Garlic Cookies with oatmeal, almonds and garlic

Garlic Cookies with oatmeal

125 g (4.4 ounce) butter
225 g (7.9 ounce) cane sugar (or other sugars)
1 egg
1 tablespoon white wine (or apple cider or water)
125 g (4.4 ounce) of sieved flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
170 g (6.0 ounce)coarse oatmeal

Filling for ½ portion dough
100 g (3.5 ounce) almonds
4 cloves garlic, for example. “Estonian Red ‘,’ Persian Star ‘or another strong cultivar

dried cranberries


First mix the butter with sugar, until it becomes soft. It takes some time, use a hand mixer or get some healthy exercise. It should feel as if the sugar is dissolved in the butter.
Then add 1 egg and then the white wine. Mix well.
Pulverizer sea salt in a mortar. Sift the flour and mix with sea salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix with the rest of the dough. When dough is well mixed, stir in the coarse oatmeal. Use a spoon, so the oatmeal does not turn into flour.

Now you can add the filling. There is a high degree of freedom. Consider the dough as a mortar, that will bind bind the filling ingredients together. First add the almonds and mix gently. Cut the garlic in thin slices and turn into the mixture.

Unless you bake for a big family, you probably want to add some other kind of filling to the other half of the dough.
All kinds of nuts and dried fruit goes nicely as a filling. Grated citrus peel is fine too. You can also add a little spice, like cardamom or fennel, but beware that it does not disturb the taste of the basic filling ingredients.

Baking in the oven
Bake at approx. 180C (350F), until the cookies take colour and turn brown at the edges (about 12 minutes)

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A couple of garlic braids

Garlic competition is over. It was an exciting day at Hvidløg & Vin (Garlic & Wine).

We were not that many, perhaps because of the weather this season. A table was put up in the barn, so we sat next to this years big garlic harvest drying in an air ventilated big box. Interesting to see how the professionals do the various phases of garlic cultivation. Great to be in a center for garlic!

Bottom up ventilation of the garlic harvest

Lotte Ravn Lei gave a speech on their cultivation of garlic. There are some quite different considerations when growing garlic for so many people. For example they grow no hardneck garlic, as the high and rigid flower stalks make field operations more difficult. It is hard enough, because there are so many processes where each garlic must be handled by hand.
With regard to soil, they experience the clay soil to be ideal for garlic. They fertilize the soil with composted chicken manure in autumn, before they set the garlic. They tell that it is important to look after the soil, so that the earthworms thrive. They provide the best soil structure for the garlic.

Which garlic is whitest?

Awards were amazing this year, as Ejner had donated his garlic drawings.

In the competition Kirsten had the largest garlic, an Estonian Red weighing 132 g.
Then came:
Inchelium Red 114 g (Kirsten)
Susan Delafield 111 g (Merete)
Transsylvanian 111 g (Merete)
Vigor 100 g (Kirsten)
Thermidrome 97 g (Lotte)
Bodil’s French Market 82 g (Søren) -Yes, I still haven’t grown the largest garlic 🙂

The whitest garlic was cultivated by Lotte. The variety is unknown as it was an off-type, differing a lot from the other garlics from same batch of garlic sets. Several of the garlic was probably just as white, but Lottes garlic had the largest white surface.

The reddest garlic

Merete won with the darkest red garlic. There was no doubt. The variety is Estonian Red.

Finest garlic garlic braid was made by Ejner, the huge braid with many varieties, each labeled with variety name (see top photo). The biggest garlic braid we’ve seen yet our competition.

Garlic cookie

We also had coffee and cake. Lotte provide drinks, while Kirsten had baked two delicious cakes. I brought some garlic cookies. You probably should be very crazy about garlic, to eat cake with garlic in. There were some who ate more than a single cookie. Myself, I’m pleased with my garlic cookies.

Thanks all you happy people who participated!

