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#14: Buy a cheap blender and use it to finely chop onions (it saves on time and tears).

Urs Truly isn’t very good at chopping onions. This is probably a combination of using not-sharp-enough knives and he being an A-1 Schimel. I’ve watched all the videos of the cooking pros on how to properly cut onions; they all manage to take an unpeeled onion and turn it into homogenous diced bits as fast as lighting, but it hasn’t helped honed my skills. No matter which great expert’s advice I take my grates aren’t so great. So the notion of a mechanical device sounds attractive.

I take umbrage at the notion of having a ‘cheap blender’. Mine is a king-sized-titanic-unsinkable-molly-brown contraption that laughs at onions. I confess I’ve never used it to dice onions (fine or otherwise) so I shouldn’t judge its efficacy until I try it and compare it to my amateurish attempts on the cutting board. On the other hand, isn’t The Cuisinart designed for this sort of thing? I have two of them: a large and a small. I will see if either is preferable when it comes to finely chopping onions and saving time.

Ah, but let’s look at the big picture on the ‘saving time” part of the equation. Perhaps a motorized chopper (blender or Cuisinart) may save time to dice, but there is also the time factor to get it out and set up the thing and more time to disassemble it for the dishwasher – and you better have a dishwasher as washing The Cuisinart parts by hand is a tedious and time-consuming job. Talk about penny-wise/pound-foolish.

I suppose I don’t bother to use the appliances as chopping onions seems to be something a budding chef like myself should be able to do. How does one get to finely chopped onions? Practice. I recall a scene in a movie about Julia Child in the kitchen is inundated by the aroma of cut onions as she tearfully cuts away at a basket of them. Oh the pain.

I tear up quickly when chopping onions. So far as I can tell all hacks to discourage this happening don’t work, other than having a sharp knife and cutting longitudinally rather than across the latitudes so as not to break as many cells. Less time on the cutting board helps too so this gets back to the pros and cons of using that cheap blender. I will keep hacking away at the alliums until I get it right enough, tears be damned. Besides, wielding a large knife is less tidy-up than The Cuisinart and jolly more fun to boot.

Sometimes improving life slightly isn’t worth the tears.

How do you cut your onions?

Does anyone do this in a blender or Cuisinart?

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May 2022

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