Monday, May 30, 2011


This onion was mostly hidden under a parked car on Eastlake outside the Mars Bar. It seemed intact except for a missing patch of papery outer skin. This exposed spot was whitish-yellow and embedded with tiny gray rocks from the pavement. Juice leaked from the punctures. An ambulance was parked next door with lights flashing and I imagined someone had dropped the onion because they were having a stroke. From then on I thought of it as the “Stroke Onion.” I imagined the onion’s former owner as a Russian peasant like the ones in old movies like The Battleship Potemkin.I always picture disasters as being very bizarre or dramatic and when I witness them sometimes the most horrifying thing is that they appear insignificant in comparison to the way I imagined them. The idea of an old Russian lady being rushed away in an ambulance while her new onion rolled under a car was so depressing I decided to make the Stroke Onion into the most cheerful dish I could think of, which was a stir fry. I sliced up about a third of the onion and sautéed it in olive oil, then added chopped bell pepper, asparagus, broccoli, and tofu. I seasoned the stir fry with soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, and rice vinegar. I added chopped zucchini last so it wouldn’t get mushy. The sauce-saturated onion slices covered the vegetables that couldn’t be cooked long enough to absorb flavor. I wrapped what remained of it up for future dinners.

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