Monday, March 31, 2014

a weekend conference + guests


this past weekend we had some friends from athens, georgia, who came up for a weekend conference at church, over to stay with us. they have a 19-month-old who wilder was just absolutely thrilled to have for a play mate. we had a lot of family time at the table, as one does when one has babies (doesn't it seem like its constantly time to eat when you have a baby? but i guess i kind of eat all day long too so...), and it was such a blast! i loved having adult company around, especially since loverboy was busy with service for the conference all weekend, and we basically saw him at midnight every night--at least that's what it felt like. however, the amount of time we spent in the kitchen making food for everyone has me rethinking our desire to have 3 kids...and i didn't even make anything fancy (thank you trader joe's for the frozen waffles, thank you prego for the spaghetti sauce, thank you kroger for the granola, etcetera, etcetera)! i have a lot more respect for all the mamas who made me so many home-cooked meals growing up. anyways, i don't have a sunday best recipe for you, but i did make muffins, granola bars, and greek yogurt, so in my book that is a successful weekend of cooking;)

my favorite part of the weekend was putting the babies down for bed on saturday night, and we mamas left a papa in charge (of two screaming babies, ha!) and went to the meeting! it was the only one we made it to all weekend, and we got there late, but i enjoyed that meeting so much. we got God's speaking, and it was like rain in the desert for me. it's not that motherhood is a desert, really, but it is definitely harder to maintain your enjoyment of God when you are so limited in your ability to go to meetings, spend time with others in prayer, be awake early enough to spend time with the Lord, etc!

and also, the message, which was on Experiencing the God of Jacob, was just so applicable to this time in my life. i enjoyed that "the Christian life is a life of struggling with God to be transformed by God into a prince of God." and that, eventually, Jacob stopped struggling with God and accepted God's choice. we may not like what's going on in our lives, not like God's choice for us, but eventually, by allowing the Spirit to perform His work in us, by staying open to the Lord, we can be like Jacob, who ended his life with blessing upon blessing, who looked back with no regrets.

sometimes, it is so easy for me to be full of regret. but slowly i'm realizing that the Lord has sovereignly arranged everything in my environment for one purpose — to gain me, to fill me with Himself. it's not that i would be happier if i'd only done this that and the other. this, this life i'm living, is the Lord's choice for me. and here is where He wants me to find him. whenever the Lord speaks through the brothers at these conferences, i am so refreshed and encouraged to pursue the Lord and love Him.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

wilder in 2014, week 13

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i love right now. it is such a great stage. i've actually really felt that about each stage, but right now is particularly good. there's something about the brink of toddlerhood that is just amazing because while you are still holding on to your baby, he is doing amazing things like trying to walk and suddenly noticing there's a dog next door and reading his own books. loverboy jokes that we know wilder is my baby because he has more books than toys. i don't think that's actually true, but i wish it were;)

i can't handle that his one-year birthday is just 2 weeks from today. please can we stay here for a little (or a lot) longer?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

a date with my loverboy


for the first time in 11 months and 2 weeks, loverboy and i hired a babysitter on saturday night and went out on a date. i remember when i was a kid someone told me that you have to put work into your marriage. i really didn't understand it at the time, but having grown up with divorced parents and now being married myself, i really believe that our marriage should take precedence in our life as a family. even for our child's sake. i think that a happy, stable married life is a gift you can give your children. it is their security, knowing that you are happy.

however, it's easy to say that; not as easy to do it. i'm not sure why, but we have all kinds of excuses for not spending time/energy/money on our marriage. tragically, it's easier to spend that time/money/energy on ourselves or on our baby than it is to spend it on each other. we don't have it figured out, as we all know. but we are trying. and that's something.

after putting the baby down, we parked ourselves over at Parker's on Ponce in decatur for a long, leisurely steak dinner. and then we walked down to Java Monkey for a decaf americano, because it's not a date without coffee says my loverboy. you can never have too much coffee in your life.

thanks for the date, loverboy! it was so lovely.


p.s. here's a tip for your dating life: get all your fights out that morning, so that come evening, you're all made up and ready to be extra kind to each other on your date. ;)

