after the salmon opener to the grilling season i thought it was prudent to turn to meat!
scrounging from the fridge i topped the 100% grassfed organic burger with carmelized onions, garlic, a titch of jalapeno and topped it with organic valley feta and eventually doused it with worcestershire sauce.
the flavors mixed perfectly!
regular readers might recall we’ve been planting and harvesting a small mountain of garlic for several years now. we usually plant around 200 cloves around this time of year in our lovely cropp crop.
it turns out that 200 head of garlic is, well, way too much for a family of three even after you factor in giving away loads of it to friends and family and what we need for seed every year. so this year, we’re scaling back and “only” planting 80 cloves in our home garden.
as always, odin is a super helper and thoroughly getting his hands dirty preparing the garlic and planting the seed.
experts will tell you the middle of november is way too late to plant garlic, but we’ve never had any problems because we always seem to get lucky with an unseasonably warm streak of weather. this year was no exception, right when we thought we might be too late, we got a nice warm streak of weather with predictions of gentle rain.
perfect ( excepting for what the trend might portend in terms of global warming )!
there’s nothing quite like waking up to the swoosh! swoosh! of a bat flying around your bedroom and not too far from your head! it’s been 6 years since we’ve had any bats in the living space of our home ( i have to qualify that statement because there are plenty of bats we can hear crawling around the walls from time to time they just don’t come on the living space anymore ), and while i love bats and the fact that they can eat thousands of insects an hour, i certainly don’t love them flying around in the house while we’re sleeping!
odin woke us up when he heard it and we calmly shut the bedroom door after the bat flew out and slept relatively soundly together while the bat presumably tried to find its way out. we left the front door open to our enclosed porch and luckily it was smart enough to find a sleeping spot in a corner of the porch since that makes removal a lot less traumatic for everyone involved. not nets or whatnot required, we just left the porch door open and he flew out the next evening after waking up from his slumber.
i’m not expert enough to tell if he’s a little brown bat or a juvenile big brown bat, but either way i hope he stays out of our house and safe now that the deadly white nose syndrome that’s decimating bat populations has been spotted thirty miles from wisconsin.
at least we know for sure he’s not a vampire since he chose to sleep in the space where there was 200 head of garlic drying ( he’s the little brown blob up in the corner )!
i wrote about some of run-ins with bats 6 years ago and was amused to take a trip down memory lane after discovering this bat. feel free to check out, “Mr. Big Brown Bat!”, “Invasion of The Big Brown Bats! or could we be any more stupider?”, “bats are supposed to stay in the belfry!” ( wherein i rescue a bat from the toilet ), “it’s time for another exciting round of What Would You Do?”, “O RLY?” and “bats be gone?”
continuing our tradition of planting about a month later than you should, we finally got about 200 cloves planted in our organic valley employee garden. so if all goes as planned we’ll have another small mountain of garlic in about eight months for the third year in a row.
also, friends and family may be receiving Gifts of Garlic from our last harvest
thanks to kris’ hard work ( i was working hard on other ice creamy things! ), our fine looking cropp garlic crop is now harvested and hanging on our front porch to dry ( we thought the galaxie didn’t need vampire protection this year ).
i think you might be able to smell garlic all the way down the block.
overall, the harvest is about the same as the small mountain we got last year – around 200 head – though the heads are, on average, a titch smaller. maybe we shouldn’t have planted in the same spot two years on a row? maybe we should have amended the soil with compost before planting?
either way, they’re plenty big for seed for the next planting in november and we’ll have more than enough left over to supply us with garlic for the whole year, and i’m sure we’ll give away a bunch to friends and family who don’t have the means to grow their own.
the garlic we planted last fall at our employee garden at organic valley hq  is coming in nicely! and perhaps we even have one of the nicer looking employee plots ( inside joke. we have at times over the years had a notoriously ill kept plot. )! certainly better looking than last year when the plot was water logged.
we had enough good “seed garlic” from last years’ harvest to put in about 200 head which should yield more than enough for us to give away heaps to lucky friends and family and provide us with garlic for the year.
it sure is a purty view out over the 8,600 acre kickapoo valley reserve. it’s hard to believe this was the view two months ago.
we need to figure out what to put in the rest of the garden plot to the left of the garlic. squash? carving pumpkins? watermelon? suggestions welcome
looking back up at organic valley/cropp hq affords a view of the addition we’re adding ’cause we’re busting at the seams from growth.
 technically speaking organic valley is a brand owned by cropp cooperative which is really my employer but that’s a detail lost on most folks who just think i work for ov.
grilled tomatoes, basil, galic & parm – a perfect recipe for the symbolic end of summer that labor day has come to represent. and, well, i’ve got to find something to do with all that garden garlic ( and tomatoes and basil ).
1. heat the grill to a med/med-high temperature
2. peel and mince the garlic cloves and brown in a pan with olive oil
3. cut the tomatoes in half crosswise
4. put tomatoes cut-side down and grill 3-4 minutes
5. flip the tomatoes and apply liberal amount of garlic, basil and organic valley parmesan cheese
6. grill for another 2-3 minutes
well, at least not for the next few weeks while the garlic harvest dries.
finally garlic harvest day arrived for our first crop of garlic at our organic valley employee garden!
250 head of garlic makes for a nice sized crop. even after factoring what we’ll use for seed for next years crop and our own personal consumption, we should some left over to pawn off to unsuspecting victims.
after drying for a few weeks we can move from experimenting with scape recipes to finding new and interesting things to do with our small mountain of garlic.
i’ve received lots of requests for the garlic scape asparagus cream soup i mentioned in the social intertubes the other day.
well, here’s the almost embarrassingly simple, yet supremely delicious recipe.
wash a half dozen or asparagus stalks and throw them in a boiling pot of water. toss in some of the usual herb suspects, sage, rosemary, thyme, etc and some salt and pepper. maybe a bay leaf or two. add a tablespoon or so of garlic pesto. boil until the asparagus is tender – perhaps 6-10 minutes. blend well with one of those hand blender thingies. a regular blender would, of course, work just fine.
add corn starch to thicken the soup, about 1 tablespoon per cup of liquid soup. pre-dissolve the corn starch in half a cup of water and add to soup which has been brought back to a boil. keep boiling for a few minutes, then turn to low heat.
and now, for the most important step: stir in an indulgent amount of organic valley heavy whipping cream.
listen to me, this is no time to get all “all things in moderation” on yourself. experiment a little. i think i added something like 8 oz of heavy whipping cream for 6 cups of soup. but who knows what i really added, i was getting a little delirious at the smells coming from the soup pot.
seriously, if you make garlic scape asparagus cream soup without organic valley heavy whip? you’re doing it wrong.
add asparagus tips for a little texture.
( and bring on the asparagus urine in 3..2..1.. )