How to Regrow Green Onions

A few weeks ago we had friends come stay with us and one of them stopped me to ask what I had in the odd assortment of glass jars that line my kitchen counter. Any time I empty out a jam jar I repurpose it to regrow things like leeks and green onions from the scraps I have leftover. It cuts down on the grocery bill and ensures I always have them on hand to add a little extra flavor to my dishes. I can only imagine how odd my kitchen seems to most of my friends, some of whom can barely boil a pot of water, but to me it's just the way things have always been done. You save your bacon fat for frying, grow your own herbs in the windowsill, and stretch out the little odds and ends as long as possible.

But I can't take credit for these little things I do, most of my tips come from watching not just my grandparents, but others from the generation who grew up during the depression. They lived during a time where everyone grew their own food (or bartered for what they couldn't grow) and there was no choice but to be economical in the kitchen. Learning to make something from nothing wasn't an option, if you couldn't figure it out you and often your family starved.

Not a pretty picture, but true none the less.

Today things are quite different for most of us. When we want something to eat we can go out to a restaurant or pop into a grocery store and pick up the ingredients we need to make a meal fit for a king. If we don't know how to cook then there is someone on the internet willing to show us how. Technology has made it easier than ever for us to learn all sorts of things, but somewhere along the way we've forgotten to pass on some very basic lessons to our children.

Green Onions.jpg

One of those lessons is how to be thrifty, both in and out of the kitchen.

I was talking with the friend who had noticed my glass jars and he mentioned that he wanted to learn how to cook "my way." By my way, he meant more economically, so I gave him lesson number one:

How to regrow green onions

  • Buy a bunch of green onions, snip off the green tips and use them in a meal (like loaded potato soup or taco dip), place the roots and white stalk in a glass or old jar, fill it with enough water to cover the roots.
  • Change the water out every few days, otherwise the water gets slimy and starts to smell.
  • As you need green onions, snip away at the green tops. If you notice the outsides of the onions drying out, carefully trim them off, making sure not to damage the root of the onion as you do.

Notes

The onions won't regrow indefinitely, unless you plant them in soil, but they will last for months on the counter—as long as you remember to change the water frequently.

If you have forgotten to change the water and notice the roots are getting slimy, just rinse them off carefully under cold water.

 

Cherry Liqueur + Book Review: Unearthed by Alexandra Risen #UnearthedParty #canitforward

Today we're participating in the Unearthed Blog Party to celebrate the release of Alexandra Risen's new memoir Unearthed: How an Abandoned Garden Taught Me to Accept and Love My Parents. We'll be sharing a brief review of the book as well as one of the recipes the author shares at the end of each chapter.

Since Friday July 22nd is International Can It Forward Day I thought we'd tackle the recipe for Sour Cherry Liqueur found in one of the early chapters. It technically doesn't require any canning, but it does use a half-gallon Mason Jar—besides, any recipe that starts off with a combination of cherries and vodka is bound to be amazing. It's a shame I'll have to wait so long for the first taste, patience has never been my strong suit.

Recipe excerpted from UNEARTHED, © 2016 by Alexandra Risen. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.   DISCLOSURE: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher, as always all opinions are my own.

Recipe excerpted from UNEARTHED, © 2016 by Alexandra Risen. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. DISCLOSURE: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher, as always all opinions are my own.

Sour Cherry Liqueur


 

Ingredients


1 pound fresh sour cherries, stems and pits removed (see notes)
3 cups vodka or grain alcohol (80 proof) 
1½ cups sugar

Directions

  • Clean and pit cherries and add to a 2-quart Mason jar or other glass or ceramic container. Add Vodka and mix thoroughly. Cover. Let macerate for 4 weeks at room temperature. Stir daily for the first week, weekly afterward, with a wooden or non-metal spoon.
  • After 4 weeks, add sugar, stir thoroughly, and cover. Let macerate for another 4 weeks. Strain the vodka mixture through a stainless steel strainer into a large bowl. Gather the remaining cherry pulp into cheese cloth and squeeze out liquid into same bowl. 
  • Pour liquid back into Mason jar, close, and age in a cool place for three to four months.
  • Siphon off the clear liqueur, leaving sludge behind in jar, or filter liquid through paper towels and then coffee filters (twice each) to clarify. Store in clean sterilized bottles.

Notes


The recipe in the book calls for sour cherries, but I used the last of mine making another batch of Sour Cherry Almond Preserves (we may have worked our way through 4 jars in less than a month, it's really addictive.) Although the author doesn't mention this, sweet cherries produce a wonderful liqueur as well. If you can't find sour cherries feel free to substitute, but you may want to consider cutting back on the sugar just a little bit to compensate.

If you want another fun project to try, save your cherry pits and make a small batch of Cherry Infused Vinegar (recipe coming soon) It's absolutely fabulous in salad dressing!

Don't want to purchase an entire case of Mason Jars? I don't blame you, which is why I double checked: both Hobby Lobby and Michaels sell the half-gallon jars individually. I picked one up last week at Michaels for around $3 after using the in-ad coupon.

For anyone who is wondering, I opted to use Svekda, a mid-range priced vodka. Feel free to choose your favorite, as long as it's 80 proof, but for the best flavor try to avoid any of the bottom-shelf brands.

Review


I'm not sure if I've ever read a memoir before, my reading habits tend to lean more toward vampires, sci-fi, time travel, or the occasional cozy mystery—but Unearthed caught my eye because I saw a lot of parallels between the author's family and my paternal grandparents. They weren't immigrants, but they both grew up in a children's home during the depression and post WWII age. It was a time in their lives they were reluctant to discuss with us and as the years went on we learned it was a topic better left alone. It wasn't until after my grandfather passed away and my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease that we really began to learn the circumstances surrounding their childhood. The pieces we put together are heartbreaking, so it's no wonder my grandparents preferred to leave the past behind.

This is where the similarities between my family and the author's really begin to diverge. Alexandra's mother was often distant and her father remained not only silent on the matter of the past and his life in Ukraine before immigrating, but rarely spoke to her at all. She grew up finding it difficult to understand either of her parents and was often resentful of how different her older sister's relationship was with them. It isn't until after her father's death that she comes to terms with her feelings and is able to shine some light on the brutal past that helped shape her parents into the people she knew.

It all begins with an abandoned garden set on a piece of property butting up to a ravine, much like her childhood home. For Alexandra it's love at first sight and she is determined to restore the garden to its former glory. Every new project she tackles, whether it's clearing the overgrowth of the property, foraging for edibles and sharing the experience with her son (much as her parents did with her in their own garden) or rebuilding the mysterious pagoda found at the heart of the garden, reminds her of the past and brings her once step closer to understanding her parents. The book weaves these events together perfectly and it's through this massive garden restoration the author is better able to connect with her parents, accept herself for who she really is, and finally let go of some of the old hurts still haunting her from the past.

 

Disclosure

 

 

This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

This book was sent to me for review by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as always, all opinions are my own.