Monday, March 18, 2013


I read a number of foodie blogs.  One that often provides a nice brief brain-break in my day is The Kitchn, which hosts short and to-the-point pieces about some aspect of food or kitchens or kitchen tools or chefs or really anything vaguely food-related.  It's often really valuable information, but always offered in snack size.  Often I simply scroll through most of the entries in my RSS reader, looking for something that jumps out at me.

A few weeks ago, one did.  A dude in a video was claiming that you could peel a whole bunch of garlic with minimal effort.

Now, I like garlic.  A lot.  But peeling the stuff is really freaking annoying.  If you just try to peel it with your fingers, you'll spend all day trying to pry the skin off the clove.  There are fancy 'garlic peeler' gadgets on the market, but they always strike me as a remarkably clever way to extract money from people while providing them with a completely useless tool.  I was taught to smash the individual cloves with the flat of a chef's knife, which does loosen the skin, but you still have to smash every single clove and then peel the skin away from the smooshed garlic meat, and in the process absolutely everything --- your knife, your hands, your cutting board, your counter, the floor, the ceiling (don't judge me) --- gets appliquéd with bits of garlic skin, thoroughly glued down by sticky garlic juice.

It's not a pretty sight.

So while fresh garlic is delicious, we only pull it out occasionally.  When we have the time and energy to invest in this rather intensive procedure.  So we have one of those Costco jars of pre-chopped and preserved garlic in the fridge, and the lovely local bulbs of fresh stuff sit in the bin, give up on the prospect of becoming part of a delicious meal, and slowly, hopefully, yearningly attempt to grow into full fledged plants.

So hey, it's worth watching like a one-minute video given by some wacky dude who seems to know a better way.  His way, inexplicably, involves putting the cloves in between two big bowls and shaking the bajeezus (that's a technical term) outta them.  Kind of goofy.

But holy crap.  It totally works.

We don't have two conveniently-sized prep bowls, so I use our biggest stainless steel bowl with a pot lid over it.  It does take some real shaking, so it's a good arm workout, and it's loud as hell.  But when you're done, there are the little naked beauties, just nestled in among the loose skin.  It's freaking magic is what it is.

So now every week or so I'll peel up two or three bulbs of garlic, toss them in our cute little mini food processor, and then we have a jar of actually fresh chopped garlic in the fridge.  It takes like fifteen minutes.  Including cleanup.

The next day, our scrambled eggs had so much fresh garlic in them.  At six in the morning, when I usually don't have the time or the wherewithal to even cut up an apple.  Fresh chopped garlic.  Because I could.   And they were delicious.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with that damn Costco jar...

Oh, and here's the video.

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