A Winter Garlic Garden
Next to cooking, my other love is gardening. I impulse purchase plants like other girls buy shoes.
The happiest marriage of the two comes with growing plants for cooking. Every spring I stuff my little postage stamp patio with fruits and vegetables, then dote on it with an absurd pride of a new parent. In winter, the plants move inside and I crowd my windowsills with oranges and herbs.
My recent garden binge was sparked by sprouted garlic. Standing in the kitchen, clove in hand, I was consumed with a vision of growing my own scapes, the tender spring garlic flowers with the crunch of scallions and the bite of garlic.
I emerged shortly thereafter from my favorite garden-photo shop (another happy marriage of interests) with a pot… and an entire family of succulents, to keep the baby scapes company.
Happily, garlic is the gratifying type of plant that explodes into life; in just one week, I have re-potted it twice. Tradition says you’re supposed to plant garlic on the shortest day of the year. Outside, in the cold, each clove produces a new head of garlic. Inside, they remain scapes, which are unfolding before my eyes.
Out of curiosity, I planted my sprouted clove in both places. Now I’m dreaming of the delicious scape and chickpea dip that tastes like the first sign of spring.