FRYING ONIONS

Set 15

FRYING ONIONS

Chop the onion into small cubes. The best way to do it, in my opinion, is to start by cutting it in half, from the part that has some “hair” to the other extreme. Face both halves down on the cutting board or whatever surface you are cutting it. Then slice them. It doesn’t really matter the direction at this point, but I personally prefer to keep cutting in the same direction I started. After that, cut those long slices into small squares. If you do it all holding the halves facing down, it will spill less of that liquid and you will avoid that unpleasant burning feeling in your eyes. It will all depend on the type of onion, though. There are some types of onion that are stronger than others and the liquid inside in contact with our eyes could sting more or less. If what you have at hand is one of those stronger ones, by cutting them facing down you will delay the burning effect. If it is the mild type, it won’t sting at all.

We are like onions. What is inside “spills” when we are “cut open”, broken by circumstances. Some of us hurt people around us with what comes out depending on what that is. Some people have stuff that burns more than others, while some don’t hurt at all. I believe that has to do with maturity.

Put the onion in a skillet and add oil. Enough oil to fry the onions. Not too much so that it doesn’t get too greasy. And not too little so that the onios don’t burn but fry. The difference between frying and burning is the flavor at the end. Obviously, if you leave the onions frying for too long they will eventually burn as well. The thing is, in oil, they take longer to burn and the frying process makes the onions release the best of their flavor, different from the one they have when they are raw. Without oil they burn, toast dry, and don’t release the special flavor and aroma. How can you know the right amount of oil? Experimenting, trying. Onions are like sponges. They absorb huge amounts of oil! But there’s a limit. With time you will get the proportion of oil to different amounts of onion.

While frying onions I realized that we also have an aroma, a flavor, something that improves the taste of things in life and that is released under high temperatures (trials). It brings out hidden treasures, amazing seasoning. There are things that, like onions, when they are raw and with no oil (the Holy Spirit, anointing), they may hurt people around us. And as I am mentioning high temperatures representing trials and the well know Biblical reference for the Holy Spirit as oil, let me list a couple more. Pleasant aroma in the Bible represents worship that God likes and approves. Seasoning (salt) represents the difference we are supposed to make in the world, good influence. High temperature with no oil (trials without the Holy Spirit, no anointing to go through them) burns us and does not cause the good stuff deep inside of us to surface, on the contrary, it ruins us. “Apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things” (John 14:26). Onions in cold oil do not absorb oil as well. That would be just greasy onions, it doesn’t release an aroma, it doesn’t improve the taste. If there is little oil you may be able to use it on a salad, but that’s it. Nothing more. I’ll leave the interpretation of this last part to you.

GARLIC

Garlic has a stronger taste. But it burns faster. You can have it raw, but in that case I’d suggest that you blend it or crush it really well so that it blends into the food. Also, raw garlic tastes better when it’s very little. It tastes good in potato salads, hummus, dips. Fried garlic on the other hand goes well with pretty much any salty dish. When chopped into big pieces, it releases less flavor (my opinion). The smaller, the tastier. But it you crush it too much, like when you blend it or make it into a cream, I think it kind of ruins it for frying. So I’d say the best is to crush it a bit and then chop into small pieces. I have a tiny grater that does and excellent job. If you have a grater with small holes, try it. It’s quick and easy.

ONIONS OR GARLIC?

Not everybody does well under long periods of pressure. Each one of us has more resistance in some areas and less in others. Everybody goes through “onion moments” and “garlic” moments. A garlic moment is when we are crushed e chopped and dipped into hot oil right away. It is intense, difficult, but it’s quick. In a matter of a few days the whole thing is over. It is when something bad happens and takes you to your knees in God’s presence. Then you sweat blood, you repent, you surrender, God answers, you grow, learn something new and all that in just a few days.

Onion moments are different… It is a slow process… It can star with you being broken into large pieces, but you will stay longer under the heat… Until you shrink and get flexible, until you absorb a good amount of oil. Until the aroma is released and even the outside looks different. They are these areas of our lives that don’t get to the right point quite quickly. Things we spill when we are raw that hurt people. They are treasures hidden behind things we fiercely protect out of fear. Things that lie under a number of layers that need to be broken one by one. Layers of lies we have believed that cause us lots of while we are completely unaware of them.

I think it is stupid to compare ourselves with people who are going through a garlic moment while we are in an onion moment. Because everybody goes through both. And maybe the worst mistake we could make is to think we are the only ones who go through onion moments or that God loves that guy more because he is in a garlic moment and stuff like that. So don’t waste your time entertaining those types of thoughts because they can cause you to get burned instead of producing the aroma and flavor that this process can lead you to.

SEASONED OIL

When people ask me the secret of my cooking or Brazilian food in general I always say, “there’s no secret, it’s just onions and garlic, LOTS of it! And salt, of course”.

It’s unbelievable the amount of stuff I learn about life in the kitchen! It all came to me while I was frying onions, while I observed them change, shrinking and becoming flexible in hot oil… I thought about myself shrinking and Christ increasing in me as I go through trials. The presence of the Holy Spirit was strong in the kitchen. I thought about the onion absorbing the oil and how much I can “absorb” of God when the temperature of my life rises. I remembered God is an excellent cook, He does not let onions nor garlic burn. He will turn the heat off when everything is nice and golden! “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear” (1 Corinthians 10:13). I believe I’m in an “onion moment” of life. The temperature has been high for a long period of time. In fact, it seams more like a sequence of onion moments in the past years. But even if I’m wrong and this is a garlic moment for me, He will not let me burn. He will not let things go past the right point. Nothing will be wasted. He will bring out my best aroma and my best flavor and in the end. And I’ll get to keep the oil absorbed in the process! So if you would like some of my oil, just come closer, as a paper towel! Because the oil that drips is already seasoned!

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