This is always a messy job :)
Time to braid the garlic! (With my kitty Ginger's help of course, couldn't do it without her. See how she supervises.)
Yes, this is really how I do it: I put a paint dropcloth down, sit on the couch, and make a HUGE mess. It takes quite awhile, so I put on some movies, take my time, and just enjoy the process. It usually takes a couple of evenings to get it done, Ginger keeps me company, and when I’m done I just drag the dropcloth outdoors and shake it out.
As long as the garlic has been properly dried and cured, braiding it means I can hang it, and it will last a whole year this way. Even today I still have a few heads from last year, and while they are a bit woody and have lost some flavor by now, I still use them. I put a clove of garlic into the chickens’ water every morning in the winter time, plus I love to cook with it so I like to have quite a bit on hand. End-of-year garlic makes a pretty good garlic soup too.
Here it is all braided up, hanging in my kitchen:
In Newfane, Vermont near where I live there is a famous 4-star restaurant that is now closed. I worked there once upon a time, and it was called The Old Newfane Inn, run by a famous German chef, Eric Weindl. Eric was famous for his garlic soup, among other foods - I never did get the exact recipe, but I watched him make it many times. This is the recipe I use now, as a result. Go ahead and try it for yourself!