I don’t know how I’ll ever use them all, but roughly calculating along the lines of grocery store prices, I could probably sell them and pay for my daughter’s college. Or better yet, something fun for my office.
Seriously. Why are shallots so damn expensive? They are an onion, for Pete’s sake!
Anyway, it has been years since I planted shallots. I remember getting ticked off trying to peel the paper thin skins and thinking, “never planting these again.” But that was before I started cooking so much. I bet I substitute onions for shallots more than anything else when following recipes. So now — provided they last in my lame
root cellar lower garage, I should have enough to last me more than a year.
Successful shallot/onion/garlic storage is all about how you “cure” the bulbs. This is how NOT to do it:
By the way, if you’ve been following along (and I only just remembered this now), I forgot to plant these last fall and was worried they wouldn’t grow. Obviously, I was wrong. They are just fine. And given the price of the shallot sets you buy to plant, it might be worth not risking a Fall planting here in Minnesota, since harsh winters with little snow cover will kill Fall planted garlic and shallots.
For the record, I have tried planting garlic in the spring, after just that type of cataclysmic winter and it did not work. So the same can not be said for garlic. At least not for me, anyway.
Here is the progression. Hover over the photo to see the date:
To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure when to harvest. And given the frenetic nature of the past two months, I wasn’t inclined to research it, either. I decided to treat them like onions and garlic and wait until the stems were mostly flopping over and 50% or more brownish. It might have been a little long… Oh I don’t know…
What I DO know is that patch looked horrible and needed to be weeded. And low and behold the ground was also dry. In fact, I was just about to turn the sprinkler on for the first time all summer when I realized I didn’t want the shallots to get wet, so I dug them all up and set them out nicely to dry.
About six hours later, the big hailstorm started (video of the end of the storm is above in green “how not to cure shallots”). I took this picture when it was safe to go outside. I think this guy had melted by about 40% or so.
It wasn’t until the end of the storm that I realized that the shallots were not only in the rain, but under the overhang of the roof getting completely pummeled. At least they were now clean:
I’d like to say that was the last time they were rained on, but I would be lying. They were rained on, in approximately the same spot, two more times. I have no idea how that will affect their storage, but I will keep you posted.
This was the beautiful site after the big storm that destroyed farm fields, roofs, shattered windows and cleaned my shallots:
Our driveway, however, was not: