In thing: Zany onions

Whoever thought of this was in a bit of a pickle. Brainstorming for pickled onions conjures up drunken fun and games followed by an extreme taste-bud experience and the sure route to single life. But curry and pickled onions are such an obvious pairing that it makes you wonder why it hasn't been done before, especially as, according to the relationship psychologist Donna Dawson, having pickled onions in your cupboards means you are a real individual with bags of confidence - all the qualities needed to weather the sting of Korma, Chilli, and Tikka onions. And as Jonathan Rose, head of development at Asda says: "Faced with the same products every week, we would find shopping a pretty boring experience. We want to add a bit of excitement." Just be sure that the route of such excitement doesn't go round the U-bend.

Console yourself: CONSOLE REVIEW

PaRappa the Rapper (sony) playstation

Why doesn't chopping onions make Stephen Bayley cry?

In our kitchen there is a radio. It is old, ugly and fairly inefficient, but it does boast a timing device allowing programmes to be recorded when there's nobody there to press the buttons, so it's mine, and there's a sticker on it saying DO NOT TOUCH - I MEAN THIS. In fact, I've never managed to make the timing device work and, anyway, spend virtually every waking moment in the kitchen, but that's irrelevant. My mother had a theory that her wireless would be polluted if her children tuned it into horrible stations - the older I get, the more attractive this idea becomes.

Comedy / Parsons and Naylor's The Merry Onions of Dorking

Parsons and Naylor's The Merry Onions of Dorking at the East Dulwich Tavern, London SE22 (0181-299 4138), tonight and the Hen and Chickens, London N1 (0171-704 2001) Mon.

Witness to return pounds 250,000 reward

A British tourist whose evidence helped to secure the conviction of one of Australia's worst serial killers has pledged to give away a pounds 250,000 reward to charity and the victims' families.

Gun control: the need for rational debate: Letter

Sir: It is a non sequitur to suggest, as Richard Balmer does (Letters, 2 August), that a ban on gun ownership is wrong because cars, kitchen knives and axes could also be banned using the same thinking. Although the latter three can all be misused, their main functions are travel, onion-chopping and tree-felling, respectively. The sole purpose of a gun, however, is to fire a bullet (whether in sport or in anger), something that need not, and should not, be integral to any citizen's life. If a minority of people need to find a new hobby, then so be it.

Pierce plays vamp, funny onion and some tennis


Briton relives kidnap ordeal

A Briton told the backpacker murders trial yesterday how he fled for his life from the man who now stands accused of being a serial killer.

British tourists `were killed for kicks'



THE shortlist

Food: Thermal inner wear

Soups that insulate; Any soup that is worth the trouble of making, is something to linger over and love a little. A bushel and a peck of Perigord's finest truffles will not sweeten any old slop Photographs by Jean Cazals

'He's dead if I get my hands on him'

The Rosemary West trial: Mother's outburst after police break news of husband's murder confession

Just make mine a little bit metric

In order to comply with the law, this is the last time you will see this column in its present format. Starting from Monday we shall have to obey the new European regulations and go metric. Yes, this being a packaged object and not sold loose, it will have to abandon the old imperial measures and go over to metrication, for fear of the proprietor of the column being put in prison, ie myself.

LETTER: Goodbye to garlic

From Mr Conrad Cork

true gripes : onions

The Triffids fortunately did not succeed in their bid to dominate the world, but a much humbler family of plants managed to invade British kitchens and score a great victory. They have become indispensable to chef and housewife alike.
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