Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tears of a Clown

Somehow, endings, no matter if simple, benign, or the life-changing kind bring a watershed of tears.  This week culminated in a two-year endeavor with playing violin in the school orchestra.  I started crying 30 minutes before the show and completely through it.

When we started the violin, he practiced it at home frequently.  For those who ask, "was he good?"  My reply is that it was a sound only his mother could love.  As the bow scratched across the strings, stopping and starting in his attempt of perfection, the sound filled my heart in a way that surprised me.  I felt so full of love, pride, and moved that he was creating something.  There were a few times where the practice would go beyond the mandatory twenty minutes and slowly approaching the forty-five minute mark.

On Tuesday I received a call from him during school.  Could I come to get him. He was having a very hard day, he could not stop crying, and was too emotional to pull himself together to go back to class.  I picked him up and immediately he told me that while practicing for the concert and listening to the music in the room, he was overcome with emotions.  It brought up all the things that have been weighing on us for the last six months.  The fact that the music he was creating and experiencing moved him to tears made me so happy inside.  That experiences of emotionalism is hard fought and we are currently fighting for our lives.

I could not possibly stop crying and was reminded of how this door shall too close.  So to consider how the tears flow and then bring sweet and satisfying results, I would like share a recipe for soupe a l'oignon

4-6 servings
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4-6 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine, about 1/2 bottle
  • 3 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts beef broth
  • 1 baguette, sliced
  • 1/2 pound grated Gruyere
Melt the stick of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and salt and pepper and cook until the onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the wine has evaporated and the onions are dry, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs. 

Dust the onions with the flour and give them a stir. Turn the heat down to medium low so the flour doesn't burn, and cook for 10 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. 

Now add the beef broth, bring the soup back to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the broiler. Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Sprinkle the slices with the Gruyere and broil until bubbly and golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup in bowls and float several of the Gruyere croutons on top.  An alternative method: Ladle the soup into bowls, top each with 2 slices of bread and top with cheese. Put the bowls into the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese.

To close, he played Eleanor Rigby on Wednesday night.  While I don't have audio or video of his concert, this is exactly what they sounded like.

For those who prefer the musical reference of the blog title, this is for you.

The mother's view