Notes from Windward: #68
Jen gathers this year's crop
Garlic is an essential ingredient in most of my cooking, so when the last tiny clove from the previous year's harvest was minced, I began looking at the plants in the Main Garden with appetency. It was not long, however, before those plants were fully mature and ready for the sauté pan.
This year we were growing our plants in three large tires in the Main Garden. I dug my fingers around each bulb to loosen the soil from the grip of the roots. Within a few minutes, my fingers were stained with the spicy scent of garlic once again.
I brought the bundle into the kitchen to wash and prepare the plants for braiding. The first step in the process is to trim the roots as close to the bulb as possible. To start the braid, I overlapped three bulbs. I continued to cross the two outermost stems over the middle stem, alternating between each side and tucking the leaves into the stitches. After every few stitches, I incorporated another plant into the whole, just like a French braid. I'm not the most accomplished French braider, but perhaps I was working with the wrong material because my vegetal braids made some fine kitchen décor. They are hanging from the ceiling rafters in Bay 5 to dry until they are once again beckoned by the sizzling oil. As the seasons cycle around again, the dried cloves will be replanted this fall to grow next year's crop.
Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 68