7 November 2016

Pink onions and green dresses

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.


  1. Pink onions certainly make a pretty garnish. Your pictures of Gracie are tempting me into getting another pup. Glad you told about her naughtiness, reminding me why I don't want another puppy! That blouse is very pretty, I'm sure it will make a lovely little girl's dress. Hope you enjoy your tea!


  2. I count the days till I can close my gate. Enjoy your two visitors

  3. My grandmother used to make the pink onions with her leftover pickled beets juice. Oh how I love them! I had forgotten about them until I read your post, I will now endeavor to replicate her recipe of pickled beets and then make some pink onions for myself. Thank you for the reminder!!!
    Little Gracie is so cute, I can't help but smile when you post pictures. I can't imagine a life without dogs! I have four at the moment, but living on five acres has been wonderful for them, they have lots of room to run and play, chase the horses and worry the goats. It's a good life here.
    I can't wait to see the dress you make for your grand daughter, it will be adorable I am sure!
    Have fun with your friends! I met a new friend last night at a dinner my daughter and I went to. She's in her eighties and a delight to talk with. I gave her my phone number and told her to please call when ever she wants to get out and about. I want to spend more time with her, because she is the sweetest person and I fell in love with her!

  4. Looking forward to seeing the little dress you make from repurposing your linen top.

  5. I've never heard of doing onions this way but want to try it now having seen yours. Adorable Gracie photos. Hope you have a great afternoon catching up with your friends.

  6. We are in Zeehan, Tasmania, and it is raining and raining and raining. So, I will be staying behind my locked gate (read caravan door) all day. I feel a craft day coming up.....am making Christmas decorations with felt and beads. Should get a few done. Also will be cooking a curry in the slow cooker. Gracie looks so cute..love the photos of her that you post. Have a good day Ronda and enjoy your visitors.

  7. I love the blouse, & expect it will make a gorgeous dress. Nothing better than tummy rubs!

  8. Your pink onions are an idea I will have to try. They remind me of a salad I had as a small child. Mum would slice tomato, onion and cucumber and soak them in vinegar, water and sugar, lovely, it was probably the only made up salad we had when i was little, there was no potato or pasta salad, of course that is going back 60 years. Your photos of gracie have me longing for a dog of my own, she is so cute. Hope you have a good day with your visitors. god bless from Judi

  9. I've never had pink onions made like that, and as I love to pickle beetroot I will certainly give it a try. It looks great. I am in the mood for sewing this week as well now that gardening hours during the day in the North are limited. Have a lovely week Rhonda.

  10. ooo i remember pink onions! they were very delicious! might have to give that a go too

    ohhh my, look at how fast Gracie is growing! so adorable!

    thanx for sharing

    selina from kilkivan qld

  11. Hello Rhonda - I've made pink onions too, only "the other way around". The recipe was basedon red onions and cider vinegar. (Here is a link http://thecookspyjamas.com/kitchen-basics-quick-pickled-onions/_ ). I must try your version too, Michelle in Wellington, NZ

  12. You and nannachel and damac are going to have such a lovely time tomorrow. It makes me smile just thinking about it.

  13. p.s. - at least Rosie will be easier to train than a rescue cat - my late beloved Zebby Cat would hang onto the "blunt" end of a knitting needle whenever I tried to knit, so I switched to circular needles for all knitting. Oooo - Hooray that the "down-under" Cricket Season has started - it is such a knitting-friendly sport!

  14. How cute is your Gracie, Rhonda! Our old Labrador, Sir Steve, loves belly rubs too. And chasing sticks in the river. And food of any description. And sitting right in the middle of any game of backyard cricket or frisbee or football. And taking off the minute the front gates open to the neighbours. Aren't dogs just a joy to have around! Meg:)

  15. Life with two elderly cats especially when it´s snowing is far more sedate I feel. We love dogs though and were pleased to welcome our son´s two pooches at the weekend - exit the cats lol.

    I´m a real linen lover and I love limegreen. Your grand daughter is going to adore the dress. There´s a special pleasure in recycling loved clothes. I´m crocheting a bag made of rag strips at the moment and am hoping to sew a series of flatcaps soon. My fabric stash for remakes is way too large for me to cope with all of it so a lot will have to end up as give-aways for others to tackle.

    We have the first proper snowfall today so more time for inner pursuits now the garden is in hibernation. Thank you for the pink onion recipe. Just the thing for the approaching festive season.

    Fond greetings from Sweden

  16. The Amish have red beet eggs and it is done the same way as you have done your onions- with beetroot juice :-)

  17. I would love to have the recipe for you Christmas cake that you are preparing the fruit for. I enjoy your blog. Thanks. Mary Ann Cauthen

  18. I make quick pickled onions in a similar way, although I use red onions, so they already have the colour. I might try them with the beetroot juice next time.

  19. Rhonda, reading this pink onion recipe where you use beetroot water to colour the onions reminds me to let you know - I am still using the pickled beetroot recipe you posted on 5th December 2012 and made another batch this morning (I was up with the lark) - it's a good old-fashioned recipe as you posted at the time. I love pickled beetroot and it's so easy to make.

  20. Rhonda. Re-read your recipe for the pink onions - I will use the beetroot pickling juice (I have some left from a batch of beetroot pickle made this morning) and not the beetroot 'water' as I said in my comment a few moments ago.

  21. just saw this on facebook and had to share with you: 'The best of life is life lived quietly, where nothing happens but our calm journey through the day, where change is imperceptible and the precious life is everything.' Writer John McGahern was born #onthisday in 1934.

  22. Aw I love that pic of Gracie getting a tummy rub .... makes me want to go out and get a small dog too LOL

    "I wish I could say I was always that way inclined but I'm here now and that's the main thing." I have put these words as wallpaper on my phone for the moment. I tend to beat myself up about the things I should've done when the time for regrets is way past.

    Enjoy your weekend!

    Sandie California USA


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