Thursday, August 15, 2013

Garlic - The Divine Essence of Cookery

Garlic used as it should be used 
is the soul, the divine essence, of cookery. 
The cook who can employ it successfully will be found to possess 
the delicacy of perception, the accuracy of judgment, and the dexterity of hand 
which go to the formation of a great artist.
Mrs. W. G. Waters in The Cook's Decameron,1920

I've been using large quantities of garlic in my homemade pasta sauce, chili sauce, and salsa.  Having just harvested a large quantity of basil, I think I should take a stab at making homemade pesto sauce.  That will require even more garlic. 

I'm not sure why I've never grown garlic, but after having to buy so much of it, I've decided to give it a try.  From what I've read, garlic is planted in the fall, harvested in the summer, dried for a few weeks, and then stored for use and future planting.  It sounds easy enough.

After having a nice conversation with the very helpful folks at Greir's Gourmet Garlic, I placed an order for a 1.5 pound assortment of heirloom garlic varieties - selected for growing in the hot, humid Maryland climate and perfect for making delicious sauces, salsa and pesto.

The people at Grier's recommended we plant the garlic where potatoes have just grown, so after the beans, which we planted after digging the potatoes, are harvested in October, the garlic will go in.

These heirloom varieties are supposed to be far more flavorful that the typical Californian variety which is stocked in supermarkets everywhere.  Only time will tell if I can acquire the delicate perception, accurate judgment, and dexterity of hand necessary to do this superfood justice.

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