Monday, March 24, 2014

saturday family date

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i'm afraid that sometimes, when you've spent a saturday out at the park, and your baby touches grass for the first time and eats pizza for the first time, all on the same day, you have to post a million pictures of your heart. it's simply a requirement.

i've been looking for a playground with turf, instead of gravel, for some time (i really can't understand why any playground these days would have gravel), so when i found out that the Old Fourth Ward park had turf, i immediately made plans for us to be there on saturday morning.

what with the grass, the sun (so bright!), the turf, i guess wilder had the most perplexing and amazing day of his life so far. he didn't really get to nap much, but sacrifices must be made in the name of saturday, is what i decided, and so we went straight to fellini's for pizza and then stopped by the fernbank museum for some good old new fangled fake nature on our way home. it was possibly the most amazing day of my whole last year, too. ;) 

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that sun is bright!
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he was a little shell shocked to be outside and probably would have stood here the whole time if we didn't keep picking him up and putting him down in new places. 
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my perplexed, squinty little man.
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but suddenly, on the move!
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you can't imagine what all we found down there. leaves! grass! cigarette butts! :/
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missed a nap!

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and exploring the fake nature at fernbank for some perspective;)
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fake turtles!

to cap it all off, lover and i went on a date that night after we put the baby to bed. first date in over 11 months! that is something to write about. well, maybe i will, if you're lucky. ;) but for now, loverboy is giving me the eye so that i will help him screw hardware on to our finally painted kitchen cabinet doors. romance is alive! ;) 


Friday, March 21, 2014

modern motherhood


why is it that motherhood and guilt seem to go hand in hand (at least among this generation, in this country)? lately, i've been wondering how to achieve a little more motherhood/personal life balance. and perhaps i'm projecting, but i feel that as soon as i utter those words i am inviting judgment, because it seems like in past generations, there was no difference between motherhood and personal life. is it just me or does it seem like motherhood is your personal life, once you become one? i know that i have never been more thrilled with my day job. i am thrilled to be at my baby's beck and call, thrilled to have a little life to take care of, thrilled to be so full of love. but sometimes i'm even more thrilled with the idea of some time off, to do other, grown-up things. and yet, the very idea of this is like a prescription for guilt.

there is so much joy in being a stay at home mom. but it is hard, too. sometimes, i think i am living in the '50s—when i've just hung some freshly laundered cloth diapers to dry, spent the day freezing cubes of pureed chicken and veggies, making greek yogurt, feeding what feels like a multitude of mouths, and loverboy comes home from work, after the baby is in bed, to a dinner i serve in front of the tv (or is that the '70s??). but then i get online and see the successful, productive businesses of countless other stay-at-home moms, and we are right back in modern times. people often tell me that there is nothing better than getting to stay at home with your kids. and mostly, i agree. but the fact is, in modern times, it doesn't seem to be enough. maybe it's not enough when you're educated (+ more educated), because you've been trained to expect to do something that's measurable by society's standards. measurable against other people. measurable in terms that can be written on a CV or boasted about in conversation. being a mother is not measurable by the tangible yardsticks of money or awards or esteem. there are no promotions, no raises. the only "project" you're "managering" might be pretty close to taking his first steps, and the home-made, one-of-a-kind, priceless "product" you've "collaborated on" might have the very best smile on the planet (at least that's the word in our house), but you don't exactly get a round of applause for that.

well, you might get one tiny little applause from one tiny little person. and seriously, that's better than all those things put together. it truly is it's own reward.

but it's really easy in motherhood to feel anxious all the time about messing these sweet, innocent little lives up. at first, it's ALL up to you to keep them alive (as one of my friends said recently, and i concur; it's very scary). and then, when you suddenly think you know what you're doing as far as nursing and getting them to sleep and remembering to do tummy time, it's time to start solids and baby sign language and reading books. before you know it, you're babyproofing your house and little pieces of finger food and introducing the word "no" and sippy cups. 

and sometimes, in the middle of this really mundane but incredibly important thing called raising a child, i can forget the miracle we are party to and feel the pressure to do more. either through comparison or because of all that education or simply by way of self-criticism, i never feel that i'm doing enough. i don't think that of any of the moms i know. i think, instead, how do they do it? how have they managed to juggle feeding and caring for these tiny, perfect people, themselves, their spouses and their houses? and also, how do they maintain their sanity and self-esteem and identity? because i know how hard it is. but when i look at my own life (and how quickly the time is going), i can feel disappointed with myself that i'm not doing more.

