One of my tasks for our Thanksgiving meal was dicing the onions for the stuffing. I love to cook and have chopped, diced, and sliced all types of the bulbs. When I started slicing my eyes burst into tears. This got me thinking about remedies for the pesky problem.
On the web I found that the eye irritation is caused by sulphenic acid released the onion when the cells are cut. The body reacts by producing tears to wash out the gas.
There are several ways to solve the problem. One myth is to hold an unlit match between your lips while cutting. I’ve tried it and it does not work. Another technique is to use a fan to blow the gas away from your face. Simple and it takes more time to set up and take down the fan then to experience the tears. Plus where do you put the whirling machine in the kitchen.
Cutting onions under water is another idea and I don’t have a pool, mask and snorkel. Wearing swimming goggles is cleaver and looks goofy in the kitchen. Although, goggles are now made especially for cutting onions. They come is bright red, blue and yellow colors and look sporty. The down side is that they are not prescription and not fit over eye glasses. Cutting without using my glasses is dangerous so this one is out too.
The iconic chef Julia Child stated that using a very sharp knife prevents the tears. My knife is sharp and the tears still came.
After the research and experimentation the best way to avoid having your eyes water while cutting onions is to have someone else cut them. Yep! Go in the other room and let someone else do the work. It’s like outsourcing the stuff you that don’t do well, don’t want to do, or are so slow at it takes you all day to get it done. If you’re the boss then delegation may be the answer or hire some one like a virtual assistant to complete the work.
This may seem silly and it does work. For example, I’m working on a project that requires putting a database together. One of the requirements is to put information in little boxes. I can do the task, and I don’t want to. So, my virtual assistant is doing the research and filling in the blanks on the spread sheet—thank you Melissa.
I review the progress each week, answer questions as needed and keep the project moving. The telephone follow-up takes just a few minutes compared to all the work I’d have to do that I don’t want to do. And she likes doing this type of work. Yea, outsourcing tasks works.
So, the next time you’re faced with a task or project that is not your strength ask around to find a few folks to help you out. Once you start looking you’ll be surprised at how many skills and talents are available to you by phone and email. As a bonus you may have no more tears.
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