November 9, 2010
Look What I Found!
by Gareth Mark
Look what I found! I know, it doesn't look like much. There are elderberries to be had, but they're really past their prime season. And there are wild carrots aplenty, but all the ones I found initially were too young to have good roots. But this stuff, this is like gold. Or silver, anyway.
Once I turned over the soil I realized that what looked like chives and smelled like garlic chives was actually wild garlic. It appears that wild garlic grows only single cloves, not a full head, although I haven't really had the chance to see what will happen and none of my handy reference books mention garlic.
When they get cleaned up, they look like small white onions. I wanted to use some right away because I was pretty excited to have a reliable, free source for garlic, so I made braised chicken.
We're still getting settled, and the pantry isn't yet up to really fancy cooking, so I was a bit short of ingredients. There were eleven cloves of wild garlic--I could have used forty, but didn't want to harvest too much--a couple of potatoes, a couple of carrots, a couple of leg and thigh quarters from a chicken, and of course, chicken stock. I wish I had had celery, but no luck. All I did was a bit of rough chopping and dicing. Then I put everything into a small braiser and added some rosemary salt. I cooked it in a convection oven at 225°F for about four hours because I needed to get outside and prime a metal roof before the rain hit.
What a delightful and filling lunch we had. Some good bread would have been nice, but there isn't any really good bread available in the area and I hadn't yet found the flours. I guess I'd better get busy baking!
Next time, first snow and some potato soup because it was pretty cold and there's nothing better than potato soup when it's cold and snowy.