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How to roast an onion and other ways to love this world

2014 September 23
by Rachel Turiel

1. Wake up and discern via weak light spotlighting through windows that it’s appropriate waking time, rather than dark, lonely cursed hours of the sometimes-insomniac.

2. Reach for Dan book.

3. Hear rat sounds outside the bedroom: chewing, scratching, scuttling. Wonder if Martha needs a friend. Wonder if Martha would eat her friend.

4. Pledge to meditate this morning. Just, later. Offer rewards: meditate for ten minutes, then check e-mail with…coffee!

5. Light full strength. Kids arrive, soft parts having shrunk in the night in relation to elbows and knees.

6. Rose demands, “Tell me the WHOLE day from the beginning. Are we doing anything fun?” Col rolls around, issuing strange noises approximating…bombs dropping?…intestines fermenting? Try to love every minute, remembering that soon kids will be device-coveting, parental bed-phobic teenagers.

7. Coffee. (cue triumphant music)

8. Hear Dan ask kids: “You want to clean up or live in squalor?” Radio silence. Next he wonders, “What is the life span of a fruit fly?”

9. Start chopping golden luminous planet of an onion* Scatter C-shaped slices on cookie sheet. Drip coconut oil over shiny white puzzle pieces. Shove in oven. Turn to 350F for 20 minutes. Broil for 10 minutes or until brownly crisped, stirring once. Pledge to meditate tomorrow.


Onion from Food For All Farms in Mancos. I’m up to 7/week. Attachment level = HIGH.



This is the start or end of any number of meals, so sweet and deeply delicious you may find yourself eating the caramelized squiggles by the handful, placing the empty cookie sheet in oven, uncleaned, for tomorrow’s onion.

onion6Midday snack: sliced gouda topped with fresh tomato and roasted onion.

onion7Midday snack #2: arugula salad with sungold tomatoes and roasted onions.

Are you getting the notion that I snack all day long? Confirmed.


Roasted onions masquerading as bacon.

I had a meeting this morning with someone from the Small Business Administration. She was so knowledgable and helpful, except I couldn’t understand half of what she was talking about. Videos of me teaching fermentation classes? Pinterest and Instagram are the new Facebook? (I’m sticking with Facebook until it’s so retro it’s cool again). Google analytics to help me discern which posts get the most traffic? An e-mail program to track how many people actually open my e-mails about upcoming classes? I didn’t have the heart to tell her I write about fertilizing my garden with urine and serving roadkill deer to the family, and roasting onions as a morning practice. Plus, as Anne Lamott says, I’m not really well enough to track my popularity.

Which is to say, I am excited about dreaming up new classes for the community (fermentation class is FULL; Creative writing for middle schoolers in November has several spots still open. Talk to me soon). And I’m equally excited about, well, roasted onions, even if it’s not trending right now, nor capturing the zeitgeist of September 2014. I’m not sure where my career is going, but I’m trusting that the practice of falling in love with this world will lead to all the writing, classes, and fill-in-the-blank I could ever hope to initiate.

(And just maybe I’ll see if Mia can take a short video of me teaching fermentation next Tuesday…if she has one of those iphone-thingys).



With love and endless gratitude,


* thank you yoga/writing retreat students for onion descriptors!

27 Responses leave one →
  1. September 23, 2014

    Lovely and delicious…. I shall eat onions today, and perhaps tomorrow and forever, henceforth. :)

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      September 23, 2014

      Go to County Road G forthwith and procure some FFA onions henceforth and proclaim forevermore that said onions, roasted, are a balm to your soul.

  2. Jo Hadley permalink
    September 23, 2014

    Such a great post, Rachel! I really appreciated the onions being consumed throughout the day in the backdrop (or maybe foreground) while you consider meditating but not attempting to keep up with all the social plug-ins for your business/passion. I’m relating on all levels from a fellow business owner whose business is my hobby/passion. xo

  3. September 23, 2014

    I love you. This is beautiful, and I can SO relate, especially to the marketing thing. I just figure if people are meant to find it, they are meant to find it. I trust in word of mouth more than I trust Facebook and Google analytics, lol.

  4. Susan S permalink
    September 23, 2014

    Rachel! Wonderful in so many ways. Specifically, though, I want to thank you thank you thank you for doing a creative writing for middle schoolers class. Way to build self-bolstering techniques for those fragile butterflies who desperately need self-bolstering. I hope you’ll tell us a bit about it!

  5. September 23, 2014

    I love your writing. I LOVE your writing. To me, you are the coolest!! Who cares about Google analytics, you are MY hero already ;)

  6. Louisa Holt permalink
    September 23, 2014

    Hi Rachel, I think Sophia would love the creative writing class, do writers like to take writing classes? Anyway can you give me the details? Always enjoy your writing and beautiful pictures of your glorious food!

  7. Andrea permalink
    September 23, 2014

    yum…. onions are my favorite food. not joking.
    running straight to my oven. like, right now.

    ps. it rained today

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      September 23, 2014

      Shit. Rain had to come sooner or later. Also, it rained here on Saturday AND Sunday and I’m still celebrating.

  8. September 23, 2014

    got the Onion Planets orbiting in the oven right now!
    have fun girl/kid camping this weekend!
    you’re the best!

  9. Carrie permalink
    September 23, 2014

    Love this
    I’m making those onions first thing

  10. Amy Morrison permalink
    September 24, 2014

    After reading this last night, I literally got straight up out of my chair, headed to the kitchen, and roasted onions. They were delicious on top of Salmon. AND, as I made coffee this morning, I thought ,”cue triumphant music” which cracked me up. Thanks for being so awesome.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      September 24, 2014

      Love this comment, Amy. And truly, all of them. As always.

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  12. September 24, 2014

    Oooooh! Sthankssss. I have a bunch of sweet onions in my garden that are ready and won’t keep terribly long.

    Looking forward to triumphant music tomorrow morning.

  13. nan permalink
    September 25, 2014

    The onions are in my oven right now, and just after 5 minutes they smell amazing.I love your recipes because the ingredients are usually things I already have on hand. Thank-You.

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  15. October 6, 2014

    I just had a chat with someone about the need to do videos. Really?

    When I roast onions, I always do a few extra for me to eat while turning the rest into something for the family. There have been a few meals where onions were roasted and none actually made it in the final dish.

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  21. Martha permalink
    November 3, 2014

    Rachel, I haven’t checked in to your blog for a year or more now – no conscious reason but it was really fun to read around in it last night, marvel at your photos and the world around Durango, your kids, garden, meat projects, homeschooling, etc. We have a lot of mammoth onions on hand from our CSA in Washington County, NY, and one of them is going directly into the pan for roasting this afternoon. Thank you!
    PS You really DO remind me of Anne Lamott in your writing. At some point in time, I think I thought you should write a book. Maybe you have by now…

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