This may be Halloween, but rest assured there is no chance of any vampire invading our home. Apparently dating all the way back to Egyptian times, garlic was the preferred repellent for vampires, who, the ancient Egyptians believed, killed children by sucking their breath. Interesting that this is now what is thought of cats and think of how important cats were in Egyptian history! Maybe the vampires got a bad rap.
But anyway a dictionary in the mid 1800s says that not only is garlic used to flavor foods but that it was also used as a charm to ward off evil spirits.
Romania, no stranger to vampires, people eat garlic every day for their personal protection.
ASIDE: I once worked with a woman who ate copious amounts of garlic and that is when I discovered that if you eat a lot of garlic on a daily basis, you excrete it with your sweat. And that the smell of excreted garlic is nothing like the smell of cooked garlic. I had to move my desk to where there was an open window and some days she smelled so bad I had to leave the office to get some fresh air.
But I digress.
Anyway, it is long established that garlic wards off vampires and other spirits.
Well, my friend Evelyn gave us copious quantities of home grown garlic. A whole bag full. And tonight I took advantage of the approaching potential vampire attacks and made "40 clove of garlic chicken." I first made this dish years and years ago after Gilbert died and I got his clay pot. I don't make it all that often because it's a pain to peel all those garlic cloves, even with the use of my handy-dandy garlic peeler that Paul bought for me a long time ago.
(you roll the garlic in this tube and voilà, you have peeled garlic. But it only does 1-3 cloves at a time.)
Facebook is a good source of information, other than cute cat videos and who David Gerrold is unfriending today. The other day I saw a marvelous video where you put your garlic in a metal bowl, top it with another metal bowl (top to top) and then shake the bowls together rigorously. When you stop shaking, you have a bowl of peels and peeled garlic. It's like magic. Try it. It works! For just a couple of cloves, I'll continue to use my little rubber thing, but for large quantities, the bowl method is ideal.
But in no time flat, I had my garlic all peeled and my chicken and other ingredients in the clay pot ready for the oven.
It was indeed yummy when all cooked, the garlic having softened so it mixed nicely with the potatoes and carrots...and chicken itself (if you don't know, garlic when baked for a long time gets soft and can be spread like butter--and loses its sharp taste).
So I am expecting no vampires at our house tomorrow night. Safe for another year.
Yes, I am going to Iowa. Peach and I have been talking about what is about to happen to her and what I can do to help. I am flying out on the 9th of November (which means I have a review to write the night before, after I see the show!) and the flying home on the 3rd of December. I will be having Thanksgiving with Peach and Bob and their family. I would love to be here to have it with my mother, but (a) Thanksgiving is the busiest time to travel, and (b) I saved a significant amount of money by flying after the Thanksgiving rush is over.