We are harvesting garlic.
I'll have a more complete blog post on the subject later, but suffice it to say I'm digging up a little at a time and then peeling what I've dug up before digging up more. This way I'm not getting overwhelmed with an entire bushel-basket of garlic all at once. But suddenly we have LOTS of fresh delicious garlic in the house.
Now that we have a proper dehydrator, I'm going to experiment with making garlic powder, but Don also wanted to try pickled garlic.
Pickled garlic is merely whole garlic cloves water-bath canned in a brine. The flavor of the cloves apparently is not affected by the canning process, and since they're whole (instead of chopped), the garlic doesn't lose too much of its "bite."
According to this website (where Don found the recipe), it's an excellent way to preserve garlic. Normally I wouldn't consider canning a low-acid food like garlic in a water-bath, but the woman running this website has impressive credentials and I will defer to her (hopefully) superior expertise on the subject.
So we -- actually Don -- decided to give it a go. It was his first solo canning project. (I'm so proud!)
He started by making the brine. (The kitchen was a bit dark, sorry about the poor photography.)
While the brine was heating, he washed the peeled garlic.
Washed and ready to pack into pint jars.
Tools of the trade.
Filling the jars.
Filling the jars with hot brine.
Capping. Because this was Don's first canning venture, he used standard disposable lids instead of Tattlers.
Into the water bath. He canned it for 15 minutes after it achieved a rolling boil.
Pulling out the jars.
In the morning's clearer light, the garlic was green (this often happens when canning garlic -- it turns color depending on whatever the mineral content of the water might be) and looked uncannily like canned olives. The coloration is harmless and doesn't affect the taste or quality in the slightest.
I'm pleased to add another variation to our canning repertoire and proud of Don's initiative for conducting his own canning project.