Friday, November 13, 2009

Onions and Demons

on⋅ion [uhn-yuh n]
1. a plant, Allium cepa, of the amaryllis family, having an edible, succulent, pungent bulb
2. The bulb of the onion plant
3. Former kryptonite to The UE

I used to hate onions. Hate them. HATE THEM. Onions were the scourge of my world. I can’t even begin to tell you how deeply I despised those wretched bulbs for the disgusting, awful, sour vegetables that they are.

But as stated in past posts, I have come to appreciate the onion for its value. The seasoning it provides, the slight amplification in flavor it can offer, and the dish textures it enhances. Onions aren’t too bad to me these days.

In the past, I have internalized this personal growth as an indicator that if you are open, whole new worlds can become available. However what I did not appreciate in my own introspection of my relationship with onions is just how long I let this veggie hold power over my life. For years, decades even, I used to avoid them like the plague. I would root them out of every burger, every sauce and every garnish in which they would come standard. In hindsight, I expended volumes of energy fighting the battle against onions when in reality I was failing to face the inner demon that held me back from letting onions no longer control me – my past experiences with onions.

When I was a young man, my mother used to put onions in everything. She loved the spicy white onion in particular. Her belief was that onions added such a robust, enjoyable flavor to every dish, the concept of “liberal application” no longer applied. So I was forced to eat onions as a child. Children, as we all know, dislike any vegetable as our young palates have yet to acquire the comprehension necessary to enjoy the more complex flavors of vegetables versus the naturally sweet and agreeable flavors of fruits.

So I hated them. And because I had them in my meals so much, I deplored them. And because I deplored them, I sought any means possible to rid myself of them as quickly as possible.

– I cut a hole in the window screen of my room so I could toss them out of the window when no one was looking

– I would finish my soda quickly and stuff them in the empty can to be thrown out with the rest of the trash

– I would chew a big bite and excuse myself to the bathroom where I would flush them down the toilet

The Young UE reserved no creative avenues in battle against the onion (sorry Ma, I know you read my blog). It took a lot of brainpower to outwit my parents and dispose of the much hated, layered beast. However as I matured, I began to approach my life with a more open perspective, and at some point, decided to face my demons. Onions, I decided, would no longer be the steward of my meals. I would now decide the fate of a dish, not the ingredients within. I began buying onions for soups. I started mincing onions to give my burgers a little extra juice. I even ordered hot dogs with extra grilled onions. And I ate every last bite.

A whole new world of flavors and possibilities wsa opened to me once I made the decision to stop living in the then of my unpalatable memories and start living for the flavors of the now. In that realization, I began to understand that in order to truly live life, you have to let go of your demons from the past.

Farewell to all you ghouls, goblins and specters!

- The UE


Courtney said...

Onions are amazing.

Although I understand. I hated avocados for years before I finally gave in and realized they're amazing. Tastes change and now I make sure to try [almost] anything before I decide if I like it.

Jasmin said...

the best way to experience life completely is to be open minded moving forward; onions may have scarred you in the past but you take these experiences and be proud of your battle wounds, im sure you appreciate onions a lot more now just because you used to hate them...