So, on Sunday I made this incredible pot roast in the slow cooker, something I’d never done before.

I rolled the roast in a mixture of garlic and Montreal steak spice, seared it, then lightly fried some onions. I put the lot of it in the crock pot with some beef drippings I had tucked in the freezer from a roast done the traditional way in the oven.  It simmered all afternoon, and smelled so good that we were all circling the crock pot by three o’clock.

Using a fork like a sword to fend off my husband, Pavlov, I quartered some cremini mushrooms and tossed them in.  The meal was exquisite, the gravy divine.  But as I was ladling the rich, spicy gravy over mashed potatoes, I realized what was missing.  The onions!

I’d sliced and fried two onions and put them in the pot.  I did!  I did!  I dug around in the gravy.  Cremini mushrooms?  Check.  Onions?  Onions?  No onions.  The things had vanished.  The only trace of them were these soft, little stick-like things that looked like herbs. At least, I assume the soft, little stick like things that looked like herbs were the onions.

Can onions dissolve?  Really?  They dissolved in the gravy?

Now, I know I should relate this somehow to writing.  There must be an analogy somewhere.  Then, it struck me.  The onions were like the part of manuscript that either:

a)      You know you have written, but of which you can find no evidence on paper or in digital format.   Did you actually write it down?  Or, did you just think about it and find the prose so brilliant that you thought you had written it down.  Or,

b)      The vanishing onions were like the parts of a story that you either deleted altogether or altered during the re-write.  You remember them vaguely.  You know they were there.  They were brilliant, lightly seasoned, but once they were gone, no one else knew they had ever existed.  They were no longer solid lumps in the gravy but they added to the texture and flavour; they became the gravy.

Does this make sense?  Perhaps it’s a rumbling tummy talking gravy.  Ah, look, it’s time:  one hot roast beef sandwich coming up!

© 2013 Sue Farrell Holler