I had a bit of a problem. Well it was a good problem, but with a knock on effect that turned it into a not so good problem. But in terms of real life serious problems it is hardly a blip at all so could probably be described as a good problem to have. I grew my onions too big!
Normally my harvest is a mixed bag of small, medium and large. The medium and large ones are set aside for the normal purpose of eating onion and generally end up in every meal in one way or another. And the small ones get pickled and stored way to provide a deliciously sour crunch to our platters when we entertain, in sandwiches – gosh you can’t beat a simple cheese and pickled onion sandwich or just munched upon whole as a treat stolen from the jar.
The thing is this season my onion crop was a huge success and it grew well… too well and they were all large or huge. There were a couple of tiddlers, but certainly not enough to make the effort of pickling them worthwhile. I was resigned to the fact there would be no pickled onions this year. To be honest I shouldn’t be complaining as there was that year where my entire onion harvest – which was supposed to be a year’s supply of onions ended up pickled in two medium sized jars. Some seasons are good for some crops and terrible for others.
However, while at the grocery store, I noticed bags of pickling onions at a very good price and I couldn’t help myself, and a kilo of onions ended up in my trolley. I normally just pass through the produce section and often wonder what the checkout staff must think of my seemly unhealthy trolley filled to the brim but bereft of vegetables.
I used an old favourite recipe from the reliable Edmonds Cookbook, although I did split the batch and used white vinegar for half of them as more and more of my friends and family struggle with the debilitating effects of gluten and so when they come to visit I like to be able to offer them food on my entertaining platters they don’t need to worry about. The other half I made with malt vinegar as it is the traditional way to pickle them from my childhood and they taste great that way and invoke such nostalgic memories.
So, I am excited to say there will be pickled onions in the very near future, I just need to manage the long wait while they soak in all that good pickling juice!
Come again soon – the garden seems to be doing ok… for now.
Sarah the Gardener : o)