Friday, August 19, 2011

No Tears!

Friday! Wow! Summer marches on!! Finished up with 21 quarts of pickles yesterday and 20 packages of corn. So aside from the neighbor's cattle decorating our pasture, not much else is going on out here JOTOLR today. When we call the adjacent farmer he seems to know something is up as he hangs up on us or claims he can't hear and will "get back with you." But never does!

I am "doing" onions. I have put a lot of study into preserving the onions we grow from onion sets. You know, the springtime feeling that you simply MUST plant SOMETHING....! Usually, that something is onions. But they grow like crazy up through late July or early August, and then.....they start to rot. Some of the onions have layers of brown interspersed with the pure white. So, rather than have them go to waste, I decided a couple of years ago, that I would dry them in the dehydrator. Woe betide, you say....what about those tears...??? Well, after trying several methods to avert eye-rainstorms, I have discovered the perfect "tear-less operation. And this applies to both peeling and chopping.

Here's the deal:
Using a large box fan, I turn it on (all this it outside on the porch, mind you) full blast. The Cuisinart chops, and the fan blows all the tears away. The trays you see on the far left are four layers of chopped onions, and, as you can see, as well, the fan is whirring away all the sadness inherent in cleaning and saving onions! They turn out crisp, and keep forever! A couple of years ago, I did 90 pounds of onions this way. I'm a bit shy of that this year, having been stingy on the amount we planted. They are easy to use. Simply dive your hand into the jar and grab a large handful. Add to soups, roasts, whatever! Even an interesting addition to salads as a top garnish!

Best of all: NO TEARS!!
Barring this elaborate set-up, are a few more suggestions:
Some of these are really funny! But some are serious, too.

Sunset last evening produced this oddly lit cloud.

Here's wishing you all a lovely weekend!  It's final days of the West Virginia State Fair.  Good luck, Marlene!  Hope it's been a good one for you.  Marlene Joliffe is the manager of it all, and what a job she does!  I spent last Saturday at the Fiber Arts Network venue, five hours of spinning and weaving!  How much fun!!  Take care, all.  I'm aiming for a few more posts this coming week!


  1. Elora -- When I read your posts I feel you and your husband are simply amazing!!! Now your onion operation is making me aware that I am not a farm girl. I am not that innovative. I'm a wanna be farm girl because I grew up with farm relatives. But now know that there is another path for me. I think you and your husband should publish a book about your life. I think I mentioned this before but it doesn't hurt to mention it again. -- barbara

  2. Are you saying you dry the onions with the fan. You surely don't have the high humidy we have in IN? I too would like to be able to save the onions I reaise. linda

  3. Finally a chance to drop by and see what you are up to - busy by all accounts! I just had to chime in on the onion thing. One of my dearest friends edits the food section of one of our most popular home/lifestyle magazines and a few years ago she caused quite a stir when she wrote about how she wore swimming goggles when cutting onions. Not long after she was sent some sample onion goggles (we call them the 'Onionaters') and she was so impressed she got me a pair. I've no idea if you can get them in your part of the world but basically they are a well fitting pair of clear safety glasses with foam glued all around the edges so no fumes can get in. They elicit howls of laughter when I put them on but they truly are the best thing ever! I'm sure they could be easily made at home.
    All the best with the high season - a busy but lovely time of the year. I'm just starting to get itchy planting fingers here in the southern hemisphere.