Sandi is blogging from the WhistleStop Cafe kitchen. It's all about good home cooking; food, family and fun. Thousands of posts . . .

~In the south and around the world.



Sunday, October 14, 2007

Don't Cry For Me~

When you are slicing an onion, do you get tears in your eyes? I never have and now I know why. I have always had terrible nearsightedness and worn contact lenses.

My opthalmologist has fitted me with this new prescription. It is do- I guess- to approaching the big 5.0. I am having trouble with the little print, which used to be the only thing I could see. Now I have only one lens to see the person across the table from me. I guess my brain knows which eye to use.
So Back to the onion. Now I cry out of one eye! The eye that doesn't have a contact lens cries big tears~ that is attractive.

I am going to have to start using some of these tips to avoid tears while chopping an onion.
*freeze the onion for 5-8 minutes before chopping
*cut out the root end before chopping
*light a candle to absorb the sulfuric fumes
*slice under running water
*breathe through your mouth
*chew gum while slicing and dicing
*put white vinegar on the cutting board to neutralize the onion

Time to fess up~ What do y'all do?
Sandi

38 comments:

Lydia said...

I never tried this, but a woman in one of my cooking groups wore swim goggles while she worked with onions. That really seemed to help, and it amused the rest of us!

justabeachkat said...

I was told to hold a toothpick in my mouth between my teeth while I cut. It seems to work...but who knows since I wear contacts in both eyes. One of my contacts is for up close and the other is for distance. The brain is amazing!

BTW, the best way to get the onion smell off your hands is to rub them on a stainless steel sink as you wash them. If your sink isn't stainless, then rub them on something that is.

Hugs!
Kat

Andi said...

The best solution I've found is to have my husband chop the onions for me!!!

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

Well I thought you were supposed to leave the end on...AND I hold my breath or breathe thru my mouth...
for some reason I don't have a problem when I can get and use Vidalia's...
(())

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Contacts kept me from crying for years . . . now I cry. I'm sure the goggles would work but if they have vent holes in them they might not.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Lydia~ now that's a picture
Kat~ I had heard that... that may be another post.
Andi~ I like your way of thinking!
Francie~ I don't think the sweet onions are as bad.
1/2 cups~ just don't rub your eyes!

Jamie Dawn said...

I cry my way through it.
Bring out the violins...
Boo-hoo!!
I need to try some of those tips next time.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

I just slice the darn thing as fast as I can and let the tears flow. A good cry is good for you every now and then.

Nunnie's Attic said...

I've heard them all and I really don't think that there is any magic answer. And believe me, I've looked! The only thing for sure that works is covering the surface of your eye with a protective layer, hence the contact lens. Since I don't wear contacts, I cry often!!

Love,
Julie

Penny @ Lavender Hill Studio said...

I usually only use Vidalia or Texas Sweet Onions and they don't seem to make me tear up.

Penny

GardenGoose said...

when I have used onions at room temperature..I always would cry... I keep them in the produce compartment of my refrigerator..and since they are cold when I slice them..no more tears...and I do not ever slice off the root end while cutting up the onion.I have done that before and it seemed like the tearing up was worse.

katiez said...

I once heard that you should slice them under running water.... That idiot obviously never had to slice an onion!
Nothing works....

willzmom said...

Buy the frozen chopped onions? Just kidding, I haven't found anything that works, I just cry and chop, cry and chop!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Jamie~ violins... funny!
Susan~ You are right, everyone needs a good cry now and then.
Julie~ don't complain about perfect vision!
Penny~ the sweet onions don't seem as bad.
Goose~ you stick to the cold theory!
KatieZ~ I thought the same thing when I read that
Mom~ I have never used those frozen chopped onions... I can't imagine they are as good.

Mary Isabella said...

What good tips . I love onions but they do make me cry. LOL mary

Sandi McBride said...

none of it works, lol...you're doomed to cry old girl...just get used to having someone else do all your onion chopping!

PAT said...

Well Sandi...now I am compelled to tell you my "Onion Factory" story. Many years ago in a galaxy far far away...I worked in an onion ring factory. My purpose in life, was to separate the raw rings as they bounced down a conveyer belt that resembled a cross between chicken wire and barbed wire!!! I worked the "day shift". The first 15 minutes of every morning, I cried like a baby...then my tears dried up and I was good to go the rest of the day! Fortunately I came to my senses after a month or so and went running and screaming back to my job in retail!! Which, in reality, can cause a tear or two, also!

