Thursday, March 25, 2010

Planting garlic

I think I'll make garlic soup tonight. Roger Verge has a fabulous recipe in his out-of-print* (so baffling, as it is a masterpiece) Entertaining in the French Style. Sumptuous photography, beautifully laid tables, flowers, delicious drinks in lovely glassware, full menus. I read it as an old teenager when I thought nothing of making 8 course meals, and little flashes of light from its pages remain with me still.

The garlic in this country can be very good. Not always the case in South Africa, where it is often irradiated and half dead, in my opinion. Walking into my local grocery store and buying five fat heads with fat cloves, all for a dollar seems miraculous.

So I peeled the papery layers off one head, and planted each clove about an inch deep in new potting soil, each about four fingers' width from its neighbour. Last year I planted already-sprouted garlic, and these were quite new, so we will see if it works. I give them ten days to show me some shoots.

And I have four heads left, hence the soup. It involves chicken stock, egg yolks and some white bread, and comes out frothily white. Very good.

* I see that New Entertaining in the French Style was published in 2002.
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