Janet's Notebook
Dear Onion, I'm Done Crying Over You.

The eyes have had it... Find relief!

Over the years, a burnt steak or fallen soufflé have been known to cause a tear or two in my kitchen. Nothing gets my waterworks flowing more often, though, than the pesky (but oh-so-tasty) onion.

The eye-irritating enzyme released by onions is concentrated right in the onion's core. While this is a great bit of information I picked up years ago, it still remains nearly impossible for me to avoid bursting into a good cry every time I begin to dice. To date, the best way I've found to avoid it is to delegate the job to someone else!

My family is on to me, though, so I'm on the hunt for some tried-and-true methods for protecting my eyes from onion irritants. Member Jan Mullikin recently suggested an interesting method while preparing her Cream of Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Soup at the Just A Pinch Blue Ribbon Showcase. She simply puts a damp paper towel in her mouth before making the first cut! Has anyone else tried this with any success? Rumor has it that a slice of bread will work in a pinch as well.

Let me know your thoughts, suggestions or shots in the dark! I'm ready to try it all...

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Cheryl Morgan - Jul 9, 2010
I've also put them in the freezer for a few-that helps also....
Cheryl Morgan - Jul 9, 2010
I just remembered that my mother would wet a washcloth and stick the really wet end in her mouth while she cut up onions.....Hmmm. That memory just came back-might be she's going to be 85 this Sunday (the llth of July) and we're getting ready to go see her in Georgia.....Good luck! Have a great weekend! Cheryl
Teresa Koepke - Jul 9, 2010
I'm anxious to try all of these suggestions. My husband always offers to cut the onions for me because I tear up so bad I can hardly see what I'm doing - but of course being the stubborn Texan woman that I am, I never let him :)
Debra Goset - May 29, 2010
cut up the onion next to the sink while running cold water in it.....works every time.
Patti Dunkin - May 23, 2010
my eyes are watering just thinking about it. I find if I cut the onion in half and run it under cold water I can get through it with no tears.
Kelly Cox - May 9, 2010
I was informed by my Lutheran gals while we were in the kitchen at church, is that you pack in the saltines under your upper lip!
Evon Hoover - May 9, 2010
I saw on the Martha Stewart show that she lights a candle next to her work station, and never has tears. I tried it and it worked for me!
Cheryl Morgan - May 9, 2010
I've just always used the refrigerator for a few hours/days or the freezer if in a rush (for 5-10 minutes). No tears!
Colleen Champion - May 8, 2010
My dad taught me over 40 years ago to put a butter knife in your mouth while cutting the onion. Also to get the onion smell off your hands he had us shake salt onto our hands then wash them... NO SMELL! :)
Julie First-Williams - May 8, 2010
I keep mine in the fridge and use a very sharp knife no tears...have tried 1/2 piece of bread in mouth before..worked
Anne Regh - May 8, 2010
I use a chopper I purchased from the pampered chef company. I have no problem with tears, since this device covers the onion as it chops it. I have seen other versions at kitchen stores. It is very handy for onions, and other veggies, and nuts too. Love it.
Mimi Zidan - May 8, 2010
Jenny Ward - May 8, 2010
I worked in the fast food business when I was in my twenties and we would peel and cut them in half put them in a plastic container in the walk in refrigerator...We would wait til the next day at least to chop them...I never cried
Nicole Bredeweg - May 7, 2010
My friend has her husband do it for her because he has contacts. He never cries. And, if it's one of the really bad ones (Texas is known for a super sweet / super tear onion), to clear up the tears, blow your nose first. I think the fumes get stuck in the nasal cavity. It also helps to breathe through your mouth.
Lisa Turner - May 7, 2010
Tried and proven... Wet a brown paper sack piece and lay it next to the onion as you cut. NO TEARS.