Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 419

Know Your Onions


Hello Everyone

Do you know the saying ‘to know your onions’?


lt means to know what you are talking about – to be knowledgeable about a subject.


But this week, Bill and Bob were actually learning about onions!


lf l asked you which vegetable you think is the most useful, you would probably think about which one you liked eating the most.


But one of the most useful must be the onion.


Bill and Bob now think of themselves as budding chefs.


They like to try out all sorts of different dishes in the kitchen.


Every time they make a quiche or curry or stew – the recipe nearly always starts with slicing and dicing and frying an onion or two.


Onions give such a good taste to so many savoury dishes – where would we be without them?


They are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables we have – originating in Central Asia over 5,000 years ago; they were grown in Ancient Egypt, lndia and China and now they are grown all over the world. 


They were part of a staple diet in mediaeval times and were probably part of the first vegetable crop grown by the first settlers in the New World.  They are very easy to store.


They were also used in early medicines and their skins can create an orangey-brown dye. The Ancient Egyptians even used them in their mummification processes.


lf you want to grow onions in your vegetable patch it is very easy to do and it is what Bill and Bob were learning about this week.


Auntie Alice was showing them how.


Mid-spring is the time to plant onions.


Onions are grown from sets.  This is the name used for small, immature bulbs.


lf you buy heat-treated sets, they are less likely to run to flower than those that have not been treated.  Heat-treated onions are a little slower to get going but catch up later.


The soil you plant them in must be prepared first.  This is very important.


You need to rake it so that it is very light and crumbly and work a little general fertilizer in as you do so.


You must prepare your sets too by trimming off the wispy, dry, brown leaves at the top.  lf you don’t, the birds will come along and have a game by grabbing the leaves in their beaks and pulling all your onions up again!


You plant the sets by just pushing them into the soil with your fingers – pointed end upwards.  This is why your soil must be very soft.


Plant the sets about 10cm apart.


Plant them in lines that are about 25cm apart. 


Keep the weeds away from your little onions so that they don’t have to compete with them and water your onions if you get a spell of dry weather.


Autumn-planted onions are ready for harvesting early the following summer.  Spring-planted ones will be ready to harvest later in the summer.  Some people bend their necks in early autumn to help them ripen – the onion necks, that is!


Harvest onions by digging them up, not pulling them up.


After harvesting onions, they can be stored by stringing their leaves together and hanging them up in a cool and dry place.


Do not store any that have signs of rot on them.


Use these onions straight away by peeling them and then cutting out the bad parts.


lf you have too many onions like this to use straight away, you could put them in home-made soups and freeze the soups – or simply freeze diced onion in small portions to be put in dishes like stews later on.


Cooking with vegetables that you have grown yourself is a very exciting thing to do.


lf onions make you cry when you cook with them, follow these simple tips.


Chill them in the fridge before use so that you cut them up when they are very cold.


Peel the onion down to the base, cut it up and then cut the roots off last.


Most of the chemicals that make you cry are in the base of the onion, so you need to cut into that part last of all.


Work as quickly as you can – without having an accident with your knife of course.


Use red onions raw in salads instead of white ones because they are milder.


Don’t lean over a pan of onions when they start cooking because when they warm up they will start releasing the vapours that make your eyes cry.


Once your eyes get irritated, it is hard to stop crying.  Of course you should never rub your eyes with fingers that have onion juice on them because you will make matters worse.


So all in all, prevention is better than cure.


The onion skins can be put on the compost heap.



lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill:  Why did the onion laugh?


Bob:  Why?


Bill:  He was a tickled onion!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery








This week, Bill and Bob went to check on our tree-planting efforts for Operation Muddy Hole.

They were very pleased about how the patch of newly-planted woodland looked.

They took photographs of the little saplings planted in their new home to show Miss Pringle.

She was very impressed.

In years to come, we will be able to look at the photos and see how much our little trees have grown!

The vicar came to see the finished project too.

He was very impressed and was glad he had helped out by lending us his shredding machine.

He asked if Auntie Alice had any more small trees in pots and she said she had plenty.

He talked to the mayor and the two of them decided to put an event on at the Rocky Bay Village Hall.

It was called The Rocky Bay Plant a Tree in 2023 Event.

They had to organize the event quickly, because tree planting season is nearly over for bare-rooted trees.

People brought any small trees that had seeded themselves in the wrong place that they didn’t have room for in their garden and other people came to collect them to plant in theirs.

Farmer Jenkins took quite a few to plant around his farm.  His children had nagged him to!

Any trees that were left over the Mayor took and gave to the Rocky Bay District Council Parks department and they planted them on road verges where their roots would not interfere with underground pipes.

All in all, I believe we now have over three hundred new trees planted in Rocky Bay.  That is the most magnificent result!

Bill and Bob said that they are going to collect more seeds this autumn and have another event next year called Plant Some More in 2024!

And Auntie Alice now has some more room in her garden.

She has more room to plant more vegetables.

And of course if she finds some more little stray trees in her borders, I expect she will pot them up too…











Quick Quiz


Can you translate this British English into American English?


  1. a pay rise
  2. a plain-looking girl
  3. if you like
  4. in inverted commas
  5. on tiptoe
  6. a butler’s sink
  7. preaching to the converted
  8. a baby’s pram
  9. the lie of the land
  10. a cutthroat razor
  11. a camp bed
  12. a baby’s cot
  13. a queue of people
  14. fly tipping
  15. a bedside cabinet
  16. a family-run business
  17. scrap paper
  18. to be snappy
  19. horse blinkers
  20. dog-tooth check







lt’s the Weekend!




This pretty, little bag can hold a few things for your doll to carry if she needs to go somewhere.

Make it in a sparkly yarn to make it extra special.

The patterns for the doll can be found on Blog Posts 381 and 387.



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 11 stitches

Knit 12 rows of stocking stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and green dk yarn cast on 11 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch


Knit 10 rows of moss stitch

Slip 1 (knit 1, purl 1) repeat the last two stitches until the end of the row


Knit 6 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 4 rows garter stitch

Cast off




  1. Using over-sew stitching and with right sides together sew the bottom of the sides to the base and then sew up the corners
  2. Turn the bag the right way out
  3. Crochet 40 chains into a length of yarn and thread this cord into the channel at the top of the bag
  4. Tie a knot in the ends of the cord and sew a bead onto the join



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. a pay rise – a pay raise
  2. a plain-looking girl – a homely-looking girl (Not very polite)
  3. if you like – if you will = to give an example/to imagine something as an illustration/to put it another way
  4. in inverted commas – quote, unquote = to give the exact words (maybe given by somebody else)
  5. on tiptoe – on tippy-toe
  6. a butler’s sink – a farmhouse sink
  7. preaching to the converted – preaching to the choir
  8. a baby’s pram – a baby carriage
  9. the lie of the land – the lay of the land
  10. a cutthroat razor – a straight razor
  11. a camp bed – a cot
  12. a baby’s cot – a crib
  13. a queue – a line of people
  14. fly tipping/illegal dumping – illegal dumping
  15. a bedside cabinet – a nightstand
  16. a family-run business – a mom and pop business
  17. scrap paper – scratch paper (to take rough notes on)
  18. to be snappy – to be snippy (annoyed and short-tempered)
  19. horse blinkers – blinders (put on a horse to keep its focus frontwards)
  20. dog-tooth check – hound’s-tooth





  • Blue 2 says:

    One of the greatest sites on the net. Keep pumping out those posts!

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