Pink onions and green dresses

7 November 2016
I've loved pink onions, on and off, for a long time but I seem to be making them more now. I thought I'd write about them today because they're a good festive food and you may be able to plan them into your menus somehow over the holidays. Besides, they're about the easiest thing you're likely to make. You'll need white onions and the juice from your homemade pickled beetroot.  I've never made them with commercial beetroot juice but I think it would work as well.

The perfect partner for a salmon fillet and potato salad.

Start off with good, fresh, white onions. Fresh onions are those that are coming into Australian markets now. They have no sign of that horrible bitter green sprout in the centre and if you gently squeeze them, they're not rock hard. They give a little and feel slightly juicy. Slice the onions up - the amount depends on how many onion lovers you're serving - separate the rings and drop them into a bowl of your beetroot pickling juice.  Make sure they're all covered in juice and stir every 30 minutes or so. Leave them for at least an hour and serve.  They emerge from the blood red liquid lightly pickled and looking delightfully pink. I love heaping them on top of potato salad but they'll also serve you well added to a green salad, cucumber salad, on tacos or wraps, on sandwiches or chopped up to add to egg salad or mashed potatoes. They're quite versatile and delicious.

I've been quietly working on my chores, sewing and knitting and I'm starting to think about the holidays ahead. My Christmas fruit went into a brandy soak over the weekend but I'll be making the cake later than usual so I'm not worried about developing flavour. I've used mixed dried fruit - currants, raisins, sultanas, peel and cherries, along with an extra cup of dried cranberries and some dates. They'll soak for a couple of weeks and then I'll bake up my usual Christmas cake recipe. In the next week I'll work out my Christmas menu and start to slowly prep for our lunch with the family.

Someone loves having her tummy rubbed. 
The energy level here has spiked since we started sharing our home with our very endearing little Scottie dog, Gracie. She's eating well, learning how to defend the backyard from birds (including our chooks), running through the spray while I water the vegetables, sleeping all through the night and charming everyone who meets her. But she's no saint, let me tell you. She's a real rascal and she's running off with shoes, pulling at my skirt, chewing on my best bamboo circular needles (now in the bin) and hijacking every ball of wool she finds. She's also opening us up to the joys of having a dog again. It's all good fun but I can't wait for the day when she knows what sit and stay really mean.

I have to rearrange my work room because all my baskets of wool are up off the floor now. A certain black Scottie keeps running off with any ball of wool she finds. 

I'm in the process of repurposing an old linen blouse of mine into a dress for my almost two year old grand daughter. I've printed out a pattern from Pinterest, made some modifications and will cut it out this week.  There is some pink lawn fabric here too and when the dress is made I'll make up a couple of summer nighties for her too. I love reusing something old to give it a second life. I wish I could say I was always that way inclined but I'm here now and that's the main thing.

Although I'm happy living life behind a closed gate these days, today I'll throw open the gates for a couple of special visitors.  Two moderators on the forum, nannachel and damac, are in town and will be coming over for afternoon tea today. I've met both of them before so it will be good to catch up with old friends, share ideas and talk about life.  There is never enough of that, even for an old hermit who lives behind a closed gate.