The young boy, Han Velsing, stood frozen in fear. The snow covered world around him suddenly filled with an unholy presence. He felt his eyes burn from the evil that permeated the air. He knew what was coming. He heard the thrust of powerful wings bat the air and then the crunch of snow when it landed. Sweat began to trickle down Han’s forehead even though it was bitterly cold. His predator stood towering in front of him. The Vampire’s skin was white as a porcelain picture. His cheeks were sucked in and hollow. He smiled wickedly, showing off his sharp teeth. Han dashed away knowing it was pointless. In seconds the vampire thrust Han brutally into the snow. Han’s trembling fingers gripped the item in his pocket. It was something his Mother always told him to carry with him for good luck. As the Vampire’s fangs lunged towards him, Han screamed and shoved the pungent “good luck” charm in the beast’s face. The Vampire screamed like a mountain lion and his body began to convulse violently. He thrashed and jerked and then was still. Han had killed the monster. Amazed, Han stared at the object that saved his life….a clove of garlic.
Garlic…the ancient herb
This bulb which is bursting with flavor, is probably one of the most used spices around the world…or at least in my kitchen. I am a garlic fanatic!It is one of those staple ingredients that is a MUST in every kitchen and for every cook. Just take one whiff of a garlic bulb and you will know that it is a strong cooking ingredient when used raw, however when you cook it the garlic sweetens.
Garlic has been used by people all over the world for ages. Not just centuries; we’re talking THOUSANDS of years. The exact time garlic was cultivated isn’t certain, but it was grown in Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C. Culturally, garlic has been a prized spice.
In the works of Hippocrates, Pliny the Elder, the Bible, Homer and several other famous historic documents have noted garlic in their writings used as medication.
Garlic was given to the ancient Greek athletes when they were competing in the Olympics.
Garlic was believed by many cultures to increase strength and endurance.
In many countries, garlic was a staple food for soldiers.
Henry IV of France was baptized in water with cloves of garlic.
Garlic was hung on door posts and around necks to ward off evil spirits. In Europe it was believed it would ward off werewolves , demons and evil spirits, The Plague, and rabid animals (probably how the werewolf legend was born).
According to a Korean legend garlic was considered to be sacred food.
China is the largest producer of garlic…23 billion pounds are grown annually. WOW!
Garlic is full of vitamin C and research shows it is a cholesterol fighter, cancer fighter, fights infections and