This article covers preserving and using garlic during the winter months.
I have found some fabulous recipes and tips to share with you. Next month's issue will also cover some garlic and Halloween stuff, but some things need a little more preparation, so I've put them in a month early.
We're going to be a bit heavy on preserving as it's such a busy time of year and so helpful to have these articles on hand to save you searching.
Next issue, there'll be more recipes and general stuff about using garlic.
It's so easy to make your own garlic powder and it will last for the year. You don't need a dehydrator, the instructions here are for oven drying.
If you do have a dehydrator, the preparation instructions are the same, but refer to the booklet for timings. It will probably say around 105 F and seven hours or so.
A coffee grinder is best but if you don't have one, then again, improvise and use a processor or blender. You can smash the dried slices up with a pestle and mortar, that will give you bigger lumps and will take longer but will burn up some calories and keep you warm ;-)
It will be much stronger than the powder you buy in the shops, so go cautiously when adding it to your recipes and beware of using garlic that you've dehydrated at home in the same quantities.
What a brilliant idea for storage over winter, enabling you to knock together some great tasting casseroles and pasta sauces.
Canning tomatoes with garlic and basil is very simple and the next article below, will show you what to do with the skins that you'd have otherwise composted.
Ann from AFarmGirlInTheMaking has a website full of useful information about preserving, keeping livestock and feeding her family on a small homestead.
This is quite amazing. YouGrowGirl has written this article on how to make tomato skin powder out of the skins that you've peeled off during the canning process.
You would normally throw these away, putting them on the compost heap or in the bin.
Tomato powder is very useful - you can add it to casseroles, stews and tomato sauces to give them an extra richness.
Gayla's websites is chock full of gardening and using plants - so varied, you'll love it.
These Hypertufa Pumpkins are one of the main reasons that I thought I would publish a 'Using Garlic Issue' earlier than October. You need to prepare these ahead - you may even need to get the moulds this year and make it a project for next Halloween, not this.
Anyway - they're fabulous and Kim is brilliant, she makes such wonderful stuff - there's instructions for draped hypertufa pot covers, faux rocks and belfast sinks made from polystyrene boxes on her site. A great way to get gorgeous large architectural pieces for a fraction of the cost.
These glass bathroom scales are exceptionally good quality - glass, lightweight, thin, not some cheap alternative and there's 5 star reviews no less.
Justine's asking a very valid question here - why don't mosquitos suck fat?
For the weight conscious with a sense of humour!!
Either click on the photo or go to the top navigation to see what other funny sayings Justine has for you which can be put on a variety of novelty gifts.
To quote Chungah of DamnDelicious "Garlic and butter. The two greatest pleasures in life. The two ingredients I could probably live off of for the rest of my life. And when you combine these two in a glorious shrimp skillet, well, it’s nothing short of perfection."
Great Garlic Shrimp Recipe - you must check out the wonderful recipes on her site.
It's a good idea to start your Fire Cider before you need it - it takes around one month to mature, so best get started early and then get another one on the go to last through.
You can take it in many ways - as a shot, a tea, in juice for little ones or use it in your salad dressing regularly.
Mommmypotamus has a great recipe that you'll use over and over. Make Fire Cider part of your annual preserving regime and you'll have a great cold and flu remedy on hand at all times.
This Pull-apart Cheesy Garlic Bread will be one you use over and over.
A great sharing dish, looks spectacular and really easy to make. The only fiddly bit is pushing the cheese into the gaps - if you shred it, you'll get it stuck on your fingers and will have to resist licking them.
The video shows you how to get round that by cutting it into little cubes, so there goes your excuse for eating the cheese!
12Tomatoes has the instructions and a video showing you just how easy this is.
Save the Planet - urban bees are doing better than country bees - read how you can help the 'cause' - all is not lost!
All this and more - available now via Amazon (Kindle version as well as paperback)
OK, so I know this isn't about using garlic, but what a fabulous idea for the kids to make a few of these to feed the birds over the winter months.
They are so simple to make and you'll be able to teach them the names of the different species that visit your feeder. You could even have them make extra to give as gifts for friends and family.
GraceandGoodEats has so many recipes, crafts and simple DIY projects, you'll love Emily Grace and her great advice.
This Creamy Four Cheese Spaghetti has a lovely garlic, cream and cheese sauce achieved by melting the cheese in the pan - so, no tricky sauces to make.
Don't worry if you haven't got the exact mix of cheese, any will do so long as you've a bit of cream cheese, hard cheese and melting type cheese.
