Tag Archives: pickled onions

The Importance of Onions

It’s the little things that count. I think we all know that, as it’s driven home in childhood.

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

The first small loss was the ten minutes I spent reading Wikipedia on this subject, including stories about pigs and camel’s noses. So if you find me moaning tonight that I didn’t finish my submission for Blithe Spirit, you will know why.

Meanwhile, I direct you too the question of pickled onions.

We have good crackers and we have an excellent selection of cheese (though the chilli cheddar, as I discovered last night, is hot enough to make me sweat. This is probably slightly hotter than I find ideal in a cheese.) We also have some good chutneys. However, as the bill for Christmas shopping mounted I made a few concessions to cheapness, and decided to use the pickled onions we already had.

They are just silver-skins. I bought them based on price and regretted it on first taste. They are just a cheap vinegar delivery system. The best pickled onions are the ones I used to make myself, but I don’t have time or the inclination these days. My favoured shop-bought onions are spiced pickled shallots, which have flavour, bite, depth and heat and are good to eat on their own. They are good, but not cheap, and I decided to economise. It was a bad move. I only saved a few pounds and I have now regretted the lack of decent onions several times. It hasn’t exactly spoiled Christmas, but it has caused a few regrets. For the sake of a few pounds, which really make no difference, I have gained nothing and lost much.

I am now off to ponder Ruskin and consider the wisdom of buying better onions. I may drop a few dried chillies and some peppercorns into the next lot I buy,  to ensure they have flavour.

So, next time you are tempted to save a little money, think before you do so. And remember that if you need to save money, you are probably better off doing without onions totally. Doing without is easier than eating poor quality onions. I can vouch for that.

Amazing! I have over 8,000 photos stored on WP and not one of them seems to be of pickled onions. You will have to make do with a slightly allegorical shot of Julia walking into a sunset. Happy New Year everyone!

Some Thoughts on Sandwiches

The high point of the day so far has been my lunchtime chicken sandwich. I sliced the meat from some chicken drumsticks we had in the fridge last night, added bread, mayonnaise and redcurrant jelly and ended up with sandwiches. They turned out to be rather nice. Even Julia said so, and she’s usually my sternest critic in the matter of sandwiches.

I would have liked stuffing on the sandwich too, but forgot all about cooking it until it was too late. I just checked what the Americans call stuffing, as it seemed a likely word for causing confusion. It seems that Americans call it stuffing if it’s cooked inside the bird and dressing if it’s cooked outside.

I know a local hotelier who calls it seasoning. I once asked him why.

“Well,” he said, “I have a three star hotel and provide a fine dining experience. I don’t want any of my staff asking a customer if they’d like stuffing.”

It’s back to cheese and pickle tomorrow. I like cheese and pickle.

I suppose this makes me appear both shallow and unadventurous compared to the sophisticated, cosmopolitan crowd that reads the blog so perhaps I should have pickled onions instead.