Friday, October 30, 2009

Guys and Onions

Onions, dry and green (scallions) and their extended family members, shallots, chives, and leeks, are low in calories. Some of them make the tear ducts leak.

Tears can add a bit of salty flavor but generally get in the way of meal preparation. The worst offenders are dry onions and shallots, both of which I use liberally.

Guys don’t tear up as much as women would prefer, but tearing up in the kitchen is only appropriate if you’ve scalded something or sliced off part of a finger. Then both tears and expletives are kosher.

I have read lots of suggestions about ways to prevent tearing up in the middle of meal preparation. I have tried most of them with varying degrees of success:

—Chill or freeze them thirty minutes prior to slicing and dicing.

—When peeling dry onions, do not cut off the root (where tear-jerking agitators are rooted) but slice up to it.

—Light a candle next to the onion. Supposedly the flame neutralizes the sulfuric fumes. Keep the kitchen lights on.

—Buy a small fan and blow away the sulfuric fumes while chopping.

The only method that works consistently is the small fan method. I found a cheap one at Target and have it as a permanent fixture on my countertop. Stoicism reigns. If size matters, buy a bigger fan. A one-foot diameter fan is probably overkill. It will blow over the wine glass.

When sautéing onions use the back burner and turn on the stove fan. You probably shouldn’t stick your head over the pan while sautéing.

To rid yourself of onion breath, eat some parsley or chew fennel seeds. Then use a toothpick to remove the parsley or fennel seeds from between your teeth. Then go to the dentist to remove the toothpick fragments, unless your dental plan doesn’t cover toothpick removals.


BusterChicken said...

Two words. ONION GOGGLES. These got a thumbs up from Consumer Reports over a year ago. I bought them and they really work. And you will look cool while you are preparing the onions.


BusterChicken said...


I see from your You Tube videos that you got the onion goggles. Very cool.