The Hunter Gatherer


Onions 001 Wm[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=


The humble onion


We have a glut.

But, I hear you ask, isn’t it an odd time of year to be harvesting onions? You’d be right. And, hold on a minute, when did Jessica ever mention the growing of onions at all? Right again. I’ve considered trying the red ones.. they add a nice bit of crunch to a salad. Good for you too. But I’m told they’re tricky. And the white ones really aren’t worth the bother because we use so very few. So how is it then that we seem to have acquired as many oignons (blancs) as a Frenchman on a bike? Well dear reader, I will tell you. Mike has taken over the internet grocery shopping.

 Our preferred grocery provider is a past master at the laying of a trap and there are countless examples littering their system. The most obvious (to some) is the default unit of measurement for loose fruit and vegetables: 1kg. One has to remember to alter the drop down box to the simple unit of ‘1’, should a single item be all that is required. Now I’m quite sure this point was adequately covered in user training but something does appear to have slipped through the net.

Mike has adopted his new task with enthusiasm. He already has forward orders placed through until April.

Wish me luck..?


2017-10-24T19:32:42+00:00February 4th, 2016|Tags: |


  1. Marian St.Clair February 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Does Mike cook too? There’s always onion pie. When Tim shops with me we end up with all sorts of stuff; he’s good at sneaking things in I don’t see until we get home. He can only cook hot dogs (yuck), but he’s good with the vacuum, which makes up for everything.

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 5:41 pm - Reply

      He usually prepares all the ingredients for me when I’m cooking.. just as well as there’ll be a lot of onions to chop 🙂

  2. Backlane Notebook February 4, 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    Gosh sorry to laugh but as you say at least onions are good for you. French onion soup would use up a good number and you could cook more and freeze them to add to other recipes.

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 5:42 pm - Reply

      Yes, I had in mind going looking for that recipe. It’s the weather for it too.

  3. sadasilva February 4, 2016 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    I’ve never had any luck with my husband grocery shopping. He has been known to come home with all manner of obscure delicacies and nothing that was on my list. I wouldn’t be brave enough to even let him know he could do it on line!
    Perhaps a few freezeable recipes that require onions? Fortunately they have a fairly good shelf life!
    I wonder what other surprises you have in store..

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 5:58 pm - Reply

      Hello and welcome!
      The trouble online comes when you start searching for stuff. I needed some pecans for a bread recipe.. put ‘pecans’ in the search and up came Pecan and Butterscotch yum yums (sticky buns). In the trolley.. Now that wouldn’t have happened in the shop because I know better than to even walk past cakes..

  4. annincumbria February 4, 2016 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    I get frustrated with my OH because he can’t even turn the computer on let alone use it but perhaps that’s a good thing ???? Bet your glad it wasn’t a kilo of mushrooms

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

      It is a good thing believe me!
      Yes, a kilo would be a fair few mushrooms..

  5. Sue Garrett February 4, 2016 at 1:48 pm - Reply

    Mrtyn did something similar when ordreing onion and shallot sets and we ended up with 7kg sacks of everything instead on 500g – fortunately we have managed ro sell the excess on but at a loss!

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

      Ooops. It is so easy. I’ve very nearly done that too, it’s usually the price that makes me look back and check.

  6. Sam February 4, 2016 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    Ha ha – you could end up with some very interesting results. Onion soup, onion relish, onion gravy (to freeze and have with sausages), make lots of soffritto (sauteed onions, carrots and celery) to freeze and use as bases in soups, casseroles, etc?

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:19 pm - Reply

      I am learning to be inventive. Sometimes it’s the supermarket that makes the mistake rather than us but because they’ve left by the time we’ve walked it all down the 84 steps and unpacked I still end up with a few things to shift!

  7. FlowerAlley February 4, 2016 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Hmmmm. I wonder what else has been bought in bulk?

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      There will be more slips of the keys I have no doubt. Now if only it could be chocolate next time rather than onions..

  8. AnnetteM February 4, 2016 at 2:23 pm - Reply

    So sorry Jessica, I started laughing at the words ‘internet grocery shopping’ and am still smiling. He will remember next time – maybe?

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      Maybe.. 🙂

  9. Denise February 4, 2016 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    French onion soup? I bake my onions in the oven then blitz them with a couple of oxo cubes for gorgeous gravy.

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      At least it’s the right time of year for hot and savoury dishes.

  10. M. L. Kappa February 4, 2016 at 2:34 pm - Reply

    Ha! Lovely! Good thing onions last forever. And you can do loads with them.

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:23 pm - Reply

      They do store well don’t they. It is just as well because I have a feeling they’ll be around for a while.

