Wednesday, January 03, 2007
Making Garlic Powder
Garlic powder is by no means the most lucrative item we sell but I do use a lot of garlic powder myself and it is the best way to use up the garlic that has not sold by this time of year and is threatening to either sprout or rot.
In some ways I wish I had never opened the email from Whizbang productions (or maybe it was publishing, I can't remember) soliciting me to buy their book on how to make garlic powder. I did not buy the book but I did ask around on a couple of farming lists including one that had the author of the garlic powder book about how to go about making garlic powder and got enough information to go ahead and start drying garlic and grinding it into a fine powder. And now I am hooked on the stuff. The wan, tastes vaguely of garlic powder you can buy commercially at any grocery store for a couple of bucks for a big jar is not the same stuff. My home grown/home made garlic powder is powerful good. It is a rich golden color and has an assertive complex flavor. Just a bit will do for most things
I have changed how I do things a lot from my first batch about 6 or 7 years ago. I have gotten much more efficient over the years at cleaning the garlic for processing. And I have learned you never ever use a blender with a plastic carafe (the garlic impregnates the plastic with its' essence permanently as well as scrubs microchips off of the sides of the plastic carafe leaving one with a garlic plastic mix-yuck!). Always use stainless steel or glass and get one with a powerful motor. I found food processors (at least a Cuisinart) will not work at all because there is too much space in the bowl and you also have the plastic vs hard garlic issues that you get with a blender with a plastic carafe.
When I started doing garlic powder it would take me about 2 to 3 hours to separate and peel hundreds garlic cloves. Than I figured out in the 2nd or 3rd year you did not need to peel them before dehydrating and that alone save hours of work (I probably would have read this tip in the garlic powder book that I was too cheap to buy and could have saved myself a lot of work)
Right now the whole house smells like garlic as I have two dehydrators full of drying garlic. It's nice, like being in a bakery that is making garlic bread. I do not worry about vampires coming by when I am making garlic powder which I will be doing for the next month or so