i think the truth is, motherhood is just plain different from the way things used to be. now, we can have kids and (theoretically) do those things that fulfill our modern expectations of making money/creating/accomplishing stuff. it can be exhausting, stressful, and overwhelming. (truly, there is no end to the things you can potentially feel guilty about.) but maybe, it's more exciting? recently, i've decided to start spending more time on projects i've had on back burners, because you know, sometimes a mama has to remember to take care of herself, too. anyways, i'll let you know how it goes.

now, back to diaper duty! (ha)

but really, look at that cute face. can you imagine a better job?


Thursday, March 20, 2014

wilder in 2014, week 12

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yesterday wilder started humming his own little tune. i wish you could hear it; it's so sweet. i need to make sure and try to record it today.

the view out our window would have you believe we live in a forest. and so we do. wilder is probably thinking he would like to go explore it, but mama is too afraid of the snakes and dogs that routinely run through our backyard, driving lars crazy. his favorite book right now is martin bèbè lutin, about a baby who gets lost in the garden and lives in a mushroom under a pine tree and likes to eat strawberries. wilder can so relate.

Monday, March 17, 2014

sunday best: one whole chicken!

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this may come as a surprise to you, but i've never cooked a whole chicken. and it's been sort of one of those benchmarks of really knowing how to cook. like, i couldn't call myself a proper cook, until i knew how to cook a whole chicken, you know? this recipe has been in an email in my inbox for awhile now (my collection site for recipes i want to make), and finally this weekend i decided to give it a try. i wish i could remember where i first came across it. probably another blog?

anyways, the whole chicken saga:

let me first just say that i am such a wuss about the whole chicken, and i would probably starve if i had to live off the land with my own bare hands. no matter how much my loverboy fantasizes about homesteading...i came to the conclusion, while staring down the gullet of this chicken, that it is not the life for me.

i admit to a modicum of squeamishness and a smidgeon of embarrassment as i screeched for loverboy to come pull out the bristly, alien looking body parts stuffed into its cavity (which he did, thanks loverboy!). and then the recipe called for me to rub the inside with spices? this was the part i had been dreading, which is why it's taken me until the age of 31 to cook a whole chicken. the vegetarian in me was dry heaving. seriously, there is nothing grosser to me than dead, raw, whole animals. except dead, raw, plucked, beheaded animals. i bet you're really hungry now, huh?

sundays are supposed to be a day of rest, and yet, there is this phenomenon of the sunday whirlwind at our house, nearly every sunday. i don't know. either someone is upchucking all over the place or we are trying to work around painted cabinet doors that have yet to be reunited with their cabinets, while fevers run high and to-do lists run long. and sometimes, when you've woken up late, the chicken didn't get started until lunch time, which means you've also got to make lunch, boil bottles, clean out the humidifier and unload/load the dishwasher.

amidst this serene domestic backdrop, the whole two feet of counter space i possess is groaning, and i'm thinking, do i really want to reach my hand down this chicken? i mean, i need at least a foot of demarcation between this unsanitary chicken and...everything else, so maybe this was all a mistake and the chicken should just hang out in the fridge for another day or so.

but then i shut my eyes, grabbed a fistful of spice and rammed my hand in.

six hours later, we had the juiciest, tenderest chicken i have ever made. which just goes to show: crock pots are magic.

and maybe chicken should be cooked whole. and eaten with asparagus. and possibly, a spinach rice casserole.

that is all.

unless you want the recipe:

Slow Cooker Roast Chicken
via kitchen simplicity

1 whole chicken
1 onion, sliced

Spice Rub
1 Tbsp kosher salt
2 tsps paprika
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp onion powder (original recipe called for 1 tsp dried onion, which you could do if you happen to have that, or fresh, minced onion, obviously, would work too;)
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground pepper

Rinse chicken under cold water; pat dry. Mix together all ingredients for spice rub. Rub the spices on the outside and inside of the chicken. Place in the slow cooker. Stuff cavity with sliced onion. Cook on low 5-7 hours, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to serving platter and let rest for 15 minutes, before serving.

