Many Ways to Enjoy Your Onions
Dear Fellow Gardener,
It's easy to understand why the onion has been
cultivated continuously for more than 6,000
While the jury's still out on whether eating
really makes you braver, and the idea that
hair on a bald head seems dubious, it's a
fact that the
onion is one of the most versatile vegetables
They provide an ideal foundation for meat and
dishes, soups, salads, and stews, and can be
prepared in many different ways, including
sliced, ground or minced. Pastes prepared by
grinding onions with spices are savored in many
countries, and these all-around alliums form the
basis of gravies and sauces in a number of world
cuisines. The rings come apart easily for
making them popular as a side dish in American
cuisine and as decorations in Central Europe.
Colors, Flavors and Types. White
the type most commonly used in cooking, as
to have a finer flavor than their colored
Full-flavored yellow onions can enliven
often adding sweet overtones, while red
very well in fresh salads and as accents, and
delectable choice for grilling or charbroiling.
Some Basics. Raw onions can turn
not quickly used; this is especially the case
added to sauces and pastes, which should
made fresh and used immediately, or preserved by
adding a small amount of vinegar or lemon
juice to the mix. Similarly, sautéing onions
bring out the bitter flavor, so be sure to
on medium or low heat. This will help them
become more sweet and aromatic.
By the way, cutting onions needn't be a tearful
experience. Check out our Q&A section for
how to cut up an onion without crying.
Dehydrating Your Onions. You can
onions to make them easier to store. First,
bulb ends and remove the papery skins, then
them 1/8-1/4 inch thick. Dry them at 160 degrees
Fahrenheit for 1-2 hours; then dry them at 130
degrees until completely dry, whereupon they
feel papery in texture. Package them in airtight
containers and store them in the freezer to
from absorbing moisture; otherwise, they may
Dried onions can be added straight to liquid
like stews or soups, but you should rehydrate
soaking them in cool water for an hour before
them to drier dishes such as casseroles and
stir-fries. Rehydrating them also increases
dried onions release their flavor more
Freezing Your Onions. Frozen onions will
for 3-6 months, so freezing them is a reasonable
method of preservation -- and it's simple,
wash and peel your onions, then chop them into
half-inch cubes. Put them into freezer bags and
them as flat as possible, to hasten freezing
make it easy to break off chunks as needed.
recipes, especially soups, stews, casseroles,
such, they don't need to be thawed before use.
These are just a few of the many ways you can
your onions. We're sure you can think of more!
Bruce "Onionman" Frasier
Tip of the Month
Avoiding Neck Rot
This month we're providing an important onion
instead of an onion of the month.
Neck rot, which is caused when soil-borne
organisms invade a poorly-dried neck, is one
most common diseases to strike stored onions. To
help avoid it, spray your growing onions
every 10 days
with a fungicide like Mancozeb or Seacide. When harvesting, wait
the tops dry and fall over, then pull up the
let them dry in the sun for half a day before
tops to one inch and then letting the cut
for 1-2 days. For longer drying and curing,
your onions out in a dry place out of the
2-3 weeks for complete drying.
Your onions are dry enough when the skin is
and takes on a uniform color. The entire neck
be dry, and shouldn't slide when pinched between
forefinger and thumb. Put the dried onions in
ventilated area with plenty of room around the
individual onions, so the air can flow freely
them, and check them regularly.
From Our Friends
Our friend Lynn from Crockett, Texas tells us, "Had a
good onion harvest, as you can see. These are
Granex and Contessa...hung 'em in a tree in my creek
till they dried and stuck 'em in these pantyhose and
kneehighs...keeps really good in my storeroom. I've
been buying onions from ya'll since 1975, with very
few crop failures...and when it did, you replaced the
failures, no questions asked. I'll continue to buy my
onions from ya'll 'till they plant me!"
We love hearing from our customers. Send us
favorite "onion photo" and we'll try to
include it in a
future newsletter, our next catalog or our
online Photo Album. Click
here for details on how to
submit your photos.
Around the Farm
What We're Up To Lately!
This past year has been a busy one for Dixondale
Farms, so we wanted to update you on projects we're
working on during our "off" season. First and
foremost, we try to take some time off to spend some
quiet time together. Harvesting seven days a week for
10 straight months mandates a brief rest! We're still
available to you, but we temporarily adjust our
customer service hours from 9-4 CDT.
The farm is busy now with land preparation, as well
as with installing two new pivot irrigation systems.
One of our main projects is determining seed
requirements and sourcing seed for the next year. It
seems that acquiring certain varieties is getting more
difficult each year; and since it takes two years to
produce onion seed, we need to stay ahead of the
game and make our plans years ahead.
As always, we love to hear from our customers, and
we definitely take your opinions and suggestions into
account when preparing new products or services.
From Jeanie's Kitchen
Texas Onion Casserole
- 4 large, sliced sweet onions
- 6 ounces of crushed potato chips
- 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
- 2 cans of condensed cream of chicken
- 1/2 cup of milk
Layer the onion slices, potato chips, and grated
cheese in a large baking dish, holding back a
of chips after repeating the layering. Then
the soup and milk thoroughly before pouring the
mixture over the top of the layered
ingredients. Top the
dish with the rest of the crushed chips, and
bake it at
350 degrees for an hour.
Makes 6 servings.
Q & A: More on Tearless Onions
Q. How can I cut onions without the tears?
A. Follow these steps for tearless onions.
- Cut your onions with a very sharp knife, so
fewer cells are disrupted. This releases less of the
- When you cut your onions in half, immediately
rinse each side in cold water.
- Whenever you're cutting or chopping onions, keep
your face as far away from the active area as you can.
- If you breathe through your mouth instead of your
nose while chopping, the gas that causes the tears is
less likely to get to your eyes.
- Either chill or cook the onion before cutting it.
- Cut your onions in a basin or sink full of water.
- If things really get bad and nothing else works,
wear goggles that cover your eyes completely when
Fun Onion Facts
According to tradition, the city of Chicago got its name
from the local Indian word for the wild onions that
once grew around Lake Michigan. However, it turns
out that "She-gau-gawnish" is actually the Chippewa
word for the ramp, a kind of wild leek. Oh well -- close
Send Us Your Product Reviews!
In addition to sending us photos of your
onions, we encourage you to give us
feedback on our products via the Product
Review options on the Web site. You'll find
a "write your own review" link on every
product page. Don't be shy -- we need
About Dixondale Farms
As the largest and oldest onion plant farm in the US,
Dixondale Farms offers a wide selection of top-quality,
disease-free, ready-to-plant onion plants. To see our
complete product line, request a catalog, or for
growing tips and cultural information, visit our
Web site by clicking
Whether you're planting one bunch or thousands of
acres, we're committed to your success. If you have
either questions or suggestions, we'd love to hear
from you. You can reach us from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Time, during August at 877-367-1015, or
e-mail us any time