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Fresh Garlic Doesn’t Seem To Be A Southern Tradition

A neighbor gave me some fresh garlic a few months ago.  I hung it up in my garage to dry and washed it this week and brought it inside.  That made me think of fresh garlic and if I ever remember my Mother or Grandmother using fresh garlic.  No!!! Never!!!  I went through some of my older cookbooks and most of the recipes called for garlic salt or garlic powder.  I do remember a few years ago roasted garlic became such a trendy thing and people bought all kinds of gadgets to use for their garlic.

I must make a confession.  I did not start using fresh garlic until last year when I became a food network fan.  All of those people use fresh garlic.  I started using it and I try to make things as simple as possible so here is how I have learned to work with it.  I bought the small packages you find in the grocery store that has the bulb.  That is the big part and a clove is one of the parts of the bulb.  I didn’t know that either.  There are garlic presses available and I have one but I don’t like it.  I just think it smashed the garlic too much.  I use a real sharp knife and mince it that way.  I don’t think fresh garlic is as potent as the powdered garlic or the garlic salt.  I think it gives my food flavor without the strong over-powering taste.

Here is a recipe for salad dressing that uses fresh garlic and it has a similar taste to the Olive Garden Salad Dressing.  It was given to me by a friend that really did not like to cook at all.  She could whip up this dressing with a salad and make it seem special.  It really impressed her guests.  Making a homemade salad dressing is really very easy and this is one of my favorites.

Salad Dressing

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/8 tsp pepper or to taste

1/4 tsp thyme

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

mix minced garlic with salt in bottom of bowl.  Add all other ingredients and whisk together.  Dress favorite salad greens with dressing.

As much as I believe in the Southern traditions, I think a great new addition to our culture is the use of fresh garlic.

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