Candy in the kitchen cooking all the family's holiday favorite foods on Sunday. Christmas music playing festively in the background and the family comfortably nestled around hearth and home. It's a beautiful holiday picture...until it came time to chop up the onions. The kids were horrified by mom's sudden red and tearing eyes and I was stifled by the pain and stinging.
I tried some of my best known tricks for stopping the torture while chopping onions
- Put a match stick between your teeth. (I tried both lit and not lit)
- Run the water while chopping.
- Light a candle.
None of them worked. I was crying like a little baby-and the stinging was so painful that I had to stop completely more than once. I even contemplated shorting the recipe of chopped onions because I seriously couldn't put myself through the agony for one more second.
There's no "Holly Jolly Christmas" without everybody's favorite foods-so what am I to do? What do you do? Because seriously-I'm considering using the scuba mask like my friend in the picture above. Legend has it that as the onions grow under the ground absorb the sulfurs from the earth that cause the painful gasses to emit when chopping.
A quick internet search shows several tried and true ways to stop the tearing. I'm ready and willing to try anything at this point:
- Cut an onion under the vent-put a cutting board on the stove top and turn on the vent overhead. The ventilation fan is supposed to redirect the fumes away from your eyes.
- Wear goggles-you can purchase specifically designed goggles for onion cutting, but everything that I read says swimming goggles work just as well.
- Freeze the onion-put the onion in the freezer 15 minutes before chopping. Theory is that the cold inhibits the onion's release of the painful gasses.
- Put a piece of bread in your mouth-probably the easiest and most effective. The thinking here is that the bread absorbs all the bad stuff, but users of this method report that your mouth will water while chopping causing one soggy piece if bread in the end.
All in all-I don't care which one causes what as long as it works! Because a Christmas without onions is like the year without a Santa Claus!