Misty mornings in Paris
The misty mornings that come as a precursor to winter always take me somewhere. Fog is good, if you want to lose yourself, become invisible, be yourself, or be somewhere else. Fog is a friend to lovers. You can walk around hugging each other without anyone noticing you, stealing another long kiss for the end. Fog is a reliable accomplice and a good keeper of secrets. It appears just when it needs to be – in the autumn evenings when lovers looking for a place to escape from the world, early in the morning when in the world must return. It comes unobtrusively and reigns in the blink of an eye. With a sly smile, it leaves behind the scent of sin.
Misty mornings always take me somewhere. On the small balcony of the apartment, where Oscar Wilde spent his last days, probably just like me, watching how the tower of the oldest Parisian church, St. Germain des Pres emerges from the mist in the morning.
That has some strange symbolism: Mr. Wilde with his lover choices so opposite to mine, before me his Salome, rare edition bought at a cult bookstore overlooking Notre Dame, me wrapped in a terry cloth robe, croissants and two cups of hot coffee on the table – the same balcony, the same fog, waiting for the Mr. Wrong to awaken.
Furthermore, the fog in the evening – as the cold drawing up into the sleeves, it freezes breath and pushes into a warm shelter. Even trough the misty eyes, Montmartre looks beautiful, full of bohemian painters, failed poets, cracked loves, and incredible destinies. And couples who emerge from white and re-enter in it. His arm around her shoulders, her hand in the back pocket of his pants. You will say – depressing. What does fog have to do with love and passion?
You see, I’m always connected to that Parisian Bonvian hill, with its palms on my face, and with a shared French onion soup. And although, when the morning fog lifted, it was quite clear that he was the Mr. Wrong, that night, into which we went with the tablespoonfuls of a (baked bread) bowl of warm, seductive soup, he was the best and fairest in the world. This is also the reason that autumn fogs always bring to my table this aphrodisiac mix, which equally strengthens the spirit and bodies of exhausted lovers. I advise you to try it. You don’t have to wait for the fog: it can feel the sin herself anyway.
TEXT – Karmela Vukov Colic
French onion soup à la Salome
Finely chop 2 pounds of onions (your eyes will blur with tears). Simmer onions in butter over very low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes, until it is golden brown, soft and slightly caramelized. Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch (or plain soft flour). Stir for a minute or two, then pour in 2 liters of vegetable stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. When the soup is combined, cover the pot and cook over low heat for another 50 minutes. Add some good white wine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cut yesterday’s bread into thin slices, then rub each one with halved garlic. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes to become crispy, turning slices occasionally. Put a bit of Gruyère cheese on every slice and continue baking on the highest bar or under the grill. Pour the soup into bowls and cover with baked bread.