Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Food for the Future

Yesterday was a busy day putting up food. The first batch was drying some herbs in the dehydrator. I picked chamomile and rosemary. I need a lot more rosemary if I'm going to be self sufficient in that herb. Having my rosemary plants die every year just doesn't work. I hope I can over winter the one I now have growing in a pot. The chamomile on the other hand is so easy to grow. I will have more than enough for my winter teas. Every week I just pick more and more. Pretty soon my pint jar will be totally filled.

Then it was on to the garlic. I dug it up on July 3rd and put it on screens in my garage to dry. After 24 days it seemed sufficiently dry and this week is supposed to be very hot and humid. I figured it was better to get it inside into the basement where it is a lot cooler and drier. I cut off all the tops. On each variety I left a different length of stem so I could tell them apart. I then peeled off the outer dirty later. Some of the heads had some mildew on the wrappers which was not too surprising considering our weather this year. I peeled off any layer that showed mildew. Mostly the mildew wasn't very bad, but the unknown supermarket variety had quite a bit of mildew and I had to take all the wrappers off some of them. I put them in the fridge to keep. I'll use them up soon. They wouldn't have lasted in storage anyway. That will be the first variety eaten. It was an artichoke garlic and they don't keep as well as the others that are hardnecks.

The heads were small this year due to being dug up early. My unknown supermarket artichoke garlic were fairly large, but since two of the eight cloves rotted out over the winter and one was a tiny little thing, the overall harvest in the same space allotted was not better than the Bogatyr or Gregorian Crystal. They all came in at about 1 oz/head. Bogatyr will still be grown again. The others won't. When the heads for the Bogatyr were sent to me, the heads and cloves were tiny. This year they are larger. I'm thinking they still have more growth to go before they are really full sized.

German Extra Hardy was the biggest of the group. They averaged just over 1.5 oz/head. Their heads were quite a nice size. I'll save half of these to plant again this fall. All the biggest ones will be planted. The smaller ones I'll eat.

After that was done I had to make strawberry sorbet. I had a lot of raspberries to use in the fridge and this week is going to be hot. I'll use that sorbet to cool down. Or at least that will be my excuse to eat it all. The recipe is a take off from the sorbet in Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream and Dessert Book. I changed a few things.

Raspberry Sorbet

  • 12 oz fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup of sugar (I think I need to try 3/4 next time, my raspberries are pretty sweet)
  • T Rosie's lime juice
  • 1 c water
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • 1/4 c light corn syrup
I put it all in a blender and pureed it. Then put it in my ice cream maker. It made 4 cups of very yummy sorbet. I think it would have been a touch better if I had strained out the raspberry seeds, but that is a lot of work and probably not worth the effort.


  1. What a wonderful garlic harvest you have! The sorbet looks delicious! -Jackie

  2. Your garlic looks a lot better than mine. My first one was 2 ounces if I remember correctly, and perfectly formed, but the subsequent ones were much smaller and the cloves separated a bit from the heads. I think I'm not going to fool with it for next year, as the small amount we use can be purchased so cheaply at the grocery store.

    The sorbet looks really yummy. Maybe next year I'll get enough raspberries to actually make something!

  3. I don't know about everyone else, but you truly inspire me, Daphne!

  4. Your garlic looks picture perfect! I'm not saving any garlic this year other than some bulbils - it was all terribly infected with rust. Tiny heads was the result.

    Funny that you have such difficulties with rosemary and I can hardly kill it. On the other hand I just couldn't get my chamomile to germinate.

    I'm trying to keep track of what I'm harvesting this week so I can join in on Harvest Monday. No weighing though.

  5. Ellie Mae's Cottage, thanks. It was quite tasty, but then raspberry sorbet is one of my all time favorites. I think the pairing with lime is good. I like it better than lemon which is a lot more traditional.