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Time: Saturday 13 August pm. 14.00.
Location: Garlic & Wine Skuderupvej 9, 4640 Fakse
Registration before 6th August to Søren Holt tel +45 31 52 24 31 or email skrubtudsen(insert “at” here) gmail.com

Bring your finest homegrown garlic. We compete in the following categories:

Biggest garlic
Whitest garlic
Darkest red garlic
Most Beautiful Garlic braid

In competition we pretend to be serious 😉

Lotte Ravn Lei tells briefly about professional cultivation of garlic in Denmark
We have varieties presented.
We must find the winners.
We will also try tasting garlic cultivars.
How does our local soil influence garlic flavor? Same clone grown in different gardens.
How can we compare taste of different clones? Which clone do you like best?
For tasting, we need that you take some garlic. It need not be the garlic with winning potential.
It is possible to buy coffee, tea and cake.

This year’s garlic competition is organized in cooperation between Frøsamlerne and Garlic & Wine.
One need not be a member of Frøsamlerne, but the garlic must be home grown.

Www.froesamlerne.dk www.hvidlog-vin.dk

Garlic, Allium sativum, “Grethes Supermarked”

Now it’s time to harvest the early garlics. The bulbs are beautiful this year. But the leek moth have been foraging on my garlic. I have sorted them so that the healthy garlic dries with the top, the ones attacked with out top. I found one garlic where the leek moths larva had gnawed a hole out from a clove. That garlic is now on the kitchen table to be cooked these days.

When I decide to harvest the garlic, it’s after counting the leaves. The leaves wither one by one, starting with the lower leaves, from the bottom up. Only the green leaves can makes the scales covering the garlic cloves. By counting the green leaves I can figure out how many scales the dry garlic will have after curing. At least two scales are needed, as the upper leave only produce a scale for the inner half of the cloves. The next leave produce a scale covering the first scale (with its cloves) and the second row of cloves. In some cultivars there can even be more than two rows of cloves, thus needing more scales. I’ve decided to harvest when 4-5 green leaves remain. But as garlic increase size significantly in the weeks before harvest, one also want to harvest as late as possible.

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Shaggy ink cap (Coprinus comatus)

Unexpected a shaggy ink cap pop up from a world below the garlic bed. Actually, several popped up. It was cooked into a lovely soup with clams, shallots and Thai mint, adding a dash of coconut milk.

Will it damage the garlic? I do not know. So far I see no problems.

Shaggy ink cap on the garden table

Shaggy ink cap grow occasionally where the soil is well manured. Here it appears in the garlic bed, which last year was a melon bed on a trench of horse manure. I’ve never in 16 years seen it in this garden. It can pop up from it underworld from summer till autumn. I might have a chance to harvest it again one or more times this season.

It’s perishable by nature, must be harvested young, before the ink starts to drip. After harvest it must be used within four to six hours, as it deteriorates rapidly.

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Allium sativum ‘Red Toch’
1) left stored in the refrigerator
2) right stored in the scullery, 16-18C

Garlic Red Toch has a superior taste, but is reputed to store short time. I asked Randi and Svend from Danish Seed Savers on their experience over a few years. They were so kind to do an experiment and have send the following report:

‘status’ on storing RED TOCH

1) I took some cloves on the 20th. september 2010 and stored them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator at 5 degrees C.
Control on the 7 th january 2011, cloves has set roots and begun to sprout.

2) I took some cloves on the 20th. september 2010 and stored it in an open glass jar at 16-18 degrees C in our scullery.
Control on the 7 th january 2011, cloves are still juicy, can not tell the difference from other garlic cultivars.

Note that the refrigerator is not the correct place to store garlic – too much humidity.

In the middle of March I was given the experimental cloves, and took the above photo. The two cloves stored warm were delicious to eat, the two stored in the fridge was not interesting in this state.

Home-grown garlic keeps well on the kitchen table, but bad in the refrigerator.
It also seems that Red Toch keeps quite well into March and maybe longer.

And a big thank you to Randi and Svend for their fine study !

Three beautiful garlic braids

Frøsamlernes (Danish Seed Savers) garlic competition took place in August. Luckily some bloggers are more up to date than I am for the time being. ‘Vild med have’ wrote a great post already next day – and I enjoyed it! Now time has come for my version.

Scoreboard for the largest garlic – 1 point each. gram

Four classes in the garlic competition

Biggest garlic won by a “DR Friland”, grown from Merete.

Whitest garlic won by a “Grethes Supermarked” cultivated by Kirsten.

Darkest purple garlic won by a “Bodils Fransk Marked” cultivated by Søren.

Most beautiful garlic braid won by a “Nettos Ekstrahvide” braid by Ejvind and girlfriend.

We compete with a twinkle in our eye, and it is clear when it comes to colors and braids. As the scale was in use, great care was shown. Stems were carefully cut to 4 cm, roots to 1 cm, brushed clean of soil with an old toothbrush, and every single garlic head was discussed. It was not easy to cheat!

Until now, ‘Estonian Red’ was the only variety that could compete in size. This year a new player joined the game, “DR Friland”, and beat the nearest ‘Estonian Red’ with 9 grams. They resemble each other so much that I suspect that it is the same clone. It will be exciting in future to see, if “DR Friland” can keep ahead.

The attentive reader has already discovered it – my ‘Estonian Red’ garlic is on top of the scoreboard, but is the second smallest garlic. Yes, indeed, all others had larger garlics than I (some put up with two garlics). There is a long way to go from 100 grams up to something that can win, here a twinkle in the eye comes in handy 😉

Tasting the garlics

This year we agreed to taste the garlics. The selected varieties were ‘Estonian Red’, ‘Red toch’, “Alexander Tjetanov”, “Nettos Ekstrahvide” and Meretes home pickled garlic. To cleanse the mouth between the different varieties we had bread, olive oil and parsley. The raw garlic was cut into thin slices, so you could spear a slice with a toothpick.

Garlic tastes differently. But so different was a surprise to me. We also experience the taste very individually.

This is my sorting, from mild to strong.
“Nettos Ekstrahvide” – Extremely mild garlic – disappointingly mild.
‘Red toch’ – Mild and nutty, great depth of flavour – some experienced this as a very strong garlic
‘Estonian Red’ – Lovely strong and clean flavour
“Aleksander Tjetanov” – At first strong, followed by a mild break before it burned through with a very strong crystal clean garlic flavour. It almost made me cry 🙂

We were fortunate enough to get the whole range in the bulbs taste!
Personally, I was lucky to get a bulb of ‘Red Toch’ to grow next season.

Big thanks to our hosts, Merete and her husband.

Leek moth (Acrolepiopsis assectella) in garlic (Allium sativum)

This season the leek moth have again visited the garden. Last year it lived in the leek as supposed to, but this year it has developed a taste for garlic. I’m the first to understand. I’ve only found one affected garlic, but the largest specimen. It bored in to the flowerstalk, lived a live in luxury in there. I didn’t notice any serious signs until after harvest, when curing the garlic. It took on a tan color and an unpleasant odeour, not at all like garlic should smell. I had to check it out – guess the photo show my findings better than I can describe.

Next year the leek moth will be back. They only fly short distances. Can I keep the number down in my garden by being on the watch out for the first signs of leek moth, cut out the small garlic consuming beast – I might actually keep their numbers at a minimum. Nobody feeds them in the neighboring gardens by growing alliums.

Hvidløgskonkurrence 2009
Frøsamlerne (Danish Seed Savers) garlic competition (Coffebreak) (Copyright Lars Jacobsen 2009)

This year Frøsamlerne, The Danish Seed Savers had a garlic competition. It inspired the ecological website Havenyt to make a similar webbased contest. It’s in danish, but photos, and Estonian Red (Estisk rød) rules the show!
You could consider a google translation.

