Boy did my onion goggles come in handy tonight. Knee-deep in onions for the soup, my eyes were pleading for the protection, and voila, I gave it to them. What a solid product. In this picture, you might also notice the olive wood spoon at right. If you don't have a such a spoon, you might consider getting one. They are so sturdy, don't scratch your cast-iron and nonstick pots and are beautiful. Quick story from memory lane (this never ceases to make me laugh). T, J and I were in Italy for three weeks visiting my sister when J was about 15 months old. On the day in focus, we were in Montepulciano, a marvelous Renaissance hilltown in southern Tuscany. The Italians weren't joking when they ascribed the moniker, hilltown, to the villages they did; parts of Montepulciano are so steep you've got to lean in at an unnatural angle and really engage your quads and glutes to head up the roads. It's breathtaking, oozing charm, antiquity and tradition from its every pore.
Brief interjection- the onions are browning beautifully and smell incredibly. Aah... I can't wait.
Anyway, we were, naturally, exploring one of the local housewares store and came across a vast array of olive wood kitchen utensils. At this point in his life, T was still an Atkins diet adherent and so was big into omelets for breakfast; he called them Tomelets. In that vein, he decided to purchase a paddle-type spoon specifically for his morning eggs. He chose one -the one in this picture- and in purchasing it, the saleswoman asked what he'd be using it for. He said eggs, and she replied, with a definite look in her eye, "in fact, it's for pizzas" because it is so large (15" or 16"). To me, this just encapsulated T so well. He thinks big and likes extreme quality. We bought this spoon and have never used it for pizzas. But I do use it all the time, and it's magnificent.
Good grief, just look what happened during that recounting. Fabulous! It is abundantly clear to me, upon inhaling this aroma, why someone chose Gruyère as the cheese o' choice for this soup. A perfect marriage.