He was a radio ham, and had all kinds of masts that he would occasionally put up, much to my parents mild annoyance.”The man seems to think he owns the place” muttered my mother. Mr Marsh must have found us children a raggle taggle bunch, always spying on him from a distance, but once he was doing his ham radio stuff with his earphones on, and crackling from outer space it was obvious he was in another world. “Well, he does seem a bit daft,”my father would sometimes say, when mother complained, “but you have to admit, he really knows his onions.”
I thought dad was really missing the point. Onions were about the last thing Mr Marsh was interested in! But later, as I heard this saying quite often, I came to realise it was a respectful acknowledgement that someone knows a lot about something. Even a brain surgeon has to know his onions, in addition to being rich. And it was only when I started writing this I learned that this saying first appeared in Harper’s Bazaar in 1922. And it was American, yet I'd heard it in South Africa, long before the digital social networks were even thought of!
This year, beside the spring onions, I grew Ailsa Craig, a very large onion. One of mine weighed just under 2 lbs! They're great fun, if you'd like a big onion for fall shows. They're not fantastic keepers, because they're so big and juicy, but they are wonderfully tasty.
Want to have real fun in your garden? Grow some onions...go on, you know you want to! Winter’s approaching, and think of the pleasure as you harvest those beautiful, fragrant globes of goodness from your garden. No garden, you say? Well, if you have a nice big pot you can grow a few onions!. Mine are grown in raised beds, but I have grown really good ones in smaller troughs.
Give it a grow!
- In acting, to make the starring celebrities cry
- By psychiatrists who liken some treatments as “peeling the layers of an onion”
- Removing splinters. Place a piece of tape or adhesive bandage over a small piece of raw onion and lay on top of a splinter. Keep the onion there for about an hour. Once you remove it, the splinter should be loosened and easier to pull out.
- Onion skins, boiled for 20 minutes make a gorgeous dye for fibers, or paper.
- To stop your windshield from freezing, rub a cut onion over it at night before the freezing temperatures start.
There are probably dozens more uses, and recipes for this versatile vegetable. In the meantime, get your seed catalogues, and start figuring out your gardening plans for next year!