Last year this time, after dehydrating 30 bulbs of garlic (roughly 200 cloves) and processing the batch into a quart of garlic powder, I questioned whether I would do it again.
- I didn’t know if I would use that much garlic powder.
- Although I love the fragrance of the stinking rose, the dehydrating process overwhelmed the air quality of the house for a long weekend.
Well, this is August 2016. I did it again, and then some.
- Richard arrived in February to an almost-full quart of garlic powder. By the time he left in early July, there was only dust on the bottom of the jar. He used the garlic powder in omelets, sprinkled it on meat and stir-fry, and scooped it into soups and sauces.
- I got a call from one of the fellows who suggested making garlic powder in the first place. He had a garlic question, and, as garlic growers often find, one question led to a long, garlicky conversation. When we touched on the dehydration process, I mentioned that it stank up the house. “Oh, my wife would never let me do it in the house. I just set up my work station in the garage.”
Thank goodness for wives with limits.
For this year’s garlic powder process, I started with 60 bulbs (342 cloves). The grueling part of the job is peeling the papery skins off each of those 342 cloves. But after that was done, the drying and processing seemed to take less time than last year. What a difference it made moving the dehydrator into the garage. The aroma of drying garlic took the edge off the stale gasoline-motor oil odor, and there is nothing like an open garage door for ventilation. Nineteen hours later I was sifting garlic powder into jars.
Some moms send care packages of chocolate chip cookies. Some send brownies. I’ll be mailing my kids containers of homemade garlic powder. Laurie Lynch
Ahoy Skype: Daughter Marina and I have this uncanny tendency to cook or crave certain foods simultaneously even though we live on different continents. Part of it is seasonal, such as baking pumpkin pies when pumpkins ripen in the garden or making pesto pasta when the first basil plants billow with fragrant green leaves. But other times, it might be as simple as, “I made the best Caesar salad last night,” with the other replying, “So did I!”
On Sunday, we were Skyping when Marina held up a large yellow zucchini, “Dinner.”
“Oh, you can make zucchini boats! I just made them for the first time this week. They are so easy and fun. I don’t know why I never made them when you kids were growing up. I guess I was so busy selling the small ones that I never let them get big.”
So, we chatted as Marina prepared her yellow boats. First, I explained, slice the large zucchini in half, lengthwise. Then, scoop out the flesh, leaving about a half inch of flesh as the shell. Cut up the flesh, and add chopped onions or garlic, fresh or canned beans, diced peppers, corn from the cob, cherry tomatoes, whatever you have. Saute with ground turkey, beef, or sausage, or go meat-less. Stir in grated cheese. Fill each boat with the mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. We said our good-byes between the chopping and sautéing, but I’m sure dinner was delicious.
Written in Cross-Stitch: “Gardeners get to stay in their beds all day.” (A gift from a BFF.)