Thursday, November 21, 2013

No Use Crying Over Chopped Onions

Over my birthday trip to KC, my in-laws kindly gave me some of their garden harvests from over the summer.  Along with quart sized jars of green beans and tomato juice, I was blessed with about 15 beautiful white onions.  When stored correctly, onions can stay good for several months.  When we got home I promptly looked up some good ways to store them on Pinterest.  I found this little beauty.  Brilliant!


Then I got my new dehydrator!  I just couldn't resist making some of these jewels into powdered onion or minced dry onion for my spice rack.  

So off I went, cutting down a few onions and slicing them up for the dehydrator when all of the sudden my eyes were on FIRE! I use onion all the time in cooking so I am no stranger to the onion burn but this was bad.  Maybe because they were homegrown.  I don't know.  It was so bad this time that I almost got nauseated from the strong smell and the intense burning of my eyeballs.

So it got me thinking, why do onions make us cry?  Thanks to google, I now know.  It's because when you cut open an onion you release enzymes that react with the rest of the onion to produce a gas.  When the gas combines with water, it creates acid.  When cutting an onion, your eyes are typically the first thing this gas reaches and your body's natural reaction will be to get the acid out of the eye!  Crazy.  Who knew?  I love the information age!

This one was a little too ripe - could that be why it was so bad?

So with that in mind, I looked up some ideas on how NOT to cry.  Among ideas like wear goggles (um, no thanks), cut over steam (could work I suppose) and cut them under water (really?), was an idea that I found incredibly simple.  And a little fun.  

Stick your tongue out.  Yep, that's it.  The gas will hit your tongue first and miss your eyes.  It worked for the cutting of one onion.  Once I got to the second my eyes were starting to get itchy so I went with a vinegar trick.  Vinegar and I are besties.  Simply wipe some vinegar on your cutting board first and then go about your cutting.  It effectively worked for the rest of my cutting.

So now you know, all you need to do is stick out your tongue.  Everyone else in your house will get a kick out of it too!

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