Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wild Onions! (On My Mind)

A man’s palate can in time,
 become accustomed to anything.

  Looking at this patch of wild onion poking its head up after the long cold, winter reminds me of how we discovered this savoury delight.
 The first year we were farming we had a milk cow named Mary. After a long winter of eating only dry hay, and grain we let her out in the hay field behind the barn. She was very enthusiastic about the whole thing. It was spring and everything was growing well.
 We left Mary out there for the rest of the day; I remember how hard it was to get her back in the barn that evening for milking.
 As we were milking we could smell onions but dismissed it as our imagination. We strained the milk and put it in the refrigerator to cool.
 In the morning, and always in a hurry to get out to do the chores, we decided to have cereal for breakfast. We proceeded to pour this fresh milk over our cereal.
 Let me just say Napolean was wrong I can’t imagine that onion milk would ever be palatable. Needless to say we disposed of the milk. Mary would not be going back into that field again.
 We have no idea how they found their way to this spot on the rocky island in our field. The farmer before us was a market gardener so maybe he planted them.
 Now thirty years later we look forward to our sign of spring,  these little morsels popping up from under the ice and snow.

 I use these in my cooking; they are very hot so you only need very little. I also dry them and use them all winter as flavouring in soups and other dishes. I have no idea what kind they are but they are very hardy plants. Thirty years is a long time.
 We still laugh every year remembering the onion milk, and Mary the cow.
 Now I just have to beat the deer to it.

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  1. I immediately thought of Napoleon and Pedro at the FMA competition. ;)

    We have these and we call them walking or Egyptian onions. Not sure if that is exactly correct, but ??

  2. How nice to have such large wild onions, after 30 years they are definitely wild again. We have wild onions too but they are small like chives. Now all you need are a few morel mushrooms to go with them.:)

  3. Sounds interesting.
    Have been catching up on your blog posts :) You certainly have had some problems etc.
    Take care, M

  4. As soon as you started talking about the milk cow, I knew where you were heading with the onion milk. :) Too cute! (And Nancy, thanks for the Napoleon Dynamite reference!)

  5. Vote for Pedro!!

    Onion Milk....yum!

  6. What a gift. To be able to harvest something so useful from your own property that you never planted or have to maintain. So, if it flavored the milk...might it flavor the venison?
    Blessings, Debbie

  7. Wild Onions, the bane of the dairy farmer!

    I had some volunteers come up, but they were planted by me!

  8. haha onion milk, the bane of the dairy farmer??? haha loved your post but i love your comments even more!


  9. How interesting! One of the things the milkman does everytime he picks up milk is smells the milk. I'm sure some of that is for the purpose of detecting milk that wasn't cooled properly, but also for onions...especially in the spring!
    On another note...we ALWAYS have a cow named Mary in the barn, as did Jim's dad. She's usually a cow with a pleasant personality.

  10. Love that you found wild onions! Couldn't do the onion milk. Lol:)

  11. The baby deer must not care about onion milk. I know a momma has to be careful about a lot of her favorite foods when nursing a baby.

    I'm guessing you don't have to worry about such things as death camas and loco weed where you are. Milk cows aren't real smart about what they eat and even how much. Costs their keepers a lot of vet bills.

  12. This post made me chuckle and think of the Disney Movie "Holes" where the 2 boys climb "God's Thumb" and eat wild onions to survive...when they came down the mountain there "stench" kept the lizards at away...
    I don't want to think of what "onion milk" must taste like...LOL

  13. Well I never! What a thing to happen... no wonder you still chuckle over it :D)

    Love the oniony photos - great shots!

  14. What a lovely story! I love onions. There is not a day go by when I don't eat either raw onion in a salad or use one in my cooking. I'd love to taste those wild onions. I bet they're great.

  15. We have wild onions in our yard. No idea how they got there but when my husband mows the onion smell fills the air!
    This is what's on My Mind

  16. I always learn something when I stop by here Buttons!

  17. I thought of book "holes" too!

    There is a pocket of wild onions off trail in the bighorns at about 10,000 feet - small, but tasted wonderful with trout...thank you for reminding me of when i first found them...and I want to have some of your soup!!!


The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

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