Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Peel The Garlic

For those that haven't seen it growing, garlic has a wide blade that looks alot like grass. Garlic is planted around mid October in the fall in Minnesota. It is one of the first things out of the ground in the spring. I had about 8 -10 rows planted in one of our fields that you can see from the road. It was 12 inches tall by mid-April.  It looks very much like corn from the road. Several of the neighbors asked me how I got the corn so big so early (everyone else was just planting their corn).

The girls have helped weed in the garden since they were very little. When Jenna was two she loved to help weed, but dad (me) had to provide a very positive ID for what was a weed and what was not. Garlic is one of the easiest to weed as the tall garlic stalks looked much different than the typical broadleaf weeds in the garlic beds.

Jenna, when she was two, finds some quack grass and with a twinkle in her eye pulls a blade off and says, "Ooooops DaDa I pulled a garlic". (She started calling me DaDa for daddy shortly after Reed was born. She calls Lisa MaMa so I guess I should be DaDa, right?) I turned to investigate and upon inspection I assured her that what she had pulled was not garlic but quack grass. Then she says, "DaDa I didn't hear it quack".

Very early in the season I picked a garlic to help season the croutons for an authentic Caesar salad I would make from some red Romaine lettuce. Thinking back to the previous fall and the way we would peal the onions to get them ready for market. Jenna takes the imature garlic and proceeds to remove all the layers until there was nothing left. When I asked her where the garlic went she said, "All gone DaDa, it disappeared" and so it was.

So if you ever hear the proverbial phrase "peeling the onion" typically used when discovering layer after layer of new information or when teams are solving problems. Think of Jenna and her "peal'n'eat garlic.

We have trialed a number of garlics and most grow very well here. I like Spanish Roja for hardiness and size of the bulbs. The cloves are also very easy to peel.
and flavor. Makes a good black garlic.

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