On the Bright Side

Hmm. I don’t really know how to start this post other than I was just thinking something funny to myself and I thought I would share. I understand this is probably material better suited for a forum such as twitter, and goodness knows I have lots of twitter- and instagram-worthy material, but the fact is I don’t have, and may never have, a smart phone (completely by choice), so I am trying to avoid getting embroiled in any activity that would cause me to one day say “hmm, this would be so much easier to do if I had a smart phone…” But I digress. What this post is really about is food. Well, about cooking. And life. Because everything is about life, right?

I was cooking lunch today, as I do every day. Lunch is the big meal of the day here, and I start working on it around 10:30 every day. It took some getting used to, but I kind of like this schedule now. Except sometimes I have to remind myself to start cooking early, because I may have gotten started on something else, and lose track of time. Such was the case today. It was nearing 11:30 and I had to think quick. Luckily, I stock a variety of ingredients that can be whipped up into something satisfactory relatively quickly. I grabbed some onions, garlic, and broccoli and got to work. But I still hadn’t completely given over my mind to culinary endeavors, and I kept popping out of the kitchen to get a few stitches in while I was letting things sauté and simmer. Well, in one unfortunately long absence, the onions burned. I was going for caramelized, but they were completely charred.  I was really mad at myself and frustrated that I would have to start over. “Well, I’ve just got to make this work,” I told myself. So I picked out the worst of the burnt pieces, added another half an onion, and just went with it. The broth was browner than usual, and there were more than a few black pieces of onion floating around in there, but in the end, the soup didn’t turn out that bad. In fact, it was delicious. It had kind of a smokey undertone that gave it some depth (just winging the food jargon here).

And as I was sitting there, eating that yummy soup that I almost tossed at the beginning, I thought, it’s all a matter of perspective. One thing I’ve learned about food; you can really sell it with the description. My favorite example is giving the description of “rustic” to any pie crust that is a little sad looking. And in this case, those onions weren’t burnt, they were blackened. (This is not to be confused with a discussion of beauty being in the eye of the beholder, because I don’t want to go there.) It’s just a little reminder, mostly for myself, to just look on the bright side. When life gives you burnt onions, make blackened onion cream of broccoli soup.

Have a good weekend!

(In case you’re wondering, the pictures in this post aren’t really meant to be connected with the text. I just think posts without pictures are kind of sad, so there you go.)

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2 thoughts on “On the Bright Side

  1. In similar (inadvertent) vein, Black-baked Broccoli is gorgeous: crush 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds with 1 tbs salt in a pestle and mortar then add to 1 tbs olive oil. Toss broccoli florets in the mixture, spread on a baking sheet and blitz in a hot oven for (say) 25 mins. They will look like mini blackened trees – seemingly irretrievable – and taste just amazing. Dinner guests won’t believe how good they are until they try!

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