I'm not doing a very good job of convincing my neighbors I'm not crazy.
Does anyone else have a bunch of wild onions growing in their yard? My yard is absolutely covered in them. And I think it's awesome. Apparently, most people don't share my enthusiasm.
I actually discovered these when I was out on a walk with some of my co-workers. One of the girls dug a couple of them out of the ground to show me. And I tried them. Because that's the obvious thing to do when you find random wild vegetables growing along the side of a busy road.
I guess I thought it was pretty cool that there was actually an edible plant available outside of the grocery store. I know, I'm easily amused. After my discovery, I went home and realized that these things are growing like crazy in my front yard. In every one's front yard actually. Maybe it's a Southern thing? I don't remember any of these growing in my yard when I lived in Virginia.
See all the tall, green tufts? Yup, those are wild onions. And the purple tufts are weeds (we mowed recently, I promise! Thank goodness we're not part of a homeowner's association...) I immediately looked up "wild onions" on Google, and apparently these bad boys are a big problem in Tennessee. Most people consider them to be a nuisance because of how much they grow and how hard they are to get rid of. Me, I look at them and think "garnish".
Recently, I took my daughter outside to play for awhile while I gathered some of the onions. I gave her a box of sidewalk chalk to play with and then I set out on a mission. I attacked the ground with my shovel, removing one small bulb at a time. I was Bear Grylls. I was living off the land, providing for my family, assuring our well-being. I was becoming one with Mother Nature, one wild onion at a time. And then I heard the voice of my neighbor who I had just met a few weeks ago.
Apparently sticks attract spiders? News to me, but his wife is deathly afraid of spiders, and our pile of unassuming sticks were an infestation waiting to happen.
The other neighbors (the ones witnessing me digging in my front yard) we know are a couple houses down. We met them a few weeks ago when we were off work because of a snow storm. After talking to he and his wife twice, we were pretty psyched to have met 2 really nice, seemingly normal people outside of work who were our age and who had kids too. As fate would have had it though, they pulled up in their car just in time to see me on my hands and knees, feverishly hacking away at the lawn. It also didn't help my case when my daughter came barrelling at me, her entire face covered in every color of sidewalk chalk.
After my attempts to convince the neighbors that I actually am, in fact, a perfectly lucid human being, I gathered my bushel of wild onions and took my chalk-covered child inside. Then came the fun stuff. And by fun, I mean incredibly time consuming. I washed and cut each of the little stalks of wild onion that I found. It was a labor of love...and it took me over an hour.
Most of the stalks had tiny onion bulbs, but I did have a few that were the size of my pinky. Now, what to do with 1/2 cup of wild onion bulbs? I risked my sanity to retrieve them from the front yard, but now I have no clue what to do with all of them. After doing a little research, apparently Native Americans ate these all the time with eggs. But I feel like I could fancy them up some.
So I ask you, what in the world can I make with wild onions? I'm sure there has to be others of you out there who have tried wild onions before. Maybe you make some fancy quiche with them? A roast perhaps? I need to know. My sanity depends on it.