My bucket list is made up of experiences I hope and plan to enjoy while I’m still able to. The items on my list include travel destinations with famous sights (like the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico), entertainment experiences (such as Cirque de Soleil in Las Vegas), and trying foods specific to certain places (like beignets in New Orleans, or blooming onions at a Texas onion festival!)

Last year, while we were at the Onion Festival in Weslaco, TX, I really wanted to try a blooming onion. After all, this was the perfect venue. I saw many people enjoying the deep-fried treat, but the lineups seemed way too long and the day was hot, so we decided to shelve that for another time.

This past weekend, when hubs suggested we head over to the Onion Festival again, I made my mind up. I didn’t care how long the lineups were … I was going to strike this item off of my bucket list!

There were at least three vendors making this treat but when we first arrived, the lineups were massive at each one. We decided to head over to the main stage for a bit where we listened to some music and visited with a very friendly couple from Minnesota who joined us at our table.

The day was devilish hot, so the umbrellas over the tables were most welcome and were “prime property”.

After about an hour, we decided to check out the blooming onion vendors again. We came across one where the lineup seemed to be moving well, so I stood in the line, while hubs went for a walk to check out the other vendors. Hubs gets severe leg cramps if he stands too long on pavement or concrete, so it was best he kept moving.

As I neared the prep area, I was intrigued by the clockwork of the process. The onions came out as quickly as if they were on a conveyor belt, so customers at the front of the line didn’t have to wait even one minute.

First, this guy slices the onions with a very cool gadget. I wonder how sore his arm was at the end of the day
Next, this guy batters the onions and sends them over to the guy doing the deep frying

The deep fryer guy sends them over in a steady stream to the finishing guy who uses a metal tool to create the rounded bud in the center of the cooked onion “flower”.

You could order them loaded with all sorts of garnishes and condiments. Because I wanted to experience the natural flavour of the onion, I just ordered a plain one for hubs and I to share. It came with ranch dipping sauce, which was perfect.

My time in the lineup was about 20 minutes, but it was time well spent, because I was able to learn about and photograph the process and the delicious end result also made every second worthwhile. Bucket list item – ✔️.

Photo Note: I had a hard time with colour correction for my feature photo. Because our table umbrella was red, everything white under it took on a pink cast. I didn’t realize this until we returned home. I corrected the white balance as much as I could, but some areas of the photo still have a hint of pink. Sometimes all we can do in post processing is the best we can and then leave it at that.

“Creating a bucket list is only one small piece of the passionate life puzzle—actually living the bucket list lifestyle is the whole shebang.”

Annette White