EDIT: It has come to my attention the below instructable may in fact be a potential biohazard (kinda)! Well, more a health hazard. Plunging raw garlic in anaerobic environments may encourage the growth of botulism spores; a dangerous yet odourless, colourless toxin. To play it safe discard the garlic, add some acid (ie, vinegar or citric acid), keep refrigerated and from my google research these may only keep for around a week. Or just don’t make this, ok? I’ve prepared garlic + herb infused oils before without any problem but the internet now has me all suspicious. Google “infused oil and botulism” for more information. But I’m keeping this post here because I like the pretty pictures despite the irony you’ll discover if you read on. Who knew garlic could be so dangerous? -A
Once upon a time ago making jams, preserving vegetables, baking and growing your own produce was a necessity rather than a trend. The recent rise of grandma-esque crafts is a duel-edged sword for me. On one hand the the popularity of delicious stuff in jars is great. On the other hand Domestic Goddess chic seems to have reared it’s ugly head yet again; “let’s make some jam hahahahahaaa wow so quiant I’m probably never going to eat this though because #iquitsugar hahah”! #DIY guys! In my eyes the return-to-the-provincial mindset should not be synonymous with quaint-for-the-sake-of-quaint. Growing up the art of canning, etc has always existed as an act of preservation; to store food longer, give it a second chance and/or transform it into something a little bit nice. Think caterpillar-butterfly with delicious results. The other day my Yiayia delivered an enormous jar of eggplants suspended in olive oil. My mum questioned as to how they came to be and she simply replied, in her adorable accent, “oh, you know, I had so many eggplants and they were beginning to turn old”. Nice one, Ya. You’re too legit to quit. You’re the pinnacle of grandma-chic but you’re too cool to even understand what that means.
So a few weeks ago my boyfriend’s sister’s boyfriend (deep breath) gave us a bag of thyme, sage and scotch bonnets from their garden. Touched by this act of kindness on a bad day I vowed to do something excellent with the entire bag. However, a week went by, life got in the way. I used a few leaves here and there but today was both startled and horrified upon discovering the herbs lying dormant, patiently, in the fridge. They were so garden fresh (I know this because I found a babby snail having a suckle) they were still incredibly fragrant despite looking wilted as heck. It was time to put my Yiayia’s philosophy into practice, a beautiful, relevant salvage mission.
Should I write a recipe format for this? Nah. Find some old jars, buy some extra virgin olive oil. Stuff the jars with some herbs, a clove of peeled garlic and a chili. Top the jars with oil and allow to steep; soon enough you’ll have an enjoyable infused oil to use however you wish. Remove the chili if you’re concerned about your oil turning into fire water. Take a photo of it, give it to your friends and bask in the #DIY glory (but don’t be a jerk about it). Just… don’t wrap it in twine, ok? I think we’re all a little old for that.
Here’s to second chances. #quaintlife