Stinking, lying onions

I’m not usually one to shout out loud that someone is a liar. I’m more inclined to seeth quietly to myself and grumble for a bit before letting the lie go. Even a small lie – I’m no angel and I’ve told some lies (colour me a hypocrite) so I probably shouldn’t even be writing this post. However, there are some things in this life that are just too important to sit by and allow the lie to be perpetuated. Before you all hold your collective breath (hoping I still have readers of my ramblings), you might want to sit down somewhere safe, for what I am about to say is rather controversial.


Martha Stewart is a liar. There I said it. She said, on an online video tutorial that there was a way of chopping onions so that they didn’t make you cry. I watched it with glee. Finally, someone had solved the age-old culinary issue of the Weeping Amateur Cook. Julia Child just didn’t have the Stewart know how when she was practicing her onion chopping skills. Masterchef would be revolutionised. Home cooks and pub chefs alike would rejoice and finally, I would be able to chop one of those cunning,  brown-skinned alliums without sobbing and having my glasses salt spattered from the inside. (Martha/Martha’s legal team – I doubt you are reading this. But if you do, please note this a humourous post…please don’t get all cross and scary).

little balls of doom

Oh how I longed to chop an onion with my new-found knowledge! I would stand, knife in hand, onion before me and within minutes it would be lying in a pale, pellucid pile on my block of IKEA chopping board. How I would be victorious over man’s culinary nemesis! It would be all thanks to the all American home-on-the-range goddess. Maybe I should have thought harder before following her instruction; the woman had been jailed for lying about the sale of stock (to the tune of $30k). But when a woman that famous says that there is a way to chop an onion without crying a river, you kind of hope she’s learnt her lesson about lying.  How wrong could I have been? Very. Very. Wrong.

Picture the scene: a woman stands at her chopping board, onions before her awaiting their fate. The woman is ready, she has the gas on, as the clever American lady has instructed her. The knife glints dully in the halogen lights, the blade sharp. She smiles, thinking that finally, tonight will be the night she achieves that elusive state of enlightenment without shedding a tear or 10. The knife slides through the skin and glides through the translucent rings releasing the toxic fumes. No fear, she thinks, Martha has the answer. The flames will do the job and nuke the onion fumes. While the woman thinks all this, the onion gods are pissing themselves laughing.

Martha Stewart – about as much use as this duck

About half way through the first onion, the tears were streaming and I realised that I had been beaten by an onion. Again. Having said that, I’m not convinced Martha’s advice was all that sound. She’s been cooking for decades so maybe she’s just hardened to the effect that onion fumes have on the tear ducts. Maybe her advice should be to have the gas on and have a candle burning…and maybe a blow torch for back up. Whatever it should have been, the tutorial wasn’t all that helpful. So thanks for nothing Martha. Next time, I’ll stick to my own method. Not only will I save on gas and the kitchen won’t resemble a séance, but I’m bringing in the proper English way of chopping onions: goggles and a nose clip. Martha, you can have that advice for free.

We need more comedy vegetables

p.s. Tom thinks I’m a wimp. Tom can chop the onions from now on. Thanks Tom.

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