Frøsamlerne held our competiton in the allotments of Kirsten and Anne. They served coffee, teas and cake, had chairs for everyone to sit comfortably. We started with a presentation of our selves and our garlics. Many interesting point on soil and growing technique surfaced. One point that seems to persist is that garlic love a soil rich in organic matter, and seems to prefer sandy soils to heavy clay.

Several reported of leek moth in some of their garlics. I personally had to leave my biggest garlic, a ‘Gazebo Grande’ at home, as it had aquired a petty brownish color, looking weird. We had a laugh, as I was not the only one claiming to have lost the biggest garlic to a leek moth caterpillar!
As I opened my Gazebo Grande, I did indeed fint the caterpillar inside.

Appearently nobody had been really troubled by garlic rust this year, as it mostly came just few days ahead of harvest, thus had no influence on the garlic quality.

Four classes in the Garlic Competition

Biggest garlic won by an ‘Estonian Red’, grown by Lila Towle

Whitest garlic won by a “Grethes Supermarked” grown by Kirsten Hedegaard

Darkest purple garlic won by a ‘Chinese Purple’ grown by Kirsten Hedegaard

Most beautiful garlic braid won by an ‘Inchelium Red’ braid grown and braided by Søren Holt

Out of competition there was also a prize for the great eyecatching Allium ampeloprasums grown by Lars Jacobsen.

Biggest garlic was judged by weighing. The other classes was a bit more difficult.
The whitest garlic was clearly “Grethes Supermarked”, but there was two presenting this variety. Everybody agreed the had the same color. It was then decided, that the one with the largest area would be the whitest!
The darkest purple was difficult to judge, and we never agreed on it. It’s a class, where many clones have a chance to win, depending on a careful harvest and curing technique.
Most beautiful garlic braid, what is beautiful? There was a traditional braid, not very well braided, and an unusual bunch tied together in a creative and free spirited manner.

The Allium ampeloprasum Lars had brought was of three types. Babingtons leek many of us readily recognized, with its two cloves and large bulbils. He also brought Elephant Garlic, with more cloves and no bulbils. The last type he had from Nysted, having two huge cloves.

Thanks to Kirsten and Anne.

Merete from “Vild med have” also blogged about our garlic competition (In danish)

Garlic (Allium sativum) Estonian Red, tearing off roots

There are many ways to treat your garlics after harvest. You can simply shake off some of the dirt, leave it to cure on the ground for days – weeks, you can clean them with a hose, wash them in a bucket ect.
In a book I read how to gently shake off the dirt, cure the garlics for weeks, then trim the roots and clean the garlic with an old toothbrush and cutting the stem.
My dilemma; on one hand I’m too lazy to clean garlics with an old toothbrush, but on the other hand the chef in the kitchen dislike dirty vegetables. Also I won’t take the risk of transmitting stem-and bulb nematodes by washing the garlics in a bucket, and I’m too parsimonious to hose them clean in precious tapwater.
My choice is the leek method, tearing off the roots and one outer leave.

Tearing off one green leave

With this method timing of harvest is essential. Cloves grow in the leaf axils of the inner two or more leaves (most fertile leaves in softneck garlics) – you have to learn your garlic clone. Harvest when there is still at least one green leaf more than the fertile leaves.

Roots I tear off, as I imagine how cutting with a knife or scissor make a larger contact surface for infectants than tearing off by hand.

Around the garlic bulb the leaf split

The leaf split when reaching the bulb. Each part of the leaf I tear down, the rutine comes quickly.

1-2-3 a clean garlic

In no time I hold a clean garlic in my hand, thus can supply a happy chef in the kitchen.

I always tag the clone

An important detail: Handling several clones demand tagging. It’s terribly annoying having mixed up the garlic clones.

To ensure healthy garlic sets, I put the garlic bulbs in order of size before I start cleaning. I start cleaning the biggest, as I will set them again in the autumn. It reduces the risk of transferring diseases to my garlic sets. Cleaning several varieties I wash my hands in between, again in order not to spread infections.