Pat

JANET said...

I just cry! Thanks for these solutions.

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

This was a fun post to read!!

Kari said...

I never cry when I chop onions. And no, smarty pants, it's not because I'm a cold blooded wench, it's because I never take my contacts out (unless it's to switch with a new pair!).

That stainless steel thing that Kat mentioned? It's true! I used to use a stainless steel soup spoon under running water and it always worked. And now Martha Stewart sells this thing that's shaped like a bar of soap and is made of stainless steel - you use it to "wash" your hands after you cut an onion. My dad and stepmom got me one for my birthday (check Macy's online for one).

rpm said...

If I have to chop a lot, I'll wear my sunglasses and it seems to work.

T*mmy said...

Stick out my tongue...but this doesn't always work with the stronger ones...lol!

Scarlett said...

Tried them all, the only thing that does work is under running water.

For me anyway.

The stainless steel sink rubbing thing is hysterical.

After cutting them at work, we use lemon juice.

Love your blog, will be back.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Pat~ That is a post in itself. You had me rolling!
y'all are funny =D

gigi said...

I'm done crying. I buy my onions pre-chopped or I tell my sweetie, no onions for you! :) Great Post Sandi!

Sally said...

I never thought about my contacts keeping me from crying while chopping onions. I've never had a problem with that. I suppose it's possible. Speaking from the *other side* of the big 5.0., I wear contacts and still have to wear reading glasses ("cheaters"). Ain't life grand?!

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Great tips!!!!! Will have to try them out. Making lentil and pea soup tonight..which involves chopping an onion!

I have the same problem with small print...must have my glasses on at all times now.

xo,

Becky

Sugar Bear said...

I've tried two things that both seem to work.
1. Open the freezer, stick your face in with your eyes closed and the open your eyes to get the burst of cold air. Dries up tears really quick.
2. Hold a slice of bread in your mouth. I don't know why this works but it has for me!
Karla

Susie Q said...

I have actually used the swim goggle thing and it worked! I am sure I look just ravishing but hey...
I loved this post Sandi!

Hugs,
Sue

Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Hold an (unlit)match in your mouth with the head of the match facing out. The match head absorbs the onion fumes. If chopping a lot, you may have to replace the match a time or two. Vidlia onions don't make me cry, though!

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

We sell at the shop a little bar of "soap" which is actually a little soap-shaped bar of aluminum. We were given one at home as a sample to try... you "wash" your hands with it before cutting the onion and it works! Some sort of reaction between the aluminum and onion.

BeachysCapeCodCupboard said...

OOPS! Stainless steel - not aluminum - heehee! Glad I'm not the lady working on the sales floor at the shop!

Mallow said...

I've never found a trick before - I just suffer! But your story is very interesting!

ShabbyInTheCity said...

I had to chop three big ones yesterday and couldn't remember what to do *sniff*!

Adriann said...

I use the old slice under running water trick. It seems to work for me.

Nicole said...

What works for me is to use a sharp knife and work as quickly as possible! I have a kitchen candle on my island (where I do the majority of chopping) and when an onion is especially strong and starts burning my eyes, I light the candle and wave the smoke from the match around a bit in front of me. It does work!

My method for cutting an onion is to leave the root end intact. I slice through the middle of the onion (cutting right through the root end), then peel the halves. Working with one half at a time and with the flat side against the cutting board, I make vertical slices cutting up to, but not through, the root end so that it all stays together. Then turn the onion half 90 degrees and cut slices across. This is the fastest most efficient way of dicing an onion and as long as my knife is sharp, I generally don't have too many tears!

Josh said...

I've always done some of the things you've suggested, but I've taken your post as an opportunity for improvement. Going forward, I will:

o Wear Goggles (or, diving mask)

o Stick Onion on Distant Wall and Use Throwing Knives

o Place Onion Below Ladder and Drop An Evenly Balanced Slicer From Top of Ladder

Thanks for helping bring good things to life...

Kbg said...

I just found your site as I am a regular reader of Jerry's blog.

I know this is a late response to this older post, but here is a trick I use that always works when cutting onions.

It is not your EYES that are affected, but rather your NOSE. Your eyes secrete tears as a result of the smell your nose is smelling.

Below your nose above your lip is a little indentation...put a little scented lotion or dish soap there and your nose will smell that and NOT the onion. There will be no tears while cutting the onion. Try it and let me know if it works for you. It works for everyone I have shared this with...good luck.

Love your blog.

Kayte

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