  11. Jacqueline February 4, 2016 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    Been there, done that !!!!! It was when I first did online shopping with Ocado that I made that mistake !! After 15 years of shopping with them I have now got the hang of it !! Don’t blame Mike …. it happens to the best of us ! XXXX

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:26 pm - Reply

      Don’t worry, we are still laughing about it. Every recipe I come up with now has to have onions in it.

  12. Island Threads February 4, 2016 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    they will keep Jessica, just don’t order any more for a year maybe, re growing red onions, I didn’t find it difficult and I have grown them since we have had all this wet weather, just put them in a raised bed for good drainage, as you have clay soil, dig in some grit or sand first, I’ve also grown white and red shallots, lovely in salads and stir fries, your main problem will be birds, for some obscure reason they pull them up when first planted, before the roots get down, I usually buy sets but I did use seed once, the onions were smaller, the books say to plant them on the surface so most of the bulb is above ground, I have found planting them so the bulb is covered doesn’t make any difference to growth but does help hide them from the birds, I have also covered them will fleece or fine net when first planted to keep the birds off, once the onions take root the birds loose interest and leave them alone, Frances

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:28 pm - Reply

      That’s encouraging Frances, thank you, I think I will give the red onions a go. I can do a raised bed and a net cover.

  13. Jess February 4, 2016 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    I do the internet shopping and I’ve made many mistakes! How the family laughed when 2 tiny boxes of baby food arrived instead of the big packets of cereal I’d ordered. There was the time 1 banana arrived instead of a whole bunch and the one teeny 1pt of milk that I thought was one of those big flagon things.
    Anyway, I love onion soup. xx

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:33 pm - Reply

      Check carefully because sometimes the errors may not be of your making.. the supermarkets do some crazy things too. And we’ve had some ludicrous substitutions, like bananas instead of bread. Seriously!

  14. joturner57 February 4, 2016 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    Your post brought a smile…haven’t done internet shopping, but can relate to the challenges of another family member (spouse, children) doing the shopping…You now probably have all sorts of inspiring ideas of what to do with this allium abundance…and lucky for you, they of course keep well…@theywereoutofgarlicsoigotginger : /

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:39 pm - Reply

      Thankfully I’ve collected many cookery books over the years. And the even quicker way now is to put the offending ingredient into google and see what recipes come up!

  15. Christina February 4, 2016 at 4:59 pm - Reply

    Can you change the forward orders? Surely you can. It is the same with low cost airlines now – default is yes to insurance, yes to speedy boarding, yes to… oh everything really and it is so easy to forget!

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      Yes you can change them. The post was a bit tongue in cheek. We book in advance because of where we live. It’s more of a problem over the summer, but Easter too the holiday cottages fill up and so do the delivery slots. The orders can be changed right up until the day before delivery, but by booking now with a list of basics I know I’ve got the slot in the bag ahead of the mad scramble.

  16. Cathy February 4, 2016 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    Yes, we have all had a laugh at your (and Mike’s) expense but we know you will do something very practical with every last one of them!

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:51 pm - Reply

      I wonder if you can overdose on onions. It certainly won’t do a lot for the breath.

  17. Charlie@Seattle Trekker February 4, 2016 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    For the sake of a very important relationship I am sure you find the magic answer to make good use of your abundance.

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm - Reply

      At least we can laugh about it 🙂

  18. Brian Skeys February 4, 2016 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Irene claims she always spends more when I go shopping with her. We did our first internet grocery shop for Christmas, it was interesting and took as long as going to the SM! We did avoid the crowds though.

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      It gets quicker over time, much quicker. Especially if you can create a list on the system to use as a basis for each shop. I wouldn’t do it any other way now. Crowd avoidance is enough of an incentive on its own.

  19. willow February 4, 2016 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    Its easily done. We have a large veg box delivered every week. Last year when we were away and our son was here on his own I thought I had changed the order to a small box. It turned out that I had ordered the small box in addition, enough veg for 4/5 people was delivered. To his credit he managed to eat most of it!

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      Good for him! At least he had a healthy, if perhaps monotonous, diet while you were away.

  20. Denise February 4, 2016 at 6:04 pm - Reply

    I wonder if squirrels like onions….

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      I bet they don’t. Wretched things. They’d collect up all the bits and repackage them somehow. Leave them out for me as a tempting treat..

  21. Kris P February 4, 2016 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Oh my! In our house, it’s more likely to be me than my husband to make an error like that on an internet order. I’ve been considering ordering groceries on-line as I hate grocery shopping – now I’m forewarned!

    • Jessica February 4, 2016 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      Forewarned yes, but don’t let it hold you back. Internet grocery shopping is one of life’s great luxuries. I too hate in-store shopping with a passion.

