Pickled Garlic

As you might remember, we harvested a huge amount of garlic this past April, then braided it in May and hung it on the canning shelf. Then along about June I decided to freeze some of the garlic in oil. (Never store garlic in oil in the fridge - it is a perfect recipe for botulism.) Since then, we've been cutting the heads off the braids whenever we need it for cooking or canning, which has turned out to be quite often. I'm surprised at how much garlic we go through - we only had about 10 heads left on two braids. We're going to have to dedicate an entire 4x8 bed to it this winter, I think, rather than just a 4x4. Anyway, as I was cutting in to a bulb this weekend, I noticed that some of the cloves had gone brown and mushy, and I realized that the garlic would no longer be stable hanging on our canning shelf.

I found a recipe for pickled garlic on the Growing a Greener World website. I originally didn't want to pickle garlic, thinking that it would taste like pickles, not garlic. But Theresa Loe, the author of this recipe, assures us that using the pickled garlic is very close to using fresh, and we can rinse off the cloves before we slice them, even. That convinced me to go ahead and give it a shot. So today I pickled and canned garlic.

It was straightforward, but fussy. Peeling a pound of garlic is no joke. Luckily that trick I showed you before, and which is also in the recipe, works great. It just takes a while. And then I screwed up and heated up pint jars instead of half-pint jars, well, let's just say this project took most of the day. I also had to go over to my folks house and get their braid of garlic that I gave them in May, because if my garlic is going bad, so is theirs. Anyway, it's done now, and I can tell you that I'm pretty sick of the smell of garlic, but I'm very glad the harvest is not wasted. As it was, I had to throw out about a quarter of the garlic, due to mushy brownness.

This recipe used about 20 heads of garlic.

All my supplies

Good clove on left, bad on right

4 half-pints to add to the canning shelf