and agree with your sentiments. Unfortunately onion is one thing my husband can’t eat due to gut issues and i really miss the taste at times. Visiting from #weekendcoffeeshare

  7. Laurie Graves

    Visited via Thistles and Kiwis. I wanted you to know that I am a huge fan of Ray Harryhausen. A wonderful form of animation!

    • akeerie

      Hi Laurie, it was great exhibition, and I’ve found memories of the films as a child.

      • Laurie Graves

        We have a DVD of a doc about his special effects. He was a master

  8. Maria

    Onions are important. Great writing this week. Thanks for the coffee.

  9. Kirstin

    I’ve never seen King Kong.lol. I loved your writing about the onion. That was so good. And so true!!! the unsung heros

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