Garlic scapes | Essex Column

This Sunday, June 29, the Essex Community Church will honor the Reverend John Hunn on the 60th anniversary of his ordination. The service begins at 10:15 a.m. and will have as a special guest the Reverend William Mudge, the Adirondack district superintendent of the United Methodist Church.

The July 4 celebration in downtown Essex will be much the same as in past years with a 6.5 kilometer run sponsored by New Health at 8 a.m. and a fun run for kids at 9:15 a.m. At 10 a.m, there will be singing of patriotic hymns at St. John’s Church, and also at 10 a.m, and going until about 1:30 p.m, strawberry shortcakes will be for sale at the Essex Community Church. The parade steps off at 11 a.m, and this year will honor the memory of Dave Lansing, fire chief and the orchestrator of many July 4th’s in years gone by. Following the parade, the fire department will offer lunch at Begg’s Park, and then at 3 p.m. the spelling bee will be held in the Town Hall. At 7:30 p.m, Carol Williams will give an organ concert at the Essex Community Church. Ms. Williams is a world class musician, so you should arrive early if you want a seat. Fireworks will be July 5.

Out in our garden, the hard neck garlic is sending up flower stalks. Known as scapes, these should be removed as soon as they appear lest they rob energy from the underground bulb. The word “scape” is related to the word scepter, a staff or rod signifying authority. Other plants with scapes are amaryllis and tulips, but only garlic scapes are commonly eaten. To me, they taste like mild garlic mixed with freshly cut grass, but they are very popular among vegetable connoisseurs, trendy even like brussels sprouts and widely available at farmers markets. They can be made into soups or ground into pestos, but they are most commonly chopped up and thrown into stir fries. My favorite recipe for them is to put a pint of hot water into a blender, add chopped garlic scapes, liquefy them and take the blender to the backyard compost pile and pour the contents out.

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