*edit: here is the spinach rice casserole recipe, that somehow disappeared between my typing it in and publishing the post. i'm pretty sure i originally found this via a friend's blog, but i can't say for sure...anyhow, here it is:

Spinach Rice Casserole
adapted from Tammy's Recipes

9 or 10 ounces fresh spinach leaves
1 Tbsp water
1 tsp onion powder
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp salt

Place spinach and water in a large pan or skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until spinach leaves wilt. In a large mixing bowl, combine all other ingredients. Add the wilted spinach and stir. Pour into a greased 8x8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until set in the middle.

Friday, March 14, 2014

wilder in 2014, week 11

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ummm, does this count as my weekly portrait of wilder? okay so it's sort of a self-portrait, too, but i say it still counts. plus, we were having kind of a cranky day so this was as good as it was going to get.

i love seeing wilder becoming more and more an individual. he loves to hear me say: blub blub bluuuub   and basically anything starting with b. he loves to hold onto my back when i'm sitting on the floor and try to catch my ponytail. he loves to put everything in his mouth. and he loves to shake his head "no."

sometimes, if i'm looking at my phone instead of him, he will bend down to put his face in my face and smile at me. it's the cutest.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

a room to call our own {thankful}


we bought this house almost a year ago and moved in when wilder was just 5.5 weeks old. on mother's day, we packed up the last of the clothes, and then wilder and i went off to stay at grandma and grandpa's, while the movers moved all our boxes into the garage, because the wood floors weren't done drying. i was overwhelmed by all the work it needed (and still needs). on top of adjusting to sleeplessness and the constant needs of a (sleep-resistant) newborn, being relegated to the (far) suburbs, not very close to anything i'd like to be close to, and renovating and decorating (not to mention unpacking) a house were far from how i pictured spending the first few months of motherhood.

slowly, we stripped wallpaper, painted, unpacked, organized (some things), and assembled and moved furniture around. it was definitely not all fun. but now, every morning when i bring wilder downstairs and we plop down on the floor to play, i feel so thankful for this house. our life is not very glamorous or exciting. it is routine and monotonous, even. we spend our weekends doing housework (and painting things like kitchen cabinets), grocery shopping, cooking. we spend our weekdays sitting inside far too much, having the same conversations (where is wilder? peekaboo!//where's the purple ring?//do you want to read a book?//mama has to fold some diapers...), eating at the same times in the same's so normal and boring. but i love it. i finally feel like i can relax. i finally feel like i'm living, instead of barreling from one moment to the next, propelled by a stressed-out shell of myself.

it's not like i'm stress-free or happy all the time. au contraire. but i'm thankful for this living room. after all our painting and decorating, it feels like a home (well, only this one room does). it's not much. we've got a long ways to go, but it's also so, so much.

and look at that tiny little boy! (just a few months ago he was a tiny little baby.) on monday he waved bye-bye to papa for the first time! every morning i am so thankful that i get to spend these days with him. they are passing much too quickly—i could cry they are going so fast.

gravitating towards my lap these days.
and toward the camera, always.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

sunday best (for monday night): butternut squash risotto

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on sunday wilder got a stomach bug, and we spent the day keeping him hydrated while he was throwing up everywhere. poor baby. it was a rough day. needless to say, there was no real cooking. just loads and loads of laundry. but he woke up all better on monday, thank goodness, so in the evening i made the butternut squash risotto and asparagus i was planning for sunday dinner. this is one of my favorite meals, and it's so easy! i've been taking advantage of this sunday best series to try out new recipes, but when i saw the butternut squash at trader joe's the other day, i just had to come back to an old staple. you will want to, too, trust me. i think the only reason i don't make it more often is because it calls for thyme, butternut squash (duh), white wine, arugula, and smoked gouda: all ingredients i just don't normally have on hand. but! every time i make this i wonder why these things aren't constants in the pantry. i mean, they are all pretty wonderful. except thyme. i don't like how it smells fresh.

this time, i decided to use spinach instead of arugula, and i possibly liked it better.

aaaaannnnddd, the recipe:

