As the winter progresses,empty canning jars of varying sizes tend to accumulate at the back of the counter next to the dish drainer as we finish off jams, salsa, pickled carrots and other delights from the larder. All of the easy- to- reach spots in the pantry have been claimed. So now it involves hauling a chair into the pantry to get empty storage boxes down from the upper shelves, in addition to maneuvering around baskets of nuts, apples, and a rotating assortment of things that end up in there awaiting their proper place. Note to self: Next year remember to put the box of apples back outside when the mercury rises above freezing. Onions, squash,garlic and potatoes don't store as long in their company. Which brings me back to my story.When I went into the pantry to get a box down for the jars, I saw that I'd left a few sprouting onions on the floor after I'd sorted a bagful to share with a friend who stopped by last night. (I'd noticed last week that a few were beginning to sprout, and since have been using copious quantities in my already-onion-filled repertoire, as well as putting the word out to friends with whom I trade 'food for favors' that it's onion feasting time.) I soon found myself on the floor among a litter of papery red and yellow onion skins, sorting onions into piles to be used right away, those that are still nice and firm, and others which were so exuberantly sprouting that they were destined for the compost pile. Onion skins followed on my heels like a litter of rambunctious kittens as I carried the crate of onions across the kitchen and out the door, helped along by gusts of wind, which scattered them whirling across the yard.
Kitchen and pantry swept, remaining onions stored... Oh. Yeah. A box for the jars...!