Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Stolen Garlic

A POOR man planted a bed of garlic, and as he had no land besides, each plant was separately tended and grew apace. When the crop was almost large enough for pulling he placed beside the bed a portable hutch, and slept there o' nights to guard against thieves. After watching for many nights without seeing sign of trespassers, he concluded that there were none about, and that he might as well sleep at home ; so he left the empty hutch beside the garlic bed, and spent the night in his own house. When he came back next morning to water his vegetables, he found that all had been pulled and carried off.

In consternation and tears he went to the magistrate and entered complaint of his loss. The magistrate called him up for examination, and asked him why he did not seize the thief.

" Because, your honor, I was not there when he came."

" Then why do you not bring as witness some one who saw him ? "

" Because, your honor, nobody caught a glimpse of him."

" Then why did you not bring from the garlic bed some clue by which he might be traced ? "

" Because, your honor, he left nothing in the bed besides the portable hutch which was there before."

" Very well," said the magistrate ; " since the hutch was the only object known to be on the field at the time of the theft, we will make the hutch the defendant in the suit, and to-morrow morning you will appear here as plaintiff against it."

The complaint and the result of the preliminary examination were reported far and wide, with the official announcement that on the next morning a portable hutch would be tried for theft. So remarkable a trial had never before been heard of, and it became the subject of inquiry, comment, and debate throughout the neighborhood.

When the case was called the court was crowded with spectators. The constables brought in the hutch and put it in the place for prisoners. It was charged with the crime, and as it offered no defense the magistrate ordered that it should be beaten until it confessed its guilt. The constables administered blows with a will, leaving it shattered in pieces. As the punishment proceeded, the amazement of the spectators gave way before their sense of the ludicrous, and by the time the constables were following up and whipping the fragments of the hutch the audience were laughing heartily.

In apparent rage the magistrate charged the whole assembly with contempt of court, ordered all the gates to be shut and locked, and fined each person present a pound of garlic, with no release till the fine should be paid. Many constables were deputed to escort those who wished to go out to buy garlic, and each merrily spent a few farthings in paying his fine.

In the course of the day all the garlic in the market had been bought up, and the adjoining hamlets had been ransacked to supply the unwonted demand. Each, as he handed in his fine, was required to tell where he got the garlic, which was then deposited bunch by bunch in a chamber of the courthouse.

When all the fines were paid, the plaintiff was invited to examine the bunches of garlic, and to state whether he recognized any as his own. He unhesitatingly declared certain bunches to be his, and when the record of the purchasers was examined, these bunches were found to have been all bought at the stall of a certain green-grocer. The green-grocer was arrested, and made to tell where he got the stolen goods. He declared that he knew nothing more about the garlic than that he had bought it from a certain villager. The villager was arrested and was proven by circumstantial evidence to have committed the theft. The magistrate thus got for himself a great reputation for sagacity ; the thief got forty blows ; and the poor gardener had awarded to him all the garlic that had been received in fines for
contempt of court.

from Chinese Fairy Tales By Adele M. Fielde published 1893

Here are two delicious recipe that use loooooots of garlic!

40 Clove Garlic Chicken
recipe found at A Year of Slow Cooking

The Ingredients.
serves 6

3-4 pounds chicken
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
20-40 garlic cloves, peeled, but intact

The Directions.
The author used a 6 quart oval slow cooker.
Place onion slices on the bottom of the stoneware insert.
In a large mixing bowl, toss chicken parts with olive oil, salt, paprika, pepper, and all of the garlic cloves.
Pour into slow cooker, on top of the onion.

Do not add water.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4-6.
The longer you cook chicken-on-the-bone, the more tender it will be.
If you use drumsticks, the ones on the side will brown and may stick to the sides of the crock, burning a bit.
If this bothers you, you can rearrange them with tongs an hour before serving.

If the chicken isn't enough garlic for you, pair it with some:

Garlic Bread
* 1 stick butter, room temperature
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 long loaf Italian bread, cut lengthwise

1. In a bowl, mix the butter and garlic together.
2. Spread the butter mixture on the bread.
3. On a baking sheet, bake the bread at 375F for 8-10 minutes, on the top rack of
the oven.
4. Then broil the bread for 1-2 minutes to brown.

1 comment:

Playing by the book said...

Love the new look! And I love the garlic theme. Yum yum. I have a very naughty pasta dish I make with lots and lots and lots of garlic and goats cheese and thyme - I think that might make it on to this week's menu plan now that I've read your post!