Butternut Squash Risotto
adapted from Food Network

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 sprig fresh sage
2 c. chopped peeled butternut squash
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
3 large cloves garlic, smashed
1 1/2 c. arborio rice
1/4 c. dry white wine
6 c. low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth to make it vegetarian)
1 2-to-3-inch parmesan cheese rind (optional)
1 c. coarsely chopped aged gouda cheese, plus shaved gouda for garnish
Freshly ground pepper
2 c. spinach

Heat the butter and sage in a large pot over medium-high heat until the butter begins to brown slightly, about 1 minute. Add the squash, onion, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the rice and stir until the grains are evenly coated. Stir in the wine and 2 cups of broth. Add the parmesan rind, if desired. Increase the heat to high until it simmers and liquid is absorbed. Lower the heat and cook about 30 minutes, adding in 1/2 c. of broth as the liquid evaporates (until you've used the full 6 cups of liquid). Remove from the heat. Discard the parmesan rind, if using. Add the chopped gouda and stir until the cheese melts and the risotto thickens slightly. Season with pepper, then stir in the spinach. Garnish with shaved gouda.

Prepare to eat the whole pot. All by yourself. 

i served the risotto with asparagus, but i think it would have been better with a nice, crisp salad and a hefty hunk of fresh sourdough or baguette. 

dinner is served.

Friday, March 7, 2014

wilder in 2014, week 10

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i left wilder with a babysitter all day on wednesday, while i had jury duty—i found out later, i could have been exempted because of having a child under 4(!). it was my first time leaving him for so long, and with someone other than papa! i think he actually did better than i did. so thursday, we played real hard. with all the books!

usually i have all the books that have regular paper pages out of reach, because of course he just likes to tear and crumple the pages, but heck, when you're doing a photo shoot anything goes. he was pretty entertained for awhile, all with this very serious look on his face. i love that he's so interested in reading these days. that look, with the little bottom lip tucked in a bit, is pure papa.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

survival of a winter, herald of spring {an essay on grief}


the snow has melted. that is, i suppose, the way in which some people know that winter is over. for me, it happened on a saturday afternoon; the baby and i were driving from a nice afternoon at the fernbank museum—where we tried not to get stepped on by a myriad of small people who were all rudely using two legs instead of their hands and knees to get around (in real life i am never this sidetracked in conversation, you know. i hope??)—anyhow, we were on our way to meet up with the papa for some outlet mall shopping. the sun was shining on the downtown Atlanta skyline, the heater was off, i had no coat, and that is when i knew: winter is over! put away your groundhogs!

and here we are: the ground all soft and somewhat browner from its encounter with two snow "storms," our galoshes caked in mud, our dogs shedding early, and not one plant left alive inside. if i never see another bowl of oatmeal it will be too soon. you know what i mean. winter is a time for eating oatmeal and lusting after fur coats you can't afford and unsuccessful attempts to have your fireplace brought up to code and planning beach vacations. check check check check.

this winter was not so bad. i wanted to join in with the rest of the january/february-haters and say this winter brought the doldrums, but is that really fair? i mean, can i really blame a season for any apathy/tiredness/discontent? and was it really that bad? it didn't seem like it while we were going through it. but, the moment that springtime hit on saturday, i knew we had been under a bit of a cloud. a staying inside all day, playing with the same dull toys (albeit learning great, new and wonderful tricks like teething and crawling and standing and cruising and sleeping through the night!), eating the same bowls of oatmeal, marking the same terrible anniversaries kind of wintery gale.

don't get me wrong, all the newness of this baby turning into a pre-toddler has made it seem like we have our own private sun shining in our house every day, and we have had the best winter in years and years and years.

but i'm not sorry to see it go. i think we all need some fresh air. a chance to open the windows and breath deeply. a time to turn our face to the sun. to soak up some vitamin D and let it come out in words  we've been keeping inside too long.

here is what hit me on saturday, in the wake of spring: i am happy.

such a little thing to say. so vague. so presumed. so often not true, too. but in a larger sense than the immediate situation—which, if you are a parent (or a human being??), you know that the immediate situation changes startlingly drastically from one moment to the next throughout the day (can someone make a comic strip about that please?)—that is the kind of happiness i mean. a happiness that has nothing—and yet also something—to do with my immediate present. a happiness that i have very slowly found my way back to. i wrote a little about it here, a year and a half ago.

