Monday, December 29, 2008

Know your onions

A funny thing happened me at Christmas. While all of you were out there embracing your fellow men and women in the spirit of the season, sitting drunkenly in front of card-scene roaring fires and roaring back, or jumping into lakes for charity, I was quietly musing on the place of the humble onion in my world.

For as long as I remember, (which is all my life bar the first few years and roughly the last five days), I was a staunch and vehement anti-onionist. Bringing Dracula to Abrakebabra and getting him the garlic chips stood more chance of happening than me eating a bolognese without running it through a sieve first. I could just never stand the vapoury, harsh tang of onions.

Like, apart from making for more interesting and diverse farts (there's the fart mention out of the way) I could never really see anything to recommend them. They're withery, flaky and they smell off even when they're not. They burn your mouth and they make you cry. They've killed more dates off than Jack the Ripper. So what's the point people?

I even used to think there was a conspiracy afoot. For a long time, everything I'd order to eat would come with onions. Usually sprinkled delicately throughout the side salad - almost as a garnish, as if it were some sort of treat, the vegetable version of chocolate sprinkles, or hundreds and thousands.
That was just with the sambos. Chinese meals were the real revelation though. You'd get a chicken curry and there'd be these absolutely massive, slimy peelings of onions lying placid but crocodile-like in the sauce, curled around and around on themselves like the esses of snakes eating their own arses. Ewww.

Now I could usually pick around the onion shavings in a salad or the like without much fuss, but sadly, alot of other lunchtimes would end in atomic hissy fits when I'd order a sandwich and not only NOT order onions therein but specifically go to the trouble of saying "please do not put onions on my sandwich, I will redline in an instant and go nuclear all over your hole, honest to Jasus," and what do you think would happen? Yes. It'd come out plastered, no, buried, actually nay I say, fucking festooned in onions!!!

I can't tell you how I railed against this unjust world where my wishes were ignored and everyone's default setting in the service industry was to pile on the woeful onions. Whaddaya mean he asked for no onions? Surely you have it wrong and he asked for extra onions? And who cares that he ordered ice cream? Sure everyone loves onions!

No! They fucking well don't! Does everyone love sugar on their tomatoes? Or snails in their porridge? No they fucking well don't so would you just...just...just bloody well assume you know better and go and put it on there without asking them? No you wouldn't, would you, you silly ould bollocks.

But you know what happened? They wore me down. Through sheer repeat exposure and a weariness at constantly returning food and having to wait for it all over again, fearful that if not onions this time, it would contain spiteful spittle from the put-upon kitchen staff. I simply gave up. It was easier to just bite down and think of Ireland. The oppressive and relentless march of the onion would not be held back.

So now I just sigh, mentally hold my nose a bit, and eat them. I don't idly pick one up from the shelf and eat them like apples or anything, but I just bypass my anger, pick up the pieces and get on with living my life. I've possibly acquired a taste for them in a way, by which I mean I've acquired a tolerance for how shite they taste and don't vomit when I eat them.

What else was there to do? Sure you might as well be a cannibal who's not a people person.

14 moos and woofs:

Radge said...

Were I to write a post on the foods I dislike, it would read:

Headline - Most hated of the umbers.

Article body - I fucking hate cucumbers.

Labels - Hates, Cucumbers.

Therein lies the difference between you and me, Terence.

Susan said...

Back when I was in love with my husband, I gave up onions because HE didn't like them. Maybe men just don't?

After a few years, I liked onions better than him at times, so I started cooking with them again, occasionally. Then as we got older and Himself really started getting on my nerves, onions went into everything--even, as you say, the porridge. I was ready to put them in the coffee, but then he just gave up trying to pick them out of everything and started eating them. Now he says he likes them.

God I can't win.

You're a brave man, anyhow, and bravo. Kitchen staff don't stop at spittle you know. I KNOW.

hope said...

Hubby loves to cook and believes most food groups are better served if onions, garlic and bell pepper are added. I love him....but I still pick out the bell pepper. :)

I can understand not like onions but I don't understand Radge's hatred of the lowly cucumber. Well, I can think of a reason but that would be rude. ;)

Baino said...

Anything in excess is unpleasant. I love onions frankly but then my rancid breath rarely comes close to anothers. Unlike my son who overdoses everything with garlic until the whole house smells like a garlic processing plant. Personally, I have an aversion to anything with suckers on its legs or things made with lips and arseholes aka the humble sausage . . bleagh! Not going to lose that battle in the near future!

Terence McDanger said...

A cucumber lies between me and Radge. I'm not entirely comfortable with that.

Susan, please DON'T tell me more.

Oh hope got the cucumber joke in first. Dang.

Baino, I thought the only thing made with lips and arseholes was the Rolling Stones. Just goes to show how wrong you can be, eh?

hope said...

Happy New Year, oh dangerous one!

Kath Lockett said...

Susan's right - angry kitchen staff can do worse things than festoon (love that word) your onionless sandwich with more of the same. I'm still trying to repress the memory of a smoked salmon and raspberry coulis mix and mash done purely out of spite....

Raw onion or shallots or chives or whatever other distant relative of the onions are my hates - they literally stay with me for days.

And pumpkin. Hate. HATE the stuff - like Satan's evil interference with a carrot, potato and something else unmentionable...

Susan said...

Rolling Stones HAAA good one. It makes up for the stolen cucumber reference.

English Mum said...

I'm with you on the salad - why do they sprinkle bits of it all over the place - disguising it in the lettuce so you accidentally eat bits? Ew and those massive bits in Chinese food too - I hate those. But chopped and sauteed and all that sort of thing I like them fine.

My Dad hates garlic. Something evil in me makes me put garlic in everything I cook for him when he visits. And do you know what? He never notices. Heh.

K8 said...

(giggle @ last line!)

My friend's mother eats a raw onion every day. She peels it, then bites into it like as though she was eating an apple, and somehow manages to stay dry-eyed.


I love onions, me, but that's just ridiculous.

Thriftcriminal said...

Fry them in butter and a little brown sugar (and a small amount of balsamic if you want). Layer them on the bottom of a dish. Cover with strong mature cheddar cheese. Layer some thinly rolled pastry on top. Bake in oven (185) for 30 mins.

Nom nom.

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