Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Fingers Are Burning...Why?

It's not a very good picture, but it shows how red my fingers are. What was I doing you may ask to injure yourself in this way? Cleaning garlic cloves. Who knew? Or maybe you do :-). Not just a few cloves...more like 100. I have heads of garlic that besides from a few surface flaws are fine. But not good enough to sell.  So I thought I would preserve them by freezing up batches of garlic puree, a mixture of garlic cloves & olive oil. After the first batch, my fingers started to burn. I put them in cold water but that didn't help. The oil from the garlic was still on my fingers. So I sprayed some "green" cleaning spray on them & the burning went away. I kept cleaning the cloves but it kept getting worse. So I quit for now. I would like to finish later, we'll see.
Garlic cloves cleaned & ready to process

One thing you may notice from the picture is that some of the cloves are green.  This is "young" garlic or green garlic. These bulbs were harvested a week or so before they were fully mature. The kind of garlic is "Italian Late". I needed to get all the garlic harvested at once due to other commitments the next weekend, so I dug these too.When they say" late", they mean late.
Some specialty grocers sell this green garlic or you may be able to find them at a farmers market. They are perfectly safe & have a milder taste. The flavor of  is still garlicky, but is much more mild with less of a bitter bite. When you cook it, the green garlic sweetens. It can be used raw or cooked.

Garlic Puree, ready to freeze.

Here is how I made it...
For every one cup of cloves, I added 1/2 cup of olive oil. Process until smooth in a food processor or blender. Pour into a clean jar or container & freeze. So simple. (Note: One thing you should never do is leave garlic in oil at room temperature. That is a recipe for botulism) The mixture won't freeze solid due to the oil so it is easy to spoon out what you need. My next batch (if my fingers can take it), I will add some herbs. The puree can be used on breads or added to any number of dishes. I kept the varieties of garlic separate in their own batches for a "taste test" of garlic varieties. I grew 16 different kinds & want to figure out which are the hottest, mildest, etc.

So I am off to do other projects now. I have zucchini to shred & freeze, a garden to weed (not  happening today though. 105 degree heat index) and a bathroom ceiling to paint. Yesterday I finished priming the living area ceiling with the sun beating in on me from the west window. I really didn't think I could sweat so much!
After the sun sets & close to midnight, I will try to be awake for the Persoid Meteor shower. Tonight is supposed to be the best night for it. Last night I went out but only saw six shooting stars. So look to your northeast and see the show. There could be as much as one meteor per minute. The last time I saw it years ago, it was amazing. Wow...just think of how many wishes you could make.


The Apple Pie Gal said...

At least your little fingers will smell yummy for a while, huh? The hubby 'accidentaly' tilled ours in so no garlic for us! Bummer! But at lease I will know to wear gloves next year!

JP said...


The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I have heard that this has happened to others too, but I don´t know why I´m afraid. I do hope it isn´t any kind of allergick reactio.
Take care now and use rubber gloves nect time.

Hot Belly Mama said...

This is amazing! I just shared this link with all of my gardening friends on facebook.

I hope I remember this when we grow our own garlic next year!

Barb and Steve said...

I will be getting some gloves for sure :-), This morning, I have a large blister on my index finger. Something I never would have thought would happen from garlic.

angie said...

Hi Barb,

I don't get it. Are your hands sore from peeling the garlic skin or is it the garlic juice that caused irritation?

Barb and Steve said...

It's the garlic juice. I think because I did so many at once.