Humble. Lovely. A pungency like no other. When I go for a walk around the neighborhood in the evening, I can tell the families that are cooking, from the smell of onions simmering in oil wafting out from the windows.
The way the papery sheath yields slightly tougher skin, and the tender flesh beneath it? Well, it has become such an overused metaphor for human learning or loving or the complexity of a situation that I cannot write it down.
It probably took less time to grow these onions from start to our kitchen table than a snowy day in Iowa in January 2007 until this evening…..
I can’t do it. I can’t write a post on onions tonight.
You see, I have been refraining. I have been biting my tongue and deleting the words when they fall in a mad dash onto the screen from my fingers. I’ve been working hard not to turn this food blog political.
But it doesn’t feel honest to write a little rhapsody about onions when I can think of little else but the election. For almost two years, I have been reading and following, listening to speeches and dreaming of a future for my daughter with one person as president. Need I say who? Look, I’m a woman with the word yes tattooed on my wrist. It should be pretty obvious that I’m wild about the man who says yes we can.
For weeks — really, for months — I have been jittery and twittering, wishing and worrying, talking to everyone I know, and sometimes launching tirades into the air as the Chef and I drive around, Little Bean asleep in the back seat. I have never seen an election like this in my lifetime. Somehow, tonight feels like the night before Christmas.
And not just because it looks like my team might win. (It does feel like a sporting event sometimes, the way these silly things are run.) It’s more because there were lines of people waiting ten hours to vote in Atlanta this weekend, because people are talking about issues in broad strokes about how this country could be run, because there’s a palpable feeling of being involved these days. We’ve lived in apathy too long in this country. Something is starting.
Like onions simmering. The very act of putting onions in the pan can lead to something extraordinary.
So I hope that you take the time to vote tomorrow. We can all participate in this together. No matter how you vote, please do.
Perhaps, like us, you’ll be cooking tomorrow, to share food with friends through this incredible day. We’re making six recipes from our cookbook. Life goes on, no matter what happens. By the time our book comes out, in February 2010, whoever will be elected tomorrow will have been president for a year. Who knows where we will be by then?
I know, without a doubt, that the food we eat on this complex, historical, enormously important day? It will probably start with onions.