25 Oct


I have always been a reader, so naturally I grew up with Anne of Green Gables. About a year ago I re-read the first book. You know? Anne Shirley was kind of annoying. Actually, really annoying. It was kind of crushing, to lose that bit of childhood joy.

Then my beloved Aunt Kathie came to my rescue- the entire Betsy-Tacy series. There are ten of them, not nearly enough! You guys, Betsy Ray is the most delightful heroine… I can’t really say “since” anyone, she predates most of them. Why, oh why didn’t I own these as a kid? (Really, mom. Why?)

I won’t attempt to summarize all ten books, since they span a good twenty years. The series follows Betsy, her best friend Tacy, and their third musketeer Tib from age five through marriage. “Lots of things will happen,” says Betsy when they meet. And they do.

One of the more charming Ray Family Traditions is called Sunday Night Lunch. Basically, Mrs. Ray gets the evening off from cooking and Mr. Ray makes sandwiches. What a glorious idea, I thought, and read on (these books are as long on descriptive food scenes as any Little House book) through cold roast chicken, pot roast… Onions. Onion sandwiches. The most popular offering of all, apparently.

I was as disgusted as you are. I couldn’t stop thinking about how gross that was. All that thinking inevitably led to curiosity, and here we are! I made onion sandwiches. I still think I would prefer the beef, but I have to say, they aren’t bad at all! Munch on one of these while enjoying Betsy-Tacy, and I guarantee you’ll forget all about that little twit Anne.


4 Challah, or brioche rolls
1/2 sweet onion
1/2 c white vinegar
Salt and pepper

Slice the onion into 1/4″ rings, and marinate in the vinegar at least a few hours, or overnight. Butter the rolls, and add the onion. Season every inch carefully- Betsy swears that is her father’s secret to the perfect sandwich.

I had seconds the next day with the addition of a tomato slice, and liked it even better. I suspect trading out the butter for mayonnaise could be even more delicious, but the Ray’s would not approve.

Serve with pickles, olives, coffee, and fudge.


Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


Tags: , ,

3 responses to “Betsy-Tacy-Onion

  1. Grace S

    March 10, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    This is amazing! I love that you made an actual recipe for those infamous sandwiches!! Do you know what page this was on of which book? I’ve been rifling through the books TRYING to find one of the many food scenes. I want to find the description of how they made their coffee. A full egg (shell and all)… what else.


    • fictionforfoodies

      March 10, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Glad you liked it! Sunday Night Lunches don’t get mentioned until the high-school books, Heaven to Betsy being the one with the best descriptions. As for the coffee, I googled it and it seems that the egg white worked as a filter, binding the coffee grounds, and the shell is meant to cut the bitterness. Let me know if you try it!

      • Grace

        March 10, 2013 at 7:25 pm

        Thank you! I finally found it. 🙂 Heaven to Betsy, chapter 11. I will definitely try it one day and let you know! By the way, I thought this article was too amazing to just pass by, I made it a pin on pinterest! 🙂


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