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  • Can you smell it? The deep warm scent of garlic infusing the garden, the yard, the barn and the kitchen? Welcome to my house of garlic. My world of garlic. I'm holding my own private festival. Celebrating on this hot midsummer day.

    All other work must wait. Who cares about deadlines and other responsibilities when the little beauties are ready? Other sorts of celebrations? Fireworks? Parties? Who needs them when you can get the scent of garlic deep under your nails? Taste it in the air?

    We pulled and washed two hundred plump heads pulled this morning before the heat hunkered down and turned them sharp and bitter. Red Russian, Music, Killarney Red, German Extra Hardy, Green Mountain, Georgia Fire. Lovelies all. Now they're drying in the shade before I braid them up for winter. They'll hang from our rafters, scenting the house for days upon weeks with their sweet redolence of this moment.

    Come January, when we roast several mellow heads to celebrate the new year, we'll think of this garlic madness and laugh at our silly summer selves.

    But tonight we'll thumb our noses at reason and give into garlic. We'll eat potatoes lightly steamed, scrabbled moments before from their beds, and heaps of roasted fresh garlic sprinkled with herbs just snipped. Some baby filet beans from the garden on the side, sautéed for just a moment in olive oil infused with mint. Slivers of raw fresh garlic dotting the green. A salad of frisée, oh yes, dressed in a lemony, garlic-y vinaigrette. I might even just peel a few cloves and eat them like that. Throw a couple in my bath.

    I'm perfumed inside and out, baby, like a lamb fed on wild rosemary, a pig on acorns. Eau de garlic. No vampires here. Just old me in my full summer scent. Come on over and we'll get garlic mad together. Don't be shy. So the world won't understand when you return. Noses will wrinkle, heads turn away, but hey, they don't know what you know: pure summer rides on waves of freshly picked garlic.

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