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It’s not exactly a braid

By Penny Stine

The other night after work, I decided it was time to deal with the pile of dirty garlic sitting on my picnic table on the patio. I had dug it all up a couple weeks earlier and then left it in a pile to cure.

As I cleaned it, it seemed sufficiently cured (I actually have no idea what it means to cure garlic, just in case you’re wondering), but I was afraid I may have left it out there too long. The stems were all pretty stiff and unbending.

Of course, that could be because most of the garlic was the hardneck variety rather than a softneck variety. I planted both, but I seemed to harvest more of the hardneck.
Hardneck is supposed to have better flavor but a shorter shelf life and they also grow the curly scapes, which I love. Softneck is more pliable (go figure, right?) and can be braided easily and store longer.
I didn’t bother attempting to braid any of it. Instead, I kind of twisted some twine all around the stems to create culinary art and then hung it on my kitchen wall. It’s handy, accessible and will supply me with garlic for a year.  


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