Tips and Tricks Tuesday!

Ok, I've been doing some research.  I've been digging deep and wanting to get to the truth of the matter.  I've searched every known way to man in this area (a.k.a.- the internet).  I've asked the questions, listened to the answers, watched videos, and have had my own experiments.  I have figured it out, and now I will pass on my wisdom and recent finding to you, my dear readers.  Yes, it's true.  I have finally figured out how to CUT an ONION! 

Seriously though, this has been a question I've had for many a year as mom, wife, head chef and C.F.O. of Lewisville.  My curiosity about onions was actually born years ago when I saw a cooking segment on one of those "way to early for me" morning shows.  A famous (or should I say infamous) and well known decorator, organizer, foodie, and all things perfect for your home was sharing her latest recipe with the audience.  Yup, the one you're thinking of, that's her.  She asked one of the host to cut an onion, then proceeded to chastise this poor girl because she wasn't doing it right!  Wait, there's a right way to cut an onion?

I had been traumatized because of that little segment and have always been afraid to cut an front of someone else.  What if they find out I don't know how to really cut an onion?  Until that T.V. segment, I always figured knife to onion meant chopped onions.  Not so, my friends.  Not so.

But fear not!  The onion indeed has been conquered in Lewisville, and if I ever happen to be on any "way to early for me" morning show, I will proudly show my onion cutting my pajamas.  And if you ever need to cut an onion in front of someone else, you can proudly say, "no prob!"

First of all, let's get to know our onion.  There is a root side and a bulb side to an onion.  I didn't know that for years, and still I managed a household kitchen.  Go figure.

Now that we have that straight, let's have a cry fest!

Step 1.  Cut the bulb side like so.  The root side, or hairy side as I call it, keeps the onion together.  If you cut that end first, the onion falls apart.  Smart, right?

Step 2.  I don't know how many of you actually use an entire onion in your recipes, but I usually use just half an onion at a time.  Either way, cut your onion lengthwise from bulb to root.

Step 3.  Peel the skin off one side and you're just about ready to cut!  Exciting,  I know!  If you're like me, using just half an onion at a time, save the other half  (skin and all) in a plastic baggie in the
fridge for later.

Step 3 and 1/2 .  Optional.
The pros add this step in their chopping genius, so I thought I should add it too.  I don't actually do this step, because let's face it, I'm ok with the basic steps in my kitchen.   Make a few horizontal cuts like so but not all the way through the onion.  Leave the root intact.

Step 4.  Here's where the magic happens and the real skills come out.  With the flat side of the onion on your cutting board, cut long lengths from just below the root down to the bulb.  Don't cut through the root because that's what's holding this baby together and apparently where all the crying enzymes are released.

The more lengthy cuts you have, the smaller the diced cut.

Step 5.   See how the cut lengths from the above step follow the mound of the onion?  Do that.  Now, hold your onion close to the root and cut.


And now you're asking how to keep from crying, right? 
There are a lot of "methods" to this life long question.  The answers?  Oh, they vary greatly and are rather interesting.  Do they work?  Sure!  Do I do them?  Not really.  I figure if I cried to make a meal for my family, someone else can help clean up.  Here are some helpful tips for you though.

1.  Cut your onion near a lit candle or turn on one of your gas burners.  The flame is supposed to suck all those crying enzymes from the onion.

2.  Hold a piece of bread in your mouth while you're cutting.  I....really...don't know what to say about this one except to question how someone figured this out.

3.  Freeze your onion for 20 minutes before cutting it.

4.  Rinse your onion under cold water for several minutes.

5.  Use protective gear! 

I have no idea who these people are, but I like their style!

You probably learned more about onions today than you ever thought you would, right?  Sometimes, it's the little things that makes a girl smile.