Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Lessons From a Soup Pot
The other day I decided to have a try at making French Onion Soup. I searched the web for recipes, read blogs on technique, then made my way to the store for sherry, beef broth, Gruyere cheese, and a lot of onions. I cried my way through the slicing then piled the onions in a roaster (since I do not own a Dutch oven) with a whole stick of butter. Setting the oven timer for one hour, I cleaned up the kitchen, tucked the children into bed, and waited. At the sound of the timer, I opened the oven door to the lovely aroma of cooked onions, stirred them, then returned the pan into the oven to bake one hour and a half more. Once the baking was complete, I began the next process of caramelizing. Setting the pot on the stove, I added one-fourth cup of water, scraped the bottom of the pan, and waited once again as the liquid cooked off of the onions. After repeating this process three more times, I finally added the Sherry and patiently stirred and scraped as it evaporated as well, leaving the onions ready for the final step of simmering in beef broth with a little thyme and bay leaf. As the liquid simmered, I realized how much I had savored the slow process that would result in a decadent soup to be enjoyed by my family.
In this fast paced, microwave generation, we sometimes miss the enjoyment slow, methodical cooking provides. A good French Onion Soup cannot be rushed. It takes time and patience. As I contemplated this idea, I realized the same is true for parenting. Parenting requires hours and hours of preparation and input. It involves tears as children grow from the raw personalities that they are into aromatic individuals full of life to give back to this world. It cannot be rushed neither neglected. But just as I relished the procedure for creating a delectable French Onion Soup, I am learning to cherish the hours required to faithfully train and equip the children entrusted to my care. And as I do so, I am beginning to understand a little more deeply the Father heart of God, as He too seeks to mold me into an aromatic individual suited for His purposes.