Where does time go? I used to be young (and slim). We used to measure in ounces and pounds and typewriters were all the go…
The impetus for making my own pickled onions was the realisation that the Australian brand onions we had been buying for years are now ‘made in’ India. Not that I have anything against India – in fact, I love the place. I have been there several times … but what about the food miles?
The pickled onions were also much cheaper than we remember and, I mean, much cheaper. This got my back up. Why were they so cheap? Was everyone in their production getting their fair share? (I presumed Coles and Woolies were.) Was the cost to the earth for all those food miles included? I doubted it and vowed it was the last time I was buying pickled onions.
I have had this recipe, typewritten in pounds and ounces, in my recipe book for years. Neither Maus nor I have any idea from where it came. Next to the title is: “Mrs Flutey, Bluff”. I have no idea who Mrs Flutey is. I looked up ‘Bluff’ – it is in New Zealand. I am still none the wiser as to Mrs Flutey’s identity.
I made the recipe earlier in the year. I thought it was a little weird so decided against doing a post on it. At the time, I thought I would wait and see. And wait I did.
Well, my friends, they taste very good; very good, indeed.
If you check out the label of your favourite brand of pickled onions and find they are ‘made in’ some far-flung place, try this recipe; you will not be sorry. They are very sweet and spicy, just how pickled onions used to be.
The recipe is in pounds and ounces, with grams in brackets. Clearly, the recipe was first formulated in ounces and pounds. The metric is an absolute conversion so the quantities are a bit strange. Use the imperial measurements if you can, otherwise, use an estimate of the metric conversion.
- 5 lbs (2.27 kg) onions
- ½ cup salt
- 1 quart (1.14 litres) boiling water
- 2½ lbs (1.14kg) sugar
- 1 quart (1.14 litres) vinegar
- ½ oz (14g) ground cloves
- 2½ tbs* plain flour
- ½ oz (14g) mixed spice
- 1 tsp mustard (I presumed this was dry ground mustard.)
- 1 tbs* curry powder
- 2 tsp turmeric
*Assuming this recipe comes from NZ, these would be 15ml tablespoons.
- Peel the onions.
- Dissolve the salt in boiling water then allow to cool.
- Add the onions and set aside for 24 hours.
- Drain the onions.
- Put onions into sterilised jars.
- Mix all the dry ingredients to a smooth paste, with a little extra vinegar.
- Bring the vinegar and sugar to the boil.
- Add the paste to the vinegar and heat until the mixture thickens.
- When cooled, pour the mixture over the onions.
- Store for several months before using.