  22. Linda aka Crafty Gardener February 4, 2016 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    Hm-m lots of onions eh! How about onion soup, dried onions, and more. But they don’t go bad quickly. It’s a live and learn thing. I’m sure it won’t happen again.

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      Just as life is full of adventure, even grocery deliveries!

  23. Anna February 4, 2016 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    I’ve fallen for that trap too more than once so fully sympathise with Mike. He’s still at the learning stage so can only improve. Well at least onions will not need to feature on the shopping list for some time to come and they keep well. Red onions can be a bit iffy but are worth having a go even if you do not grow them to full size.

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      To be honest less than full size would suit. Not being a tremendous fan we rarely get through a whole one. I shall give them a go.

  24. frayed at the edge February 4, 2016 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    It’s a pity you don’t live closer. or I could have taken the onions off your hands – we use a lot of onions. I think most (savoury) things that I cook start with chopped onions gently sweating in a saucepan!

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 6:58 pm - Reply

      I’m sure I’ll use them up eventually. In the meantime they are imparting a delicate aroma to the cupboard.

  25. Sarah February 4, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

    I’ve never done an Internet supermarket shop – I know I’m a dinosaur, but I like to support my local shops on the basis that you use them or lose them. However, my dear old dad was a master and faithfully put in his order every week. I chop an onion or two every day and would use a glut in Onion soup, onion tart, onion marmalade. I freeze portions of softened onion, carrot and celery when the latter two are growing prolifically on the plot. Talking of which I planted two dozen English shallots at the allotment today – bought half price in Waitrose I’m almost ashamed to say – but freshly harvested shallots are so delicious in the summer.

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:04 pm - Reply

      If there were such a thing as a local shop I would support it too. To complete a weekly shop I’d have to drive at least half an hour away, so an hour’s round trip plus shopping time and the cost in petrol. Yet the supermarket deliver free to my door. It’s a difficult one to resist.

  26. Wendy February 4, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    You have made me smile, Jessica. The perils of internet shopping! I wonder how you’ll feel about onions in a few weeks/months time?

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:06 pm - Reply

      Ready for an onion free summer!

  27. Amy at love made my home February 4, 2016 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    Onion soup???? xx

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:07 pm - Reply

      Quite possibly!

  28. CJ February 4, 2016 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Wonderful. I remember ordering three kilos of something or other (bananas?) instead of three single fruits one time. One way or another they will get us all in the end. CJ xx

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:09 pm - Reply

      They do take them back apparently, but you have to spot the mistake before the delivery driver leaves.

  29. Sol February 4, 2016 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    caramalise the onions in big rounds and make onion tart tatin. yum

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:10 pm - Reply

      That does sound yum! Goes in search of recipe..

  30. Amy February 4, 2016 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Not the vegetable you want to surfeit on… Though onions are a staple my larder, and I’m all for French onion soup with toast and cheese du jour! (Which means whatever cheese is in the refrigerator and suitable…) I did try growing them one year, but my sister objected to eating the harvest. She said I had simply buried them in the ground for a matter of months and then dug them up again 😛

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:25 pm - Reply

      That makes your effort sound far too easy!

  31. jenhumm116 February 4, 2016 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    It’s enough to make you cry 😉

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:28 pm - Reply

      It did too.. the first one I tried was a strong one ????

  32. Peter/Outlaw February 5, 2016 at 12:25 am - Reply

    I’ve not tried internet grocery shopping yet. What a fun post. I use a lot of onions so this would not be a problem at our house but i do feel your pain even though I’m laughing.

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:33 pm - Reply

      I’m in a definite minority being an occasionally onion user.. perhaps I should be flogging them off to the neighbours.

  33. Beth @ PlantPostings February 5, 2016 at 2:53 am - Reply

    Good thing onions keep. 🙂 Actually, we probably grow through 1 kg of onions pretty quickly. I use them in so many dishes. (Unless I’m misunderstanding the amount Mike accidentally ordered?) This was a fun post. These kinds of things make life interesting, no? 😉

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      They do give us a bit of a laugh don’t they. Somehow we seem to be missing a lunch from the latest delivery (!) so the onion tart might happen sooner than planned.

  34. Cro Magnon February 5, 2016 at 6:51 am - Reply

    I grow lots of red onions, and have just run-out. I hate buying onions, but what else can I do?

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

      Hi Cro. I’m going to give them a go, though no doubt your climate is far more conducive than mine. Could you not just stop a man on a bike?

  35. Julie February 5, 2016 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Haha! Thats what happens when our other half’s take over the shopping, mine always says well why did you ask me…….

