So it occurred to me, last week as I was making home-made burgers (with ALL the best fixings) that Forest Gump had life completely wrong. It is not like a box of chocolates, particularly since you can know EXACTLY what you’ll get out of the box if you just read the handy insert that comes with pretty much every single one of them.
No. Life is like making caramelized onions.
For years, Cory and I have tried to guess our way into figuring out how to make them. But they always turned out as complete disasters. Gummy, burned, blocks of sugar. So finally, I admitted that perhaps I should consult an expert, and I looked up how to make them. It wasn’t a secret ingredient I was missing. It was patience.
Caramelized onions have exactly four ingredients: Onions, salt, and a mix of butter and olive oil to cook the onions in. That’s it. The secret is just time and constant attention. There is no way to rush good caramelized onions. No cheat that makes them come out quick. You slice them, put them in the butter/olive oil, and stir over low heat for a very, very, very long time. At least half an hour, longer is often even better.
And they are so worth the end result. (Especially when paired with Swiss cheese, thin slices of pear, lettuce, and a little mayo/Dijon mustard on a home-made burger…Mmm…piece of heaven.)
Life is like that too. There’s no cheat that makes a dream come quickly. Or a project grow. There’s just time, and constant effort, and consistent heat. Otherwise you just end up with a burned gloppy mess that you have to throw out. Anything that you want to make into a piece of heaven, you have to work for. And wait for.
What other foods is life more like than a box of chocolates, and why?