Way back in the late spring of ’13 I got my hands on a ton of locally grown garlic. Remember that? I pureed a lot of it and mixed it with olive oil and froze it. Then I decided to try something new. I put whole peeled garlic bulbs in olive oil and froze them. The idea is that I could defrost them and add them to pans of vegetables for roasting. I love roasting garlic with sweet potatoes and tofu. My concern was that freezing whole bulbs might result in a mushy bulb that doesn’t roast well. I figured that if it didn’t work I could remove the bulbs from the oil and I’d have a great garlic flavored olive oil to use for sauteing and for dressings. So a month or two ago I removed the first jar of whole bulbs out of the freezer like a scientist meeting his first test-tube baby – full of hopes and dreams for a life of laboratory purpose and circus exhibi-
Letting it defrost in the fridge was my first mistake. Things don’t defrost in my fridge very quickly because I think I keep it too cold. So after a week of waiting for the oil to liquify I set it on the counter. Ah! Hopes and dreams revived, I practically lived in the kitchen watching the oil turn slick and – and – then I saw the bulbs. They were weirdly translucent. Weird enough that I didn’t feel like trying to eat them. If they were translucent then they were probably mushy as well. Stands to reason. A good scientist always goes through to the end of the experiment but I lost my nerve. This may be why I’m a writer instead of a scientist.
I couldn’t bear to throw the jar away but I couldn’t quite convince myself I wouldn’t seriously regret eating them either. They were slightly discolored as well as translucent. Sitting on the counter for over a month did not increase their allure. In the image above you can see how darkened the bulbs became. They look like agates in a pool of viscous piss. (Everyone’s gourmet dream!) I continued to not throw them away because I knew I must photograph them first and share them here.
I finally did it. By now I can’t at all be certain the garlic wasn’t teeming with botulism but there’s no reason I couldn’t satiate my curiosity to see what would happen if I pan roasted these guys. First thing I discovered on taking these bulbs out and handling them is that they didn’t lose textural integrity. Freezing them didn’t turn them mushy. Here’s what happened:
They became opaque again and pretty. If I didn’t feel so uneasy about the possibility of botulism I would want to eat those!
So here’s what I’m going to do: pull out another jar of bulbs to defrost on the counter but as soon as they’re defrosted I will add them to a pan of vegetables and roast them and eat them and report my findings because I refuse to let fear of weirdness prevent you from knowing if freezing garlic bulbs is worth doing. Who knows, this information could prove to be vital in an apocalyptic situation.
In a totally unexpected turn of events, by simply being greedy about a source of locally grown garlic and a race to process it all without using gloves, I have discovered a more effective and more nefarious method of torture than the always popular Chinese Water Torture.
Here’s how it works:
- Sit your prisoner down at a table equipped with a huge pile of whole garlic heads.
- Force prisoner to peel all the garlic with bare hands and offer no water to rinse them with once they start getting grimy and sticky.
- Within one hour the accumulative effect of the hot ‘n’ sticky fresh garlic juices will begin to burn the prisoner’s fingers and the skin under their nails will be especially painful.
- They will brave it out for a while and that’s when you bring in a fresh pile of whole heads of garlic and make them peel these too. The sight of more garlic may be enough to break them at this point.
- Tell them about the permanent damage the hot garlic juice will do to their fingertips by the time they have peeled 40 heads of garlic with their bare hands; how the tips of their fingers will be destroyed by the volatile juice as though they had been dipped in hydrochloric acid.
The beauty of this torture is that there’s virtually no end to it. The pain is cumulative so you don’t even feel it coming until it’s unbearable and renders your hands completely useless. It will wear down even the most sturdy of prisoners and, like all good torture methods, will get you RESULTS.
With this method you are guaranteed to get 100% unreliable intel out of any prisoner you use it on because they’ll be desperate to tell you whatever they think you want to know.
An exclusive benefit to the Hot ‘n’ Juicy Garlic Method of Torture©® is that once your prisoner breaks you’ll have a year’s worth of garlic to put in the freezer!
Good things happen when you combine smart thinking with urban homesteading!
Disclaimer: for best results use freshly harvested garlic. Inventor cannot be held responsible for revenge plots hatched and carried out by the victims of this torture method.
Preserving notes: 76 heads of garlic grown locally by Imwalle Gardens has resulted in many jars of whole and chopped garlic in olive oil in the freezer and possibly permanently damaged fingertips on the left hand, especially the index finger. Would like to further note that claims of magic tricks to peel garlic using jars or bowls did NOT result in more than 1 in 50 cloves being peeled. Hand peeling still best method. Recommend using gloves even if you have to rinse them every 60 seconds to keep them from sticking to everything and making you want to hurl because it triggers sense of panic and claustrophobia of the hands.