Wednesday, September 21, 2011

French Onion Soup and a Story

I had a very terrible 6th grade year.
This is not the blog to go into that but, trust me, I did.
I've always been more than a tad quirky and hadn't really embraced that about myself yet.
I was also extremely academically bored, bored, bored.
My parents made the decision to homeschool me starting at 7th grade.
I made the transition very well.
Most likely because I'm very self disciplined, love to read, and, even though I am bubbly and love people, I am very good on my own.
My parents didn't buy one of those set home school curriculum's (because, and I agree, what then is the point) but rather they built a curriculum's around my current interest and incorporated all aspects of learning into that topic.
I've heard it called holistic learning and other call that Montessori style. Whatever.

My Mom and I have a relationship that is different from mother/daughter relationships of the days of old.
I would define us more as friends at this point in our lives. Sometimes it even feels that it borders on having a boyfriend (only prettier). The connection and bond is so deep and strong that we sometimes bicker and fight the way a couple does.
I know there are other bloggers and friends out there that know exactly what I'm feelin and sayin.
We have highs and lows and fights and make up conversations.
We have to apologize for saying things we don't mean and remind ourselves that our relationship is unique and stronger and deeper than we even realize.

So, today, after a fairly frustrating phone call with my Mom, I was distracting my grumpiness by planning dinner and wrapping Little O's birthday gifts.
I found a recipe for French Onion soup.
I hate onions.
I can sometimes tolerate them mixed in and nice and golden brown but overwhelming onion: I HATE. Don't even get me started on raw onions.
D likes onions and I wanted to make him something fun and new.
(Little O and I eat before D gets home from work so I usually make two different dinners).

As I was thinking about French Onion soup I was taken back...waaaay 7th grade.
My first year of homeschooling.
My Mom had me studying French and I was taking French classes at the local University.
Mom being the holistic teacher that she is had me study the history of the Eiffel Tower and write an essay on it. We watched French films (not just films in French), studied French History, French art, and French cooking.
As part of the assignment she had me learn to make French Onion soup.
What I didn't realize then was that she wasn't just teaching me about France.
She was teaching me to look at the big picture and learn that all of life is interwoven.
I love you Mom and our lives are interwoven.
Please accept my apology.

I made French Onion Soup tonight...

Start with about 3-4 T. butter in the pan with all the yummy brown bits from fryin up sausage for tomorrow breakfast...

Then get a REALLY large onion and sing the Veggie Tales song six times in a row.
Also be sure to hot glue your finger to a ball jar and some lovely ribbon.
Try not to say bad words.
Text your brother cause you miss him.
Eat two pickles and then remember your onion on the counter.

Slice that nice, large onion into rings.
From the onion not because of that little rolly polly baby on the TV commercial.
I don't know what you're talking about. It is SO from the onion.
Hug your 2yo that will be 3 tomorrow at 3:50pm.
It is STILL the onion.

Let it soften and golden up for about 15 minutes on low heat...
While you begin the mad cleaning that will continue until the birthday party on Sunday...
Also, remove the Barbie high heel from your Monsters nose.
(Yes, this happened. again).

Add 4-6 cloves of garlic...
Your house should now smell completely amazing.
Check FB and add 9 hundred and 1 things to the list of things to do before you get married.
One of those being: find time to shower and possibly do some crunches.

Next up I added about 4 cups of broth (beef, chicken, or veggie) and 2T vinegar (I was out of white wine). I let this simmer slowly for about 30 minutes.
Not gonna lie, during that 30 minutes I was completely unproductive and cuddled on the couch with the Monster. I am trying to soak up all the Oliver cuddles I can before he is playing football with the NFL, winning a Pulitzer, and deep sea exploring.

Then I popped in 2T red wine, 1 t. Worcestershire, s&p (just a tad), 1/2t paprika, thyme, and bouquet garni (homemade). If you want the recipe I'd love to share. Or if you want some just ask and I'll make some for you.
To top it off I threw in a bay leaf.

Bring to a lovely boil...

I then did the usual routine of lunches, laundry (how does Casondra stay on top of laundry??? It's a mystery.), diaper bag, work stuff in order, clothes laid out, juices made, aaand tubby time!

Then I sliced up some homemade Parmesan, black pepper bread.

slathered it with butter and cheese
and toasted the heck out it...

Ladle up some into you favorite bowls that make you smile every time you see them.
go check on the tubby time situation.
ask how old are you going to be...
get the answer "I be fwee".
pick up 4 million foam letters, one boat, 3 buckets, one piece of broccoli (???), several Mr. Potato head parts, and remove one very wet naked baby from the tubby.

Serve your fiance a dinner that you'd never have known how to make if wasn't for your mother...
er, and also do the stupid dishes.


Elsa said...

Odd! I was flipping through my cooking magazine that I got the other day, saw French onion soup and told hubs that I should make this (although, their version looked greasy to me). And onions never make me cry. I grated a bag of onions once, not one tear.

My education was similar to yours. I was out of school earlier though, so it was structured at first (the books you mentioned) and as I approached high school age the curriculum switched to what I was interested in. I have to say, it was nice at the time but looking back I would do things differently. I wish I had more structure (a very odd thing for me to say) because I change so much. I've majored in everything you can imagine... no joke (Yes, I even took French). What I was interested in at the time, I'm no longer interested in today. But it does help me plan for Mimi and E's education since I hope to homeschool them. I know what direction I would like to take them in. (Yes, I am a dork, I've already thought of this)

JCRHarris said...

I adore onions, like could practically live on them. In middle school, when I got home and wanted a snack, I would saute in an onion in a slab of butter and cover it with salt and pepper. *I'm sure I smelled amazing!*
I must try this recipe and also need to know what bouquet garni is, no clue. Wanna mail me some?
Also, I totally have that relationship with my mom too. I totally feel ya.

Evan said...

I lovelovelove French Onion Soup! I don't like thing that are overwhelmingly onion-y, but I do think they're part of that holy trinity of cooking. Mire poix, or whatever.
If onions make you cry, try cutting them while chewing on a piece of bread. And I always light a candle nearby where I'm chopping- it really helps!
It truly amazes me how you do so many things in such a short window of time. I'm sure that's what having a toddler will do to you! Also, the part about the Barbie shoe in the nose was both hilarious and adorable. :-)

KSK said...

:) That's very cool how you were home schooled!
I've never made French Onion Soup.. maybe I'll give it a try sometime...

Bobbi said...

I never knew this about you. It makes you that much more intriguing. I don't like onions either, but I can tolerate them if they are subtle or carmelized. What is "bouquet garni?"