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Friday, July 21, 2006

Braiding and storing onions {with pictures!}

To begin, you will need cured onions {Not sure what disease they have been cured of, but I don't think that matters just as long as they have been cured for several weeks until nice and dry} strong string, scissors and some sort of instruction manual.Cut off a long piece of the string and center it on the dried shoot of one onion.
Loop twice and tighten. {If not secure when you hold it up, do like I did and tie it in a knot}
Spread the string wide and place the second onion shoot in-between. Like so.Wrap the shoot around one piece of string
Then both pieces of stringNext, spread the string once more and tuck the onion shoot in-between.
Repeat for four hours or until your finger are turning purple from lack of blood since I had no other way of holding the string, your back is burning, your husband asks in a sarcastic voice if you've learned anything about onions {even if this homesteading thing was his idea, just bite your lip, you can get him back at a more appropriate time}, your children have informed you that they will not be eating any of the onions for the ten billionth time, and you yourself decide you hate onions. In the end you will get something that looks like this.A word of advice, try not to do it on your carpet.Or you could always stuff them into those saved nylon apple bags or panty hose. Makes life so much simpler, and you don't have to bore your friends to death by regaling the story of how you braided your onions for the first time.

And after all that work, the book says to keep your onions in a dark cool place. I had already planned on that, but {the book doesn't say but} the temperature at which you store your onions must never go over 45f {7c}. Here is where I fall back on my theory about the old timers playing pranks on newbie. WHAT!?! After all that work, they still have to go into the fridge! My root cellar is in no uncertain terms that cool in the summer. With the high being 110f {43c} yesterday, I would be lucky if my cellar was a chilly 70f {21c}. I really wish they would put this type of info at the top of the page for people like me that are only looking for directions on braiding onions. Something like BEFORE YOU START BRAIDING, YOU! YES YOU! THE ONE TRYING TO SKIP EVERYTHING AND GO STRAIGHT TO THE DIAGRAM! That might have gotten my attention. Well at least I now can say I have done it, and now there is a new project on the list, making a cooler root cellar. {Of course people that have seen the plans for my house will laugh, we are going underground}

On the rooster noodle soup front. One of the cans didn't seal correctly, so we ate the soup for dinner last night. Not bad, not bad at all. I also managed to can 9 more quarts of green beans, Today, carrot muffins, zucchini bread and canning cucumber soup, cabbage and potatoes.


Anonymous said...

Whew. All that canning, braiding, cooking and baking must wear you out. How did the "old-timers" do all that without keeling over? Oh yeah, the women *did* keel over at a young age...

Phelan said...

Are you trying to say something?

Anonymous said...

YOU CRACK ME UP! I just discovered your blog through the webring and I think it's a hoot. I, too, am in the discovery stage, but I don't think I'm as brave as you are--I don't get nearly as much done, anyway . . .

Where did you get your onion instructions? Maybe you can find a source that condones a slightly warmer storage option! LOL!


Phelan said...

I pulled the onion instructions from a book called Country Wisdom and Know-How from the editors of Storey Books. I have many homesteading books here, just pull one down, and if it has info on what I am wanting to do, I follow it. Sicne homesteading books tend to be about an individuals experinces, they all seem to differ. Lucky for me, this blog is syndicated through Livejournal, and I have a friend there that use to homestead. She will state her opinion once in a while, and to this post she says that she hung hers on her sun porch in Texas, and they did just fine.

I am happy to hear you are enjoying the blog. I thought humor and truth was the best way to go about writting about what I do here. And I am just
slightly over dramatic.

I have been out here for 4 years, homesteading for one. Many things that failed last year are doing good this year. Keeping me very busy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Ali said...

I love your blog. :)

I just wanted to remark that no doubt, this is the origin of the old phrase 'She knows her onions'.

They looked beautiful in the end, I thought, by the way. A job well done.

Faith said...

Guess what I'm doing today?

Learning to braid onions. LOL

Thanks for the post!


billy said...

I hate that onions make me cry when I cut them but they taste so good to eat though. MMMM just thinking about eating them right now making me crazy.

Rose said...

I know this post is a little old but thought I would throw this in: Seed to Seed states that onions can be stored 3-6 months at 35-45 f or 77-95 f and 60-70% humidity. The worst temps to store onions is 60-70 f. I have oodles of onions this year and am panicked about how to store them. We are getting ready to dig an underground cellar but my onions are ready now. I'm going to try the braiding and hang them in the basement until it's complete. Thanks for the tips and nice Blog BTW :-)

Unknown said...

What a wonderful blog to find! I thought I might braid a few of my onions (they're drying on my dining room table), but my storage is my tack room/kennel which I keep around 55 during the winter (in Wyoming). Colder it gets outside, the closer to the 40s it gets inside, but I do end up losing several onions. Previously stored them in laundry bags hanging from shelves. Thought braiding might be a little easier.

What did work really well was to simply dry a bunch (chopped up) and use those to throw into soups, stews, etc. Just use the whole ones for roasts and stuffing chicken, and recipes where only fresh would do. A lot of work up front (chopping -- even with the food processor) but much easier after that!


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