The garlic plants in the garden are sending up flower stalks. These are known as "scapes", and their thickness generally reflects the size of the bulb below the ground.
Luckily, the scapes should be removed so that the garlic plant puts its energy into bulb production. I say, "luckily" because they are delicious. You just snap off about of foot of the stems and cook them; they have a flavour similar to that of green beans cooked in garlic. My favourite way of cooking them is this:
- Remove the tips from the scapes. Drop them into boiling water and cook them for 2 or 3 minutes, then drain them.
- Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan and fry the scapes quickly for a few minutes. Add a sprinkle of brown sugar, a splash of soy sauce, some chili pepper, and a drizzle of sesame oil. If you like the flavour, add some Thai fish sauce, too, or a slice of fresh ginger. Cook till they are nicely browned and serve hot or chilled.