As I begin this post, the aroma of slowly sautéing onions surrounds me, calming and centering me after a very long, very busy day.
My morning activities stretched well into the afternoon, demanding a level of energetic social interaction that is more than I am comfortable with. Arriving home, in need of quick rejuvenation, I slathered Meyer lemon curd on a piece of cornbread warm from the microwave, gulped at my fourth? fifth? cup of coffee, and plopped down in front of my laptop to read email, Facebook, and Twitter. Still feeling sapped and bogged down by the day’s events, I got up for a tall glass of water and a half-size chocolate candy bar, and sat down again to play a few levels of one of the repetitive games I play on Facebook to switch gears and refocus. None of these remedies soothed what was getting at me, so with dinner on the horizon, I headed to the kitchen, opened the pantry, and grabbed two onions.
As I set up my cutting board and honed my knife, music from The Husband’s shop floated up from the basement, along with “shop noises”, sounds of wood and tools being introduced to each other. I cut in half, peeled, then sliced the onions pole-to-pole, while in a saucepan butter and oil warmed and mingled. The Boy emerged from up in his room, requesting two grilled cheese sandwiches, one of his favorite meals. It’s a meal he’s been eating for most of his 16 years, and muscle memory took over as I assembled and toasted his sandwiches, one at a time, in the little pan I always use to toast his sandwiches. Rather than a distraction, those sandwiches became a touchstone, a few moments where all I needed to think about was my boy and my love for him and his grilled cheese sandwiches.
The onions are almost caramelized enough to add the wine, beef broth, thyme and black pepper. My mind has settled into the rhythm of my family and my home, and I finally feel at ease.