we’ve just cut the garlic from the cloth of the fertile ground and there’s a raw piece of it in my mouth. it’s stimulating and sensory, a taste all-consuming of each taste bud – busying them into oblivion. it’s fresh. it’s so fresh that we are glowing in the band of darkness that surrounds us now. it feels good to release the roots of these fertile, bulbous creatures. a season spent bundled beneath leaf and snow, only to entertain the next with poised intention. a life cycle i both admire and condone. briefly i intimate myself with the spur of garlic stitched to the side of my tongue. the garlic is thermal and spicy, radiating a residual energy from the ground. i’m tasting full circle and all of the sudden my head is spinning with inebriated adoration.
tonight the neighbor (from the south) comes to take her trash out into the alley where we celebrate the union of harvest and honey. i don’t usually talk because to talk isn’t always easy. but tonight i sing. i sing to her about garlic and she loves it. she loves it and we watch the sun set with conversation settled on enrichment, the fickle nature of our recycling service, the true nature of brussels sprouts, the abject misery of traffic, and the all-consuming ecstasy of eating garlic scapes.
and it’s here with the garlic harvest i realize that there are things at stake for my sanity. sweet little moments of framed poetry, yes – but a gravity that’s heavier and deeper. something that moves me. primitive and tangible experiences that require a soul.
i rendezvous with the garlic scapes in the kitchen. there is a wealth of commotion about these beacons of season – and with a spring later than ever we took our time this year. many fat with impending blossom, we choose the most sensible and tenderizing option – pickles. it’s an easy recipe, no fuss, and the result is a snappy and garlic-laden bean of sorts. a portrait, an exaltation, a snack, a good reason, and no reason needed at all.
- measurement per pint jar:
- garlic scapes from 1 bunch of garlic
- 1 large crown dill head
- ½ tsp black peppercorn
- ½ tsp mustard seed
- ¼ tsp coriander seed
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¾ water
- 1 tbl pickling salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- trim the garlic scapes by cutting lengths to fit just under the lip of a clean canning jar (remove the bud from the top, and cut away the woodier bottoms).
- to the jar add the dill crown, peppercorn, mustard seed, coriander seed, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. pack in the garlic scapes. temporarily lid the jar and run beneath warm water to slowly heat the glass.
- in a small pot on the stove heat the apple cider vinegar, water, pickling salt, and sugar, until dissolved. add brine to the warmed jar, leaving lip room at the top for processing. cover the jar tightly.
- heat a large stockpot of water to a rolling boil. lower canning jar into bath using either a canning basket or tongs, and boil for ten minutes.
- reserve jar in refrigerator at least a week before serving.