January 5: French Onion Soup and Cesar Salad (and I’m Drunk)

I forgot to take a picture, but here's a picture of my favorite space ship.

I forgot to take a picture, but here’s a picture of my favorite space ship.

Warning: I’m drunk. Maybe not normal people drunk, but certainly Alyssa drunk. Which is to say I had 3, maybe 4, glasses of champagne. (And I almost never drink.) I’d bother with the whole long story, but am not at all sure how it would come out.

It starts with a dashing rocket scientist. I mean, an actual factual rocket scientist. He helped design the spaceship that’s about to tango with Pluto. But now he’s moved on to designing the space ship that is going to probe the sun. Think about that for a second: Probe the sun. (Yes, I asked if it had a flared base, because I was drunk and, I mean, probe the sun!) 

I need to digress. This space ship, just so you know, contains no intriguing characters who are having witty reparte. I find that disappointing. In fact, the whole thing is the size of my dining room table – which 9 of us were sitting around eating a delicious dinner that I made. The dinner-table ship is covered in Carbon Carbon Foam. Said foam is not at all like the foam on a latte, which I also find disappointing. And even though it is called foam, there is no air in the holes that make it “foam,” because {insert science…. which is where I got lost…}

Anyway, the dude makes space ships. HE MAKES SPACE SHIPS. I asked him lots of questions. Will we ever get personal space ships? Where is my damned holodeck? What the hell is wrong with Troi? Is there life out there? Is there intelligent life out there? Is there intelligent life here?

He answered, cuz he’s nice: Yes, no, yes, maybe, in the garage and she’s a bitch. But I can’t remember what order those all go in.

Also, he dresses his cat up in costumes. And is one of my husband’s oldest friends.

So he was over for dinner. And Brady’s “brother”…..  I should explain. Brady’s mother is probably the most amazing woman I’ve ever met, and also adorable and a gourmet cook. When they were growing up on the South side (maybe it was North, wherever it is that people were poor, not white, and that other people were kind of scared of even though it was awesome) of Chicago, she kind of unofficially adopted about 10 kids. Brady considers all of these men, boys then, his brothers. And I’ve seen them interact, it is like nothing I’ve ever seen. In this day and age of detached masculinity, they love each other openly and clearly. It’s a thing of wonder.

So, two “brothers” were over for dinner. And his mother. And my father, my daughter, my ex-husband. It was kind of a nutty day, so I defaulted to something I could mostly make in the morning and just assemble at night.

Made the soup this morning, the right way. Took about an hour to reduce and caramelize about 15 onions down. Had no dry white whine or sherry, so opened a bottle of champagne, which was delicious in the soup. I think this is how I will make it from now on. Homemade beef broth that I had in the freezer, but also browned and threw in some marrow bones for the day, which were hollow by the time we ate. SO GOOD!

Cesar salad is sacred in this house. It is literally the reason that we have chickens. I was all neurotic about factory farming, and firmly believe that good Cesar dressing requires a raw egg. I wanted eggs I could trust (a dozen years ago,) and decided that keeping chickens was the only way that can happen. (I am not entirely rational.) Even my daughter can make Cesar dressing from scratch: egg yolk, anchovies, mustard, parmesan, garlic, lemon juice. Mix it up. Then, with the blender on, slowly drizzle Olive Oil in until it is thick enough to cling to the lettuce, but not spread like mayo. This is how my daughter, I think, initially got interested in chemistry; by learning the concept of emulsification.

My mother-in-law and I finished the open bottle of champagne in the fridge. Then somehow we all drank 3 more bottles that were left from New Year’s Eve.

It was all perfect. But I forgot to take a picture, so you’ll just have to trust me. I swear, the simple meals, with the best people….. It does not get better than that.

 

 

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