by: HILLSBORO TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Elephant garlic is just one of several varieties of the pungent root crop you can find at the Hillsboro markets this month.Tis’ the flu and hobgoblin season!  A well-prepared kitchen witch or wizard must have a well-stocked pantry of garlic for fall cauldrons of stews and spells.  If you haven’t yet inventoried your supply, now is the time to load up with just two weeks left before the Hillsboro markets close for the year. 

Garlic, well known for its effects on vampires, was also a favorite tool of the Egyptians. Archeologists discovered cloves of garlic in King Tut’s pyramid tomb, and inscriptions explained how pharaohs settled a pyramid builder strike by increasing the daily garlic ration. 

An ingredient so helpful with blood-suckers and mummies is, by extrapolation, a sure cure for hordes of hungry treaters returning from a night of tricks.  Feed your young monsters a feast of pungent and disgusting delectables. Use freshly chopped garlic in a fresh batch of guts (salsa), sliver garlic over a steaming mound of brains (cauliflower), and combine minced garlic with salt and olive oil for a slippery dish of intestines (spaghetti squash). 

At the Hillsboro markets, customers have a wide variety of garlic, guts, brains, and intestines to choose from.  For garlic, stop by booths run by Three D Ranch, Favorite Produce, Florence Jessup,  Nuts about Berries, Our Little Farm and Nursery, and Sosa Farms.  Varieties include Bavarian, Brown Tempest, Chesnok Red, Czirpithian, Crystal White, Elephant, Georgian Crystal, German, Leningrad, Martins Heirloom, Purple Glazier, Music, Simmonnetti and Slovarian. 

If you are unsure about what variety is best for your anatomical offering, talk with the farmers about the heat and flavor and find the perfect fit for your dish.  When you have settled on a variety, choose cloves that are big, plump and firm, with tight silky skins and paper-like coverings intact, not spongy, soft, or shriveled. Store your garlic in a cool dark location, braided and hanging, or in a hand-woven garlic basket from Carole Cole at Basketry Botanica.

You can find lovely tomatoes, tomatillos, onions, cauliflower and squash for your guts, brains and intestines at farm booths run by Florence Jessup, Martinez Farms, Nuts about Berries, Our Little Farm and Nursery, Sosa Farms, Three D Ranch and VanDyke Farms.

Join us at the markets, Saturdays in Downtown Hillsboro 8-1:30, Sundays at Orenco Station 10-2, through October.

When she’s not putting dinner guests off their appetites with her eerily realistic anatomical culinary creations, Laura Conroy is the market manager for the Hillsboro Farmers’ Markets and can be reached at 503.844.6685 or

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