Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's that smell?

Why it's onions, of course! Heaps of chopped onions waiting to be dehydrated or frozen.

Heaps of raw onions waiting to be chopped. (And those quart jars in the back are freshly dehydrated onions. I'm afraid you can't tell in the picture, but these onions are HUGE--like close to the size of Elodie's head. Not that she has a huge head or anything.)

And heaps of dirty, partially frozen, partially rotten onions in the garage waiting to be sorted and chopped.

Where does one family get close to 200 pounds of onions (that's Aaron's estimate)? You may have seen it on the Today show Monday morning (I didn't, but my parents did). Miller Farm, about 1 hour north of Denver, opened their farm up to the public to come and harvest FREE produce left in their fields. As I've already mentioned in this blog, we like free stuff, especially free food, so we headed up to Miller Farm Saturday morning at 9:00, right when they opened, to find literally THOUSANDS of people there, meaning a good deal of traffic to actually park and get picking. Aaron was supposed to be at work at 11:00, and as I mentioned, this place is an hour away from town, so we were in a BIT of a hurry when we finally parked. Anyone who knows Aaron knows that he takes on manual labor like a workhorse at racehorse speeds, so we (OK, mostly he--I'm 7 1/2 months pregnant and had Elodie and Xander to monitor) got right to work. It just so happened that we parked right next to the onion fields, meaning that it was definitely the most convenient to fill up our bags full of onions, run them to the car, and then come back for more onions. Now that we're nose-deep in onions, I can't quite remember why, but we decided not to go to the carrot, potato, leek, beet or kohlrabi fields until we had 10 20-lb bags of onions. Aaron then dashed over to a potato field while I took a tractor ride with the kids (Xander's farm experience would have been completely lacking without it) only to discover that the potatoes were much harder to harvest because that field wasn't already dug up like the onion fields were. So he shoveled out one 20-lb bag of potatoes, and then moved on to carrots, which also had to be dug. Meanwhile, the kids helped me grab up the partially-edible carrots which were on the surface. By this time, Aaron was going to be late for work, but we had more bags to fill, so for some reason, we decided we should go get some red onions because you can fill your bags up really fast with those. So we grabbed up three bags full. As I meandered to the car with the kids, Aaron sprinted over and noticed that some GIANT kohlrabi were easily accessible to the car, so he shoved a couple bags full of those. Does anyone know what to do with about 50 pounds of kohlrabi? I'm afraid I don't even know quite what to do with one pound of it. So please post your favorite kohlrabi recipe in the comments.
I have indicated that this farm grows giant vegetables. Check out the size of this carrot!! Not to mention the character--take a close look. It has a nice nubbin nose, a nubbin ear, two eyes chewed by some little animal, leafy hair, and even one very long nosehair. We thought it was hilarious, so we took a picture of it before we chopped it up and threw it in our three-bean soup. This one carrot made over 2 cups of chopped carrots.
Yes, indeed, we have enjoyed a bounteous harvest at this Thanksgiving time. As Aaron finally crawled into bed last night at 2:00am after chopping and sorting all those onions pictured above, he was tired, but just radiating with gratitude for the abundant blessings manifested in the incredible onion stench permeating our home. When I snuggled up to him and said, "wow, you stink," he said, "aren't we so blessed?" (Did I mention that Aaron's a workhorse? He got home from studying on campus at about 10:00pm and I think the stench of partially rotting onions in the garage where he was parking his bike motivated him to preserve the onions before they all perish and dwindle into a heap of compost.) Alas, I'd better stop blogging and go get another batch in the dehydrators! Aaron has left me without excuse by doing all the stinky prep work!


Tracy said...

I gotta go with the obvious on this one: Wow. That's a lot of onions. Congratulations?

Matthew K said...

I should mention that I pick onions as a job when I was 11 and 12 years old (we also picked radishes and weeded a lot of fields). I would come home every day smelling like onions. Good thing I was only 12 and not old enough to date, the girls would have run the other way.

Karey said...

Oh, my goodness! I cannot even imagine what I would do with 200 lbs of onions. Let alone kohlrabi. I don't even know what that is. Best of luck to you, and I hope that your house does not permanently stink of onions!

Chris said...

you guys are super industrious. Whoa. I think dehydrating is a great idea.
I need a farm like that one near me!