Other Ways to Store Your Garlic

  Yesterday we worked on braiding our garlic.  When we first pulled it all out of the ground I had said that I wanted to try storing it in oil…but then I did more research.  Turns out that even though it has an extremely potent flavor, garlic is very low in acidity…and as such, is a crazy breeding ground for botulism.  …I’d rather not make myself painfully ill, so we’re going to look at other options.

  The first few years I grew garlic, I braided it all.  I didn’t realize that after a few months stored that way it would shrivel up and become a horrible, stinky braid of not-pleasant.  Most of your garlic will last about 3 to 5 months after you harvest it so long as it’s in a cool, well ventilated place.
  We use a lot of garlic, but there is no way we’ll use everything we grew in 3-5 months.  Even when we do put an entire bulb of garlic in our hummus 3 times out of 4.  That means we have to look at other options.
  Option 1: Freezing
  There are a couple different ways you can go about freezing garlic, and I think we’ll probably do a couple different batches so we have different options as we cook.
  You can freeze the bulbs whole, without peeling them and just remove the cloves as you need them, peel the garlic, chop it, freeze it and then break out chunks as you need it…or puree it into an oil slurry (2 parts oil to 1 part garlic) and scoop it out to stir fry with.  The important part with the oil is to make sure it stays frozen…what to not get that whole botulism worry going again.  According to the information I’m finding, the oil should keep the mix soft enough you won’t have to thaw it any to get bits out, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

  Option 2: Drying

  The other main option is drying your garlic.  This one sounds a little pickier to me, since you have to make sure you’re only using “fresh, firm, unbruised cloves”…and you tell me how that’s supposed to happen when your 2 year old has been using the bulbs like badminton birdies??  …okay…maybe that was me.  Don’t you judge me just because you don’t know how to have a good time in the garden.  Anyhow…take your princess garlic cloves and peel them and split them in half lengthwise.  Spread the pieces on a baking sheet and bake them in an oven for 2 hours at 140 degrees.  After that, turn the heat down to 130 and continue drying until they are completely dried out and crunchy.

  Option 3: Talk other people into growing it

Okay…this isn’t exactly “storing” garlic, but once your gardening inclined friends get a taste of your home grown garlic you know they’re going to want to plant their own.  Share the love and pass on a few bulbs for them to start their own crop.  Besides, friends are less likely to complain about your garlic breath if they’ve got it too.



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