I am not a gardener. Plants wither and die at my very glance. I don’t even like it when I accidentally touch leaves, because they can itch or harbor bugs or any number of dreadful things. I envy those who can nurture a plant from shoot to fruit, but I am not one of them. I’m happy just to be able to use the produce and flowers that talented gardeners and farmers offer.
If you haven’t yet been to the Anchor, on the edge of Old Town in Wichita, and you love beer and bar food, you are missing out. The Anchor has been one of my favorite places to meet friends, eat, drink, and hang out for years.
Schane Gross, the powerhouse proprietor, has created a marvelous atmosphere in which to enjoy excellent drinks and interesting food. The bar is dark, with high ceilings, church pews for booths, and keeps the spirit of old Wichita, while adding modern, edgy touches. When you walk in, it feels like you could be in any cool city, anywhere.
French onion soup is the iconic bistro classic that nearly everyone is familiar with. Rich beef broth, filled with onions, topped with a slice of baguette and covered with cheese. Well done, it is delicious. Poorly done, it is hell in a bowl.
When I developed my recipe for this soup, I decided that there were a few things that I would change. Most apparent was the fact that the bread was always soggy and the cheese, once broiled, would harden immediately into a spoon-rejecting casing.
So I did a little tweaking and fixed the things that annoyed me about the soup.
The holidays can be extraordinarily stressful for even the most spirit-filled person. If you are the one doing the cooking, replicating a giant, fancy holiday meal can bring one to wit’s end, particularly if you just did another elaborate dinner at Thanksgiving.