This man appealed to all the things about me I fight.
He brought me for crabs. I sat there, elbow deep in Old Bay, drinking Miller Lite, Camel dangling from my mouth, and matching him shot for shot on Jack Daniels. The part of me that wants to curse, to be loud, to not give two fucks, was thrilled. I amused him as I dismembered our meal. Laughter tumbled forth at all the right moments and I opened up. He was masculine, rough, and the sweet smell of his sweat lingered in the air that hung between us. For a moment, it felt right.
Throughout the course of the night, as the truth slipped out, I realized he was all wrong. Yes, he was beautiful, doting, and strong, but above his head hung a stop sign. The kids, closer in age to me than him? The blank periods in his life I couldn’t seem to cobble together? The names of three different women tattooed to his weathered skin? Denial is one of my greater talents, but even I could not deny this was going nowhere good.
The thing about bad boys is sometimes…they may just be bad for you.
You pick yourself up, you stare at yourself in the mirror, and wonder if you should have known better. Sometimes you take a gamble and you lose, but at least you laid your chips down.
So, you turn to what you know. He may have been a surprise, but your abilities never are. You reach for the knife. You create. Skins fall from onions, cloves of garlic shed their wrappers. The house fills with an aroma that is familiar and welcoming. Your mouth waters, reminding you that you are alive.
There is always something to tether you to this Earth. Disappointments are abundant, but life is good. You always have yourself, your joy. You don’t need him–the him of yesterday, today, or tomorrow– to make your pulse quicken. Those moments alone with yourself is all you need.
(Note: this is cobbled together from multiple recipes I have read over the years. The sherry can be swapped out with white wine, though I would use a whole cup instead of 3/4. The apple cider adds a great touch and I cannot imagine this dish without it; this is one area not to substitute. This was a huge hit in my house and I cannot recommend it more. I slurped up every bite. Onion soup is a tad out of season, but the weather we have been experiencing lately isn’t exactly seasonal either…live in the moment and just try it.)
French Onion Soup
2.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 yellow onions, thinly sliced in to half moons (cut onion in half root to root and then slice)
2 cloves garlic, roughly minced
2 bay leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves plucked off (or 1/2 teaspoon dry thyme)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 quarts low sodium beef stock
1 baguette, sliced thin
Lots of tangy cheese (swiss, gruyere, provolone all work…we used part skim Jarlsberg)
In large soup pot, melt butter over medium heat. When melted, add onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper to pot. Cook at medium heat until onions are caramelized (they will be a dark brown and somewhat sticky), about 35 minutes. Add flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour sherry and vinegar in to pan and cook for about 3 minutes, until it is syrupy. Add stock to pan and cook for about 20 minutes, until heated through. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
Toast baguette slices in broiler. Ladle soup in to oven proof bowl and place toasted baguette slice on top of soup. Cover with cheese and place under broiler for about 2 minutes, until cheese bubbles.
Read Full Post »