The Power of Canning
Garlic has a well-deserved reputation for being easy to grow, easy to harvest, and easy to use. Many gardening books describe it as the first vegetable in which you can become self-sufficient. Just grow somewhat more than you need and replant some of the cloves each year.
But the one area of garlic where I used to struggle was preserving it. Strong it in the basement, I just couldn't get it to avoid going soft over the course of a year. It would be fine for months, then turn to mush. So much of it was wasted.
Beginning last year, I canned most of the garlic I was saving in vinegar, using water-bath canning techniques. The result has been amazing.
Not only does the garlic last much longer, but being in the vinegar softens it. When I need some minced or mashed garlic for a dip or a fry dish, I can simply use the flat side of a knife to flatten a garlic clove or two on a cutting board and throw the resulting mash into the dish.
So I not only can keep my garlic longer now, but the stored garlic is easier to use.
Yet I rarely see discussions of canning touch on garlic or similar bulbing or rooting vegetables. Many gardeners seem to find it so easy to dry and store their garlic, it would never occur to them to suggest canning.
This works for onions, too. I have canned sweet-and-sour onions in sugar and vinegar, and the result works well on sandwiches and burgers.
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