You can have it on the table in under 20 minutes!
Kristin from YellowBlissRoad has a wonderful website where you'll find fabulous recipes like this one and gorgeous projects. Read her adoption story, it will melt your heart.
Vaseline is a by product of oil drilling and a lot of countries have banned some products that contain petroleum jelly. It has drying effects on some people, which is the exact opposite of what they need.
Here's a natural two ingredient substitute a 'non-petroleum jelly' that you can knock up in the kitchen in minutes.
Again, just beeswax and oil - olive oil will be fine.
OneGoodThingByJillie never lets us down when it comes to easy makes.
I would make this even easier by putting water in the pan and the oil and beeswax straight into the jar, then heat the jar in the boiling water, thereby saving washing up the pan ;-)
You could even put the oil and beeswax in the jar and microwave for a few seconds at a time, until the beeswax has dissolved. Give it a stir with a wooden stick and let it set.
The health benefits of garlic are often spoken about. It is reputed to be one of the most beneficial herbs you can grow.
It is a close relative of the onion family and has many of the properties - using garlic for health dates back to early civilisation - Ancient Greece, Rome, Babylonia and Egypt.
It's not hard to grow and will benefit your cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure and it's fairly easy to get regular garlic by using it in your recipes. It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
The only downside, is that using garlic can make your breath smell and can come out of your pores. That's something you're going to have to decide for yourself.
Is garlic safe for dogs? Well, my answer would be 'yes' in the right quantities.
The only way to let you make your mind up is to present the two sides - watch the video from the holistic vet, Dr Deva Khalsa who says 'yes' and read the research from the Hokkaido University in Japan that says 'no'.
The experiment was carried out involving eight dogs, four of which had a daily dosage 50 times higher than recommended. The equivalent would be for a person weighing 165lbs (75KGs, 11 stone 11) eating 125 cloves of garlic a day - you tell me how you'd feel eating that much garlic for seven days straight. Who on earth would think of using garlic to that degree?
The National Animal Supplemental Council have recorded 900 million usages of garlic for dogs over 22 years with no serious problems reported.
I think that's a much better control group.
Very clever and quick method of peeling garlic without getting nasty bits of skin all over the place.
If you're peeling loads for processing or feeding yourself and your dog, this will save loads of time and struggling with peeling.
You can of course put an unpeeled clove directly into your garlic crusher and the skin will stay behind with the crushed garlic coming through the holes - that's a bit messy and you'll need to scrape the skin out with the tip of a knife, but it works well if you just want one or two cloves.
Growing garlic is straightforward and here's the lowdown.
You can either plant in Spring or late Fall - so September, October time is fine. In fact, you can plant twice to get a continual fresh crop, rather than drying or storing.
It's possible to grow garlic in pots, but you will need to be very diligent about watering.
If you're going to be using garlic for yourself and your pets, then growing it at home will be very much cheaper for you.
Valuable and timely advice on harvesting and storing garlic from TenthAcreFarm.
Lots of advice and tips about harvesting and storing garlic, what to do with the trimmings - and the very best tip I've ever read about saving seed garlic for next year's planting - you can carry on using garlic that you've grown at home for ever this way.
Amy has a fabulous site - an ex-teacher she has a way of getting her information across that makes it so easy to understand.
Drop by and say 'hi'.
The very famous, French bistro style 40 Clove Garlic Roasted Chicken from the equally famous kitchen of Martha Stewart.
The ingredients are simple - 1 medium roasting chicken, 40 cloves (about 3 heads) garlic, 2 sticks (4 ounces, 125 grams) butter and a few sprigs of thyme.
She recommends that you cook in the skillet for up to an hour - the skillet makes a difference to the heat distribution, so if you are cooking in an ordinary roasting tin, then I would suggest you go for an hour and a half.
If you have a meat thermometer, then it should read 165F when you put it into the thickest part of the thigh - avoiding the bone.
A great recipe for an easy meal with some salad and crusty bread to spread the glorious roasted garlic on and you'll be most certainly using garlic!
Read about the Herbal Academy of New England's Introductory Herbal Medicine Course.
I did the course last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.
This unit is your first one and has a bit of background, but gets straight into making herbal remedies. There's videos, downloads and charts to make it all visual enough to learn easily.
It is a first rate course - there is so much rubbish around, people purporting to be 'experts' and what they tell you is blatantly wrong. No such problems with this online herbal medicine school - they are top notch.