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      I do suspect a plot is hatching.. I was asked if I wanted the job back today.

  36. croftgarden February 5, 2016 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Join the club – what do you do with 1kg of tumeric or 10kg of died apricots? island life means frequent bulk buying of commodities, but sometimes a good price means delivery by the pallet load if you’re not careful!

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 8:03 pm - Reply

      Tagine! Lots of it!
      Any problem I have getting stuff is multiplied several fold for you.

  37. elaine February 5, 2016 at 11:15 am - Reply

    Oh dear – there may be trouble ahead …

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 8:05 pm - Reply

      I shall just keep feeding him onions until the point is made. Hopefully they are good for the memory.

  38. sustainablemum February 5, 2016 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Now I am wondering how many you ended up with. We eat a lot of onions here, I buy 5kg a month at the farmers market and often it doesn’t last the month…….

    French Onion Soup is delicious as is Nigella Lawson’s onion pie, onion bhajis are really easy to make (you do need gram flour tho’) or thinly slice, cook really gently in butter, roll out a block of puff pastry spread onions on top and then grate goats cheese on top, cook for 10mins in oven and eat, it’s delicious cold too 😉

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 8:10 pm - Reply

      That last recipe does sound delicious. I think I have some pastry in the freezer too. We’re not great onion fans, hence the difficulty with a mere 1kg, but the cheese would go really well with them.

  39. Sarah February 5, 2016 at 7:42 pm - Reply

    Maybe you could save them and join the french onion sellers when they visit here again in the autumn! Sarah

    • Jessica February 5, 2016 at 8:11 pm - Reply

      I even have a breton T shirt 🙂

  40. Chloris February 6, 2016 at 9:58 am - Reply

    But onions are good for you. And what could be more delicious than French onion soup? I haven’ t tried on- line shopping yet, but I am one of those weird people who quite likes a visit to Waitrose.

    • Jessica February 7, 2016 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      It is one of the better ones, especially in the evening when it’s quiet.

  41. SeagullSuzie February 6, 2016 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    Training is essential, but they just don’t listen anyway. Even if you’d pointed this out (well that is assuming Mike is anything like my hubby when it comes to instructions) he would have heard ….’blah,,blah…blah…units…blah, blah! Onions-why can’t it have been something nicer that white onions 🙂

    • Jessica February 7, 2016 at 6:56 pm - Reply

      Exactly. On both counts.

  42. hoehoegrow February 6, 2016 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Ha ha ha ! Love it ! You can never have too many …

    • Jessica February 7, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

      You can if you don’t like them very much 🙂

  43. CherryPie February 6, 2016 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Ahh… He shops in the same way that Mr C does… I wish you luck. I have recently taken over the stock control part of the shopping list, but only with partial success 😉

    • Jessica February 7, 2016 at 7:00 pm - Reply

      They do need a bit of supervision Cherie, don’t take your eye off the ball.

  44. bittster February 7, 2016 at 2:55 am - Reply

    Mike is an honest man. I would have insisted the 1kg of onions was exactly what I wanted and then introduced my new theories on onions as uber-healthy and onions as the basis for several recipes I was considering.

    • Jessica February 7, 2016 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      If the 1kg onions came along with an experimental cook, albeit one with the role foisted upon him, I’d be quite happy. 🙂

  45. Janet/Plantaliscious February 7, 2016 at 11:21 am - Reply

    Hilarious! I have experienced similar traps. Sometimes you rather wish the pickers would apply some logic… Good luck!

    • Jessica February 7, 2016 at 7:05 pm - Reply

      I’m quite sure they do it deliberately. The drivers tell tales of all sorts of weird and wonderful things that get delivered. It’s not just us.

  46. Laura February 10, 2016 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    I live just down the street from a grocery store and I’ve never taken that for granted, especially when the husband returns from his massive Costco shopping trip, and has forgotten the toilet paper that I know (I KNOW) I had put on the list!

    • Jessica February 10, 2016 at 7:08 pm - Reply

      Lol. There’s the old “couldn’t read your writing” trick as well, watch out for that one.
      Our diet has taken a dive into the unhealthy since ‘others’ took over the ordering. The trick is to get the balance back.. without getting the job back!

  47. Donna@Gardens Eye View February 15, 2016 at 1:46 am - Reply

    I will tell you we grow red onions and they couldn’t be easier…but we start with either the bulbs or sets, or we order the starts…little plants. We plant them in containers and grow bags and they just grow with little effort.

    • Jessica February 15, 2016 at 9:26 am - Reply

      That’s encouraging Donna, thank you. I’ve bought some seed so we’ll see how that goes. An experiment. If it fails I’m sure I’ll be going for sets next year!!

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