Braiding Garlic

Last fall we planted garlic for the first time. We stopped in at the Agway in Ithaca for a non-garlic related errand and upon entering were greeted with bins of garlic cloves for planting.

I thought to myself Ooh! Garlic! We should plant garlic! How cool would it be to plant garlic, then it’ll grow and then we’ll have garlic. That we planted ourselves! Actually, I probably said that out loud too.

(It should be noted that this is my approach to about everything in the garden, maybe with the exception of kale. I think my attitude towards kale was more like Ooh! Maybe the evil rabbit/woodchuck/deer will eat the kale instead of veggies that I really like!)

So we planted the little garlic cloves that you plant (which look remarkably similar to the ones you eat) in the fall of last year and then we waited. A long time. Which is tough for those of us with short attention spans.

We finally dug it up about 2 weeks ago and were quit happy with the results. I mean, the looked like garlic. A bit small maybe, but definitely garlicky.

And the began the process of curing them so they’ll last longer– this transforms them into the garlic with the dry, papery, white skins that you’re familiar with. I just lay them out on a laundry drying rack for 2 weeks on the screened-in porch and it worked well. Except for the more waiting part which didn’t go well with the aforementioned no attention span part.

But… Yesterday I realized that the requisite 2 week curing period was up and it was time to make the requisite garlic braid which will look all folksy and sweet and be a great way to store the garlic throughout the year. I had read about how to braid garlic but I thought to myself I know how to braid hair… How different could this be? Um, so the answer to that is, um, pretty different. But I proceeded pretending that the dry garlic stems was hair that I was French braiding and the result was… Well, a bit lopsided and kooky looking, but serviceable for my first-ever garlic braid.

For the record, hair is easier.