Sunday, 25 August 2013

storing sunshine

Picking fresh greens and rushing them to the table is great. Eating a sun ripened plum straight from the tree is wonderful. But there is a deep satisfaction in putting stuff away for the winter that seems to come from another place and time.  It feels like the right thing to be doing at this time of year. The afternoons are full of sunshine and lazy wasps, but there's a faint tang of autumn in the early morning air. This is our busiest time at work, so I try to find something gentle and interesting to show the visitors in the midst of all the craziness - I recently spent a couple of happy afternoons making these pretty things...

A cold March and a hot July produced a bumper crop of shallots and garlic this year.
 They have been drying off on trays in the shed, and now they're ready to clean and store. 

Making strings and plaits to hang in a cool, dark shed is the traditional way to store the crop.
 Plenty of air circulation to prevent mould, and well away from any passing nibblers.
 They can be bought into the kitchen one at a time, and should last well into next year.
(I wanted to take more process pictures but it would have required growing an extra arm).

I use raffia to make a loop to string the shallots,

and to tie three garlic heads together to start my plaits.

Pretty and practical - perfect!


  1. I am passing this on to my father...So GORGEOUS in their simplicity. You are right about having things tucked away for the fall...there is just something so right about that!!! Have a wonderful week!!

    1. Thank you - there are some good little tutorials on the web about how to string onions and plait garlic. Some people recoomend storing them in old tights/pantyhose - but this so much more Martha Stewart!?!

  2. Replies
    1. It's something I really look forward to doing every year