Friday, September 2, 2011

Braiding Onions

I grew onions this year! Lots of big beautiful onions for the first time! It is not, however, the first time I have planted onions, just the first time they actually grew into onions. Those are my onions in the picture above! Next year I am planting a lot more. I didn't grow enough to last us a year because I wasn't sure they would grow well this time and I didn't want to waste the space.

Since I had the onions and the cold cellar with hooks in the ceiling, I learned to braid them. I love the look of hanging onions and garlic. I'd like to hang them in the kitchen, but they wouldn't keep long in that warmth. After they are cured and dried well, they have to be kept cold. The cellar might work. This year will be the test.

It took me awhile to get the hang of braiding onions. It's not something one can just sit down and do. I read a lot of sights online that had pictures and instructions, but I still couldn't get it to work. Then one day it just hit me, I had an Aha! moment. They are braided from the bottom up, not the top down! From that point on I had it. No one told me that! All those sights I looked at never said to start at the bottom of the braid and go up!
After that it went fast. I'm used to putting a French braid in my hair and this works the same way, going in the opposite direction. It has to be quite a bit tighter, however, to hold. I had to repeat it a few times to get it tight enough to hold the onions in place. If I braided my hair that tight, I'd have a headache in no time! This one on the left is too loose and came apart.

The top pic is a final tight braid but could be even tighter. I think that part takes some practice. I have to leave the tops longer next year too. I trimmed them back a bit and I shouldn't have.

I have learned a new skill! I will have to go back and read this post before starting next year. I will have forgotten the key elements by that time, I'm sure. Next year I will do better and have a lot more onions to braid, as well!


Leigh said...

They're beautiful! Every year I plant onions, but they never seem to do very well. Actually, I think it's about time to go and harvest this year's. We love onions so I never plant enough. Love your braids. Like you, I think they're lovely to behold in the root cellar or pantry.

The Japanese Redneck said...

A very handy dandy idea. And pretty.

Have a great holiday. Am out all next week.

Darlene's Quilts and Stuff said...

I love your onions I have grown them in the past and they do keep fairly well.

Clayton said...

Very nice Sheryl. We grew Spanish onions from sets for the first time this year and a few made it into the braid.

Cher' Shots said...

Good job! We planted oninos but it was a bit too dry and they just didn't get as big as I was hoping for. But there's always next year ...
'hugs from afar'