they say you change every seven years. maybe that's just your physical body, i don't know. but it has been seven years since that moment that i have not been able to talk about, which has yet informed all my writing, all my existing, and gripped me in an intractable embrace of silence and fear.

i think sorrow is not the word for it. sorrow is what you feel when you acknowledge it, and i didn't want to acknowledge it. instead, it was a continual drowning. a continual fear of the pain of sorrow. but instead of escaping sorrow, it became fear.

i read this essay recently and it struck me how much healing i robbed myself of, by not really letting myself grieve. i think mostly i was afraid to grieve. afraid of what it meant to acknowledge it, which is to let it be real. i didn't want to, and i didn't know how.

and yet, that didn't change its being real.

i think you have a choice. maybe you can either travel through the wasteland of grief, physically, painfully, forcefully, despairingly, but with acknowledgement and sorrow.

or, you can get lost in a wasteland, physically, painfully, forcefully, despairingly, but in denial and in fear.

and maybe you don't really have a choice. maybe you can only choose what you will choose because that is who you are. maybe it just takes some longer to acknowledge it, to accept the sorrow. maybe seven years is not even very long, comparatively, for a winter.

but i'm ready for spring.

Monday, March 3, 2014

sunday best: french onion soup!


it's french onion soup! i have a confession: i have never liked french onion soup. but seeing as we were all feeling a little sickish, soup sounded good, and we've just had all the other soups one too many times this winter.

smitten kitchen, if you don't know her, is a culinary goddess. she has yet to let me down. so when i came across this recipe, sunday dinner was foretold. i won't tell you that i loved it, because i still don't love it. there's something about that combination of sweet caramelized onions and slightly sour beef broth that doesn't exactly tickle my palate. but! it was definitely not bad, and loverboy tells me it was really good. so.


should you wish this french onion soup to be a part of your life too:

French Onion Soup
from Smitten Kitchen

4-5 yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
8 cups beef broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. brandy or cognac (optional--i made it without)
1 Tbsp. grated raw onion (optional, in my opinion)
1-2 cups swiss or gruyere (i used a combination)
1 Tbsp. butter melted
french bread, cut into 12-16 1-inch rounds and toasted till hard (or just toast and slice as normal)

Melt the butter and oil together in the bottom of a 4- to 5-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over moderately low heat. Add the onions, toss to coat them in oil and cover the pot. Reduce the heat to low and let them slowly steep for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, uncover the pot, raise the heat slightly and stir in the salt and sugar. Cook onions, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes until they have turned an even, deep golden brown (this didn't work for me using a stainless steel pot; i had to crank the heat up real high and it still took over an hour).

After the onions are fully caramelized, sprinkle them with flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the wine in full, then stock, a little at a time, stirring between additions. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and simmer partially covered for 30 to 40 more minutes, skimming if needed.  Stir in the cognac, if using.

Smitten Kitchen has the following directions for toasting bread and baking it with the cheese on top of the soup in the oven which sounds delicious, but we didn't, because we're just foolhardy like that. The following steps are therefore optional in this recipe. If you feel you too lack the wisdom of the broiled soups, you can skip the whole oven step, top the soup with cheese and simply serve the bread on the side, with melted cheese on top.

Or, go ahead and be by the book, how nerdy of you. It's your call:

Preheat oven to 325. Arrange ovenproof soup bowls or crocks on a large, foil-lined baking sheet. Bring the soup back to a boil and divide among bowls. To each bowl, add 1/2 teaspoon grated raw onion and a tablespoon of grated cheese. Stir to combine. Dab your croutons with a tiny bit of butter and float a few on top of your soup bowls, attempting to cover it. Mound grated cheese on top of it.

Bake soups on tray for 20 minutes, then preheat broiler. Finish for a minute or two under the broiler to brown the top lightly. Grab pot holders, and serve immediately.

Enjoy! I mean, I guess. ;)

****EDIT: (3/4/14)
this soup was actually wonderful the next day! maybe it's better when it's had a chance to sit overnight. or maybe i just like it better when i have fewer onions to eat;)