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Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Garlic Problem

The problem
Okay, I know this is not the problem global warming is, affecting all our lives. But, I have a garlic problem.

Disappears
First of all, I just don't use much. I did, and then I quit. Why? I don't know. Maybe it is because when I look, all the garlic has dried up, so I do without that day. It has not dried into in a powder or something really hard or crispy. Dried garlic in my kitchen is only a shell of papery garlic outsides, all hollow inside.

Secondly, I don't buy it because I feel I am wasting my money One. More. Time.

So, garlic that does not last long is my problem. Or, is it that I don't use it fast enough?

Garlic was on my list at the grocery  more for its medicinal/health powers than for the taste it would add. And, I do love the taste. Since I try to avoid garlic from China, I searched and read a bit. Finally, I found a bag of five bulbs for $1. Yes, a plastic bag for garlic. I bit. I bought.

Dehydrate
There is a bag of five on the counter. Dehydrating is a choice. I don't want to use the oven since that would be too costly. I don't have a dehydrator. That is on my wish list right after a secure home for my hens.

Chop and store in oil
There were jars of chopped garlic in olive oil and something else (maybe water?)--two choices. I almost just gave up and bought one of the jars of commercially canned, chopped garlic. Home canning of garlic in oil is frowned up by the  canning authorities. I have lots of little pimiento jars that would be perfect for garlic storage.

Store whole
I have taken the advice of several and tried only two methods--leave the garlic on the counter or leave it in the crisper. Obviously, I am just not eating it fast enough. Usually, only one bulb at a time enters my home. Now, I have five bulbs peering at me. Yikes! I do not want to waste food or money.

What have any of you done? Can I just store garlic in the refrigerator in olive oil, chopped or unchopped? Do you think bacteria will grow if I refrigerate the oil/garlic combination?  Five bulbs will last me five months. Maybe I would eat more if I had it handy for cooking and it did not disappear in its skins.

One of these bulbs will be planted. Each little clove planted should yield a good harvest. Maybe I will never have to buy garlic again. Yay Me! I know how to plant!

Garlic home remedies
I just found these uses for garlic.

Your turn
What are your experiences with long term garlic storage? Do you ever chop, dehydrate, freeze, freeze in oil? Do you have any experience or good links to any of this?

My solution
Okay, this was written after the above post. I am going to freeze all the garlic (chopped) in olive oil in a sterilized jar. I still want to know what works for you. I will be freezing garlic again.

2 comments:

  1. I pickle garlic. Usually lazy style, because there isn't that much to work with. When I empty a pickle jar, I keep the brine and reuse it for garlic, carrots, radishes, or whatever odd veggies are in the fridge that might not get used up right away. Just clean the veggie, pop it in the jar, and keep refrigerated until used. May keep indefinitely. I've never had any go bad, any way. When I want to use the garlic I just rinse and chop. Smells vinegary but tastes fine!

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  2. It seems I only have pickle juice every few years. I am allergic to pickles! Actually, it's the wheat in the distilled vinegar that I causes the allergy problem. Plus, I cannot eat cucumbers even plain. However, I do keep cucumbers in a jar of vinegar with salt, pepper, and one clove of garlic and exbf eats those with meals.

    I put cloves from four garlic bulbs into evoo and put it in the freezer. Thanks so much for reminding me of the pickle juice! People who visit for a meal DO like pickled food, so I can replace the vinegar with pickle juice.

    Now, I will never have wasted garlic!

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