Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mirepoix: Waltzes in Three

Mirepoix is a strange word, a French word. It's the stuff of soups, made of celery, carrots and onions.

Celery is for lightness. If you could capture a laugh, a warm summer day, a morning mist, that's the taste you will find.
Carrots are for sweetness. The hint of an intangible joy is in your spoon. It could make you think of a sprinkling of sugar, a hint of honey, subtle and not-overpowering.

Onions, well, everyone knows they're for the tears. Tears don't always have to be sad: they can be happy, come from frustration, or the world relief. Usually, they're for the bitter moment that comes after the sweet.

The thing is, every thing needs a balance, a rhythmic companion. And somehow, the number 3 appears in my mind. It's a logical progression: just as the soup needs a light flavor, that's sweet and salty, everything else needs support. The strongest shape is a triangle, three sides that support perfectly. A braid is a twisting of three strands (divided, they fall and break; together, they conquer). Friendship bracelets come in three words: Best Friends Forever.

A perfect waltz is just like the perfect mirepoix: one, the beginning step, the rush of exhilaration, celery; two, the middle, strong and delightful, carrots; three, the end note, a noticeable pause, onions.

Perhaps, the solution isn't to give everything of yourself to someone, but to make sure that there is always enough for the next person in your life. Give someone your laugh, the next person your heart, the one after that a tear. Give the boy after him a child, the girl after her a kiss, the friend after this a promise.

A perfect waltz comes in threes: one, da da, two la la, three ta ta. Life has its moments of stop, start, go; beginning, middle, end; slow, medium, fast. And on we go.

"The Waltz" by Auguste Renoir

  • 1 part celery
  • 1 part carrot
  • 2 parts onion
This recipe is by weight. It can be added to stocks (canned or fresh), or can be saut├ęd as a basic flavor enhancer. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment