What, you may justifiably wonder, does onion jam have to do with the patriarchal hegemony? Nothing, of course. Unless, you count yourself as a member of my mad menagerie. Still, if you’re looking for some delicious comfort food that’s out of the ordinary, and willing to pay a paltry remuneration by nodding sympathetically through my maternal musings, Read On!
Like any self-respecting feminist, I yearned for my pragmatic teenage daughter to espouse the cause. More women in STEM! Independence! Equity! So when she won a merit scholarship at one of the Seven Sisters colleges, I exerted my not-inconsiderable persuasive powers to get her there. Four years later, she’s back, with a degree in neuroscience but somewhat bruised around the edges. Well, the college website did say heady and nervy, and that’s what we got. After looking up the patriarchal hegemony on Wikipedia, and nodding every time she said, That’s so hetero-normative, I sought a meeting of the minds in the old standby of comfort food. This being the child who asked for caramelized onions as pizza topping and used words like ramekin and macerate in her vocabulary, I turned to a French recipe for onion marmalade. The first time we made it, we dutifully converted the metric measures to American. Too bad we didn’t follow them. Since then, we’ve confirmed by innumerable replications (p <0.005) that it always tastes delicious.
- After the onions have been cooking for a long time on low heat, they get nice and caramelized. How long? An hour. Or two. As long as your patience. Then you may bring out the wine! Add about a cup of good red wine. To the onions! Okay, you may also have a fortifying glass. Or two. Continue to cook the onions until the wine evaporates. I usually turn the heat up first until it bubbles merrily, then turn it back down. Then add sugar. I think about a third of a cup. Actually, we just shake some out of the sugar canister.
- Eventually, the onions coalesce into one darkly rich, sweet and tart jammy concoction.
- A little bit of olive oil oozes out the edges. Mix it in before spreading.
- It tastes great spread on toasted bread, topping off some goat cheese. Or Brie. Or cream cheese.
- I served it with a side of baked penne, tossed with roasted vegetables in a creamy sauce and topped with a layer of thinly sliced potatoes.