Does there exist a more wonderful smell than onions frying in an old, black, iron skillit? I think not. That powerful aroma is right up there with the smell of boiled coffee and bacon frying in a cold, northwoods campsite. When as camp cook I'd get up on a frosty morning my fellow campers would just snuggle deeper into their down sleeping bags. When their nostrils were assailed with the smell of bacon and coffee, however, out of the tents they come. Fried onions are certainly part of the good life.
Nearly 30 years ago when my new wife, Julie Ann, and I were still in the "really-get-to-know- each-other" mode I had fried potatoes, heavily laced with sliced yellow onions. Julie at that time was a petite little thing while I was a horse. When I served breakfast I divided the potatoes and onions accordingly. I gave Julie a small portion and made mine double. I quickly became acquainted with a new Julie. She informed me of the inequity of the portions and laid claim to her fair share. Although we rarely feast on this delight today, when we do I fry up twice what I think we can eat.
Yesterday was a very difficult day for Julie. She had to report off work. She is on family leave for a health issue, even so she truly hates to miss a scheduled day of work. There also existed and unsolvable problem with a grandchild. All of which resulted in her not being able to sleep the night before. It was a bummer day. I was no help. I had a lingering back problem that had progressed into an inflamed sciatic nerve. Although she was not well herself, she was determined to cook a special dinner for me. Shrimp and cole slaw, a favorite. I jumped in, bit the bullet, and fried a double skillet of fried potatoes and onions for her. We'd splurge the next morning with eggs over easy, bacon and fried potatoes with onions. Life was looking up!
I get up at 5:30AM to fix Julie's breakfast and call her at 6:00AM. I did the coffee, laid out two eggs, sliced the loaf of sour dough bread for toast, put on the bacon and looked for the potatoes with onions. I couldn't find them. With my bum back, I had trouble bending over to look into our jammed fridge so I pulled up a chair and searched diligently, shelve by shelve. No potatoes with onions. I waited until 10 til 6 and woke her up and asked where she had put the potatoes with onions. She replied "sorry, hon, the kids ate'em last night". My step daughter Jackie, granddaughter Chelsie and boyfriend Brent came to visit just as the 6 o'clock news was coming on. I went to the bedroom to watch the news. Unbenown to me, they ate the potatoes with onions, along with the cole slaw, and some oat meal cookies. The time honored tradition and privelege of going home to Mom's/Grandma's. Good, home-cooked food.
Julie went to work this morning. I know she will work over tonight because she missed working yesterday. She will be beat when she comes home. Dinner tonight? Liver and onions. Really now, I'm doing this for Julie. The fact that I also like liver and onions is beside the point. Really!
A Pierce Family Tradition: Never let the truth get in the way of a good story! Really!