    Annie's Granny, garlic is one of those that doesn't have a huge harvest. If each clove is about 1 oz and I get four in a sqft then that is just 1/4lb/sqft. Admittedly I still have the fall crops that I planted after them. I keep thinking they should have done at least 1/2lb for the garden space and the time they are given. But no. I'll take them anyway. Last year I decided to plant onions and garlic because I kept having to go to the store for them all summer long. I wanted to be able to eat all my veggies out of the garden. So far I've bought strawberries, corn and peaches from the farmers market, and very little other produce has been purchased. Now if only I could grow all my own dried beans (I eat a lot of them) and some of the whole grains I eat. BTW if you do get enough raspberries, I highly recommend the sorbet. I think I'll be making jam or syrup with some of the fall berries (if the fall berries have a good harvest). Last year I made cobblers. Yummy!

    Tessa, thanks. You make me blush!

    Michelle, oh dear that is too bad. I hope your next year's garlic works out better.
    I'm guessing our differing climates are to blame. Rosemary doesn't grow as well in our wet climate. I'm guessing the chamomile loves the rain. It certainly seems to. I don't even collect seed to plant. I just let it go to seed and next year, there it is. I even had two plants over winter and it isn't perennial chamomile. It is the annual kind. Though if I had to pick one I'd pick rosemary hands down. I love it so much. I make rosemary bread and I really want some rosemary potatoes if the potatoes every come in. I'll be looking forward to your post on Monday.

  6. Hi Daphne! Greetings from Wyoming!

    Your garlic looks fantastic!!!! I've got to decide what variety to get... and get it ordered!!!

    Thanks for sharing your sorbet recipe! I added it to my YummySoup recipe software... for future use!

  7. Oh wow that sorbet looks just divine! Enjoy it during the hot weather. And that sure is a lot of Garlic, great work!

  8. That is such pretty garlic. I'm still a little new to storing food, except for jam, of course, and that much garlic might tempt me to do a huge garlic soup or something. All the abundance might go to my head.

  9. Toni, thanks. I had trouble deciding which varieties to get last year. I'm glad I got a few so I could tell which ones did better in my garden.

    prue, thanks, I have been enjoying it. It really does the trick to cool me down.

    Stefaneener, lol I guess I'm lucky I've never made garlic soup so wouldn't be tempted. I'm hoping it lasts until next spring when the green garlic comes up, but about a quarter of those bulbs (the biggest ones) are destined to be planted in the fall.

  10. The garlic looks great and that is a nice size supply. I had an overabundance of it last year (got planting happy and it was a good year) but this year I eeked out what I consider to be a minimum amount to feed us for the year.

    The sorbet looks wonderful. Do you think it would translate well with a substitution of blackberries for the raspberries?

  11. You could pickle your mildewed garlic. It would probably last longer than in the fridge.

  12. Wow - that garlic looks like something off a website that says "this is what garlic should look like" - fantastic! I only have 4 bulbs this year - forgot about it...boo! Rosemary grows in my garden fine - its everything else that dies! Treat it mean - it'll love it! Cat @ Manor Stables

  13. Looks like you've had more luck wiht your garlic than me! About half my bulbs rotted in the ground and there were a fair few tiddlers left among those that survived.

    Ah well. Always next year....

  14. I have the same problem of not being able to keep a rosemary alive for more than a year. Once I succeeded in keeping one alive for two years but I don't know how I did it. Maybe more watering and less neglect in my case.

    Great use of strawberries this time of year, especially with heat we've been having. We made Italian ice and home-grown strawberries made it quite flavorful.

  15. The sorbet looks great, I will have to give it a try.

  16. kitsapFG, I think it would work well as a blackberry sorbet. Lemon might be better with blackberries. You might want to experiment.

    Chiot's Run, I've found that garlic lasts in the fridge OK for a short time. It is only two bulbs that I put in there so I ought to be able to use it pretty quickly. If my cucumbers ever come in I'll use it up fast in my pickles. Then I suppose I will have pickled garlic :> Hmm I could also make the picking juice now and that would pickle them.

    coffeeandapplepie, I have it grow fine while it is outside during the summer, but it dies over the winter even the supposedly hardy ones. This year I'm growing a less hardy one and going to bring it in. I've never done that before. I hope it works.

    thedroolingvegetable, I had a couple rot in the ground over the winter, but most survived. I was quite afraid they would rot this summer, but pulling them early seemed to work just fine.

    Sally, I guess I'll see if I can keep it alive this winter. I'm really bad with house plants. I ignore them and they die. I only have an aloe that I can ignore for months and it is happy with it.

    Dan, thanks.