What To Do With Too Many Onions?


As far as school fundraisers go, this was one I could get behind. Each child was encouraged to sell a bag of onions. Not handbags, not candles, not wrapping paper—a mixed bag of yellow and red onions.

“That’s so much better than what we’re selling—cookie dough,” a mom with kids in a different school said to me.

I’m not a fan of having my kids out selling stuff that I think people don’t really want. As soon as I see the fliers come home in the kids’ backpacks, I throw them out. I understand the school and the parents’ club is putting in a lot of work to provide new equipment, current technology and extra-curricular activities. I make a point to find ways to make up for my personal no-solicitation policy. Last year at the school’s annual auction, I bought the most expensive cookbook of my life. The kids in the class, with the help of a parent, had pulled together their favorite recipes. A mother, who doubles as a wedding photographer in civilian life, took photos of each of the kids with a chef’s hat and spatula. The photo accompanied the recipe, and it was all beautifully assembled as a colorful printed cookbook. We set out on a mission to get the cookbook, and with some strategic bidding and a credit card, the cookbook went home with us.

I’m not going to sell stuff, though. Which brings me full circle to the onions.

The goal was for each kid to sell a bag. Of all the things I’ve owned in triplicate after having a set of triplets (vibrating chairs, booster seats, toddler beds, bicycles, Big Wheels), I didn’t expect bags of onions to be on the list.

It’s fitting that multiplication is being stressed in the classroom. It gave me a chance to flex my own multiplication muscles: I was the proud owner of 54 onions, I announced to the kids.

And what lesson comes after multiplication? Division, of course. Eight onions to the neighbors, eight onions to a parent (the cookie dough/kids go to a different school parent—after all, most of the parents I socialize with were all swimming in onions themselves).

Math has never been my strong suit, though. All I can is: I’m left with a whole lot of onions.

Some have gone into macaroni salads, one went into an omelet last Saturday, one was roasted with a sweet potato. At least two of the yellow onions made a wonderful caramelized onion topping for a pan of focaccia bread. It all leaves me with . . . a lot more onions. Ideas? French onion soup? Quiche? I need to step up my onion game before they turn on me. I can all of a sudden see some merits of selling cookie dough. Even so, I’m too stubborn to let these onions go bad.

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