For the love of Garlic

I love garlic. Grilled, baked, smashed with cream cheese, Im not picky. They say I’m afraid of vampires. But 1) have you ever seen one at my place? Nope. And 2) I’d be toxic to them anyways. What umami is to vegetarians, garlic is to me.

An example of the 2021 harvest.

This is my third year planting garlic, and it is by far my favorite fall plant. It seems to me a fitting birthday present to buy a pound of so of seed garlic and get it in the ground in mid October and watch and wait and fertilize for 8 months to count browned leaves.

Not only is it so tasty, but it’s low maintenance. Plant, weed, fertilize (so much fertilizer), dig, dry, and EAT. Not to mention garlic scape pesto.

Last summer, we had so much garlic that my husband cut a special board just for drying the bulbs!

Sadly, something went wrong this winter in the pantry and my stored garlic was turning bad and smelled REALLY strong. And for a garlic lover to say it’s a bad smell, everyone else must have truly been suffering.

Enter the canning jars. Ordinarily, I only peel the cloves that I need; but we decided to peel and pickle most of the garlic to make it last the rest of the season until the German red and whites I have for summer 2022 are ready. And not only pickle, but spice and pickle!

Our base recipe came from healthycanning.com. Sub the wine for water, and of course we have to use home grown and dried pepper flakes!

I waited maybe 15 days after pickling before cracking the lid, but I simply couldn’t wait any longer (really, I needed to cook with it). I do believe I will be pickling at least some of my horde every year now. The brine added great flavor and it so pretty. I used a few cloves in a beef rib braise, and did I smash them into my macaroni the next day? The vampires will never tell.

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