One of the things are pioneer forefathers did well was preserving their harvest. There is no sense doing all the hard work of growing a crop, if we don't preserve it to last.
I like a crop that is also pretty to look at. Those jars of jams and jellies lining my pantry sparkle as bright as any jeweled necklace to me.
Our first year with garlic, we planted the hardneck variety, not realizing you couldn't braid it. Live and learn. This year, we planted softnecked garlic. You can braid it to hang in your kitchen and it has a longer shelf life.
After your garlic has cured for at least two weeks in a dry weather or four in wet and humid, it's time to get it ready for braiding. Cut off the roots and rub as much of the leftover soil off as possible. Take the two leaves closest to the bulb and peel them back. You'll peel off the dirty outer layer. Don't remove anymore skin as this helps lock in the flavor. The bulb on the left is trimmed and peeled.
Now take three bulbs of garlic, bulb side at the top with the stems hanging down. Tie them together near the bulb. This is the start of your braid. Take a bulb and lay it on the center stem and add the stem to it. Now cross over your right side stem. Take a bulb, place it to the right of your center bulb, pulling the stem down the center. Cross over the left stem to the center. Place a bulb on the left side of the center bulb and pull the stem to the center. Cross over top the original center stems.
Repeat this process to the end. Remember to always place the stem of the bulb your adding to the center. Once all bulbs are in place, braid the stems (they'll be quite a handful) into a braid and secure with twine. Cut off the remaining stems so just your braid is showing.
Now hang it up in the kitchen for easy access and a gorgeous piece of decoration.
Do you have a favorite crop or harvest you like to put on display? Do you have a favorite variety of garlic?
This post was featured on The Prairie Homestead.