Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Plaiting Onions & Garlic

"Plaiting" onions or garlic is a fun activity for the whole family!  These braids are a wonderful way to display a beautiful harvest in your kitchen, and they are useful, too.  This technique also works well with onion or garlic with stems intact.  Sorting sizes may be done by younger children, and the actual braiding, by older children.

Supplies needed:
1.  Onions or garlic, various sizes
2.  Sharp scissors or gardening shears
3.  Twisty ties (or twine)
4.  Yarn, twine or rope

1.  Harvest your onions/garlic.  Lay them in a safe place to dry for at least a week.  Trim the roots off.

2.  Divide the onions/garlic into three groups, "Small", "Medium", and "Large".

3.  Start with three in front of you.  Place a large one in the middle, and two medium ones on either side.
4.  Take a twisty-tie or twine and wrap around the base of all three together.

5.  Begin braiding.  Take the right stem over the middle.  Left stem over the middle.

6.  Add a small onion/garlic on the left and take right stem over the middle.  Any time you add a new onion, the stem will be in the middle.
7.  Add a small onion/garlic on the right and take the left stem over the middle.
8.  Add a large onion/garlic in the middle.
9.  Continue adding, alternating medium and small on the sides, and always adding large ones to the middle.  Sometimes you will run out of stems from farther down, but that's OK.  There are always new stems to braid.  Keep going!

10.  When the braid is the length that you wish, tie a square knot with twine, yarn or rope around the stems just above the top onions.  Tie a bow, making a loop and face it to the backside.

11.  Trim the tops of the stems, if you want to.  Hang on the wall.  As you need onions/garlic, cut them from the top and work your way down.

Have fun!