Monday, April 11, 2011

Good Morning

What a feast last night. My husband made the richest, most robust French onion soup with lots of red wine and bubbling swiss cheese over cut bread that floated effortlessly on top of the caramelized broth. And he surprised me with it. I heard him in the kitchen chopping and stirring, and I saw that his orange dutch oven was in play, and soon the aromas just filled the house but I thought beef stew or something, and I was on the phone with  my mom so I wasn't paying that much attention except to call out "Mmmm, that smells wonderful." Then my mom asked to speak to the new church warden, my husband has just been elected to that position, which thrills my mom no end, so I took the phone to the kitchen and there he was carefully arranging swiss cheese slices over the steaming bowls of soup with ovals of bread on top and I jumped and squealed to my mom like a 10-year-old, "He's making French onion soup!" I knew it was because he knows I love it. I knew it was because he wanted to give me a thrill. And to borrow Maggie May's beautifully apt words, that's why it's him and no one else.

After dinner my daughter got into the act. Martha Stewart anything is the theme today at her cooking club at school and so all yesterday afternoon she was scrolling through Martha's online recipes looking for the one that would be her inspiration that evening. "Martha is my girl," she was saying. "You know this has to be good!" (Do we discern a little competitive spirit?) She finally settled on key lime squares, which after preparation had to sit in the fridge for four hours so we didn't taste it till midnight, when I was already asleep and she woke me up gently to ask if I wanted to try a small square. Oh yes. Perfect key lime flavor, not overly sweet with just the right kick of tartness, and I will say this: Nobody—nobody—makes a graham cracker crust like my daughter!

And now, I have just finished cleaning up the onion-soup-key-lime hurricane that hit our kitchen last night. My lovely cooks did move things in the general direction of the sink, but there just wasn't enough space on the adjacent counter to carry through on the pretense that they'd cleaned up after themselves. I tell my girl that if she really wants a food business part of the deal is scrupulous clean up, to which I get the usual, "I know, mom, I know." But for now, I am happy to be the clean-up woman as I happen to enjoy wresting order from chaos and besides, nobody in this house has ever required me to cook.


  1. It is the opposite in my house- I cook and he cleans up. Sometimes. But it works out.
    You are so blessed.
    So am I.

  2. Oh my-my-my! Could I ever devour a bowl of this loveliness right now!

  3. No, no, no - not onion soup! I love onion soup. Now I have to go make it. No chance that my husband will cook such a thing.

  4. Just a warning: my husband, an experienced, Swiss-trained chef is notorious for using every single pan and utensil in the kitchen and while he SAYS that he cleans up, I beg to differ.

    Onion soup is my very favorite -- and so are key lime anything!

  5. This looks so divine. When I worked in a chalet in Switzerland many moons ago I used to make french onion soup but it was not nearly as delish as this! it's actually really time consuming but so worth it.

  6. Yum, Yum, Yum. I too am an onion soup lover. When cold weather arrives, there's nothing like a bowl of onion soup with a glass of red wine. Key Lime Squares.....perfect! What a wonderful family you have surrounding you.

  7. Warning: not to be viewed before dinner, which will look peaky by comparison and not be ready nearly soon enough. The virtual, mouth-watering treats. Even unseen, I know the Key lime squares were heaven in equal measure. I'd wash up for such as this.

  8. You are one lucky lady! Your husband cooks, and cooks well, AND cooks onion soup! And you know what I think of your wise and beautiful daughter. I am so happy for you tonight. Just real happiness that sometimes life can be that simple and beautiful.

  9. You lucky duck! I am green (key lime green) with envy.

  10. That looks so good! What a great dish and a really excellent photograph you know, it looks pro.
    Now you got me salivating. Again. haha.

    Key lime squares you say, hmmmm.....

  11. I usually try to come up with something witty to say but as soon as I opened this page and saw that Onion Soup, my mouth began watering. I can't help it. Sorry for the visual.
    I'll be back.
    Your New Friend, m.

  12. Ms. Moon, the important thing is that it works, no matter the configuration, I say. My children, when they were young, thought the traditional gender role was that the man cooks. now they know anyone who loves it, cooks.

    Tess, it looked just like that, too.

    Olga, i hope you enjoyed your onion soup making. i know your family did!

    Elizabeth, so are you saying that the mark of a true cook is the kitchen hurricane? Or is it that mark of a true cook with an OCD partner who won't let that mess sit? Hmmm.

    Jody, a chalet in Switzerland sounds divine right now. Were or are you a chef? There are many wonderful cooks gathered here.

    Susanjva, come on over and let's share a bowl and raise a glass, or a few! I miss you.

  13. Marylinn, it was indeed worth washing up for!

    Miss A, thank you for that generosity of joy. And for being here.

    Bruce, time to come visit!

    Deirdre, it looked just like that and tasted divine. So did dessert. yum.

    Mark, welcome! So glad you came by. Sit a while. Have a bowl of soup. I enjoyed visiting your blog very much and will be back.

  14. Oh Yum! I wish I gave myself more time to do my blog-reading...I would have liked to have seen this post while it was still fresh!

    I can almost smell it...