I've always known what a French Dip sandwich was--they're offered locally and everyplace I've ever been--but had never had one until a year or so ago. I tend not to eat roast beef unless I can see it. Hate fat or gristle on it. I also had not eaten French onion soup because it never looked very good to me.
A friend took me to her favorite restaurant where the French Onion Soup is the featured item, and the rest is history. I love that stuff! And the French Dip sandwich! Even better!
Neither of these items has anything to do with gravy. The base for the French Onion soup is deliciously seasoned beef broth, as is the dipping sauce (Au Jus) for the sandwich. The melted cheese atop the crouton floating on the soup (if you're lucky, the crouton is actually resting on all the onions) is usually Gruyere, I understand. I haven't tried to make the soup or dipping sauce yet, but I think I'll start with ShortChef's version above.
Recently my son's fiance invited me to go with her to look at wedding dresses. We drove about 2 1/2 hours to the city and she'd been getting in and out of those remarkably heavy dresses (even the ones in her size 2) for awhile when she got very quiet.
She asked me to help her get out of the latest dress (the attendants had been helping her up to this point. I should have known something was up) and I was standing behind her unhooking the millionth hook when she fainted dead away. I caught her midfall and laid her on the carpet. Not sure I've ever seen a face as white as that.
When she came to and I could see that she was going to live, I suggested we take a break and get some lunch. Another young woman who was also trying on dresses told me that she has seen three girls faint in bridal shops just since she herself got engaged. If you accompany someone to shop for a wedding dress, take along some crackers and cheese and a bottle of cool water.
At the restaurant, my future daughter-in-law picked like a bird at her pasta and explained that she was so hot in those dresses that she could barely breathe. She also hadn't eaten since the day before. I was just so relieved to see the color come back into her face. I ordered a French dip but was completely unable to eat it due to residual shock, I guess. I sure hope I can eat the next one I order. LOVE those things.
Next day I had lunch with my son. I asked if he wanted to know how his fiance looked in her dress (she DID find THE DRESS when we went back after lunch). He said "NO! Isn't that bad luck?" and laughed. I told him this much: she looked like a cross between a fairy princess, a second grade girl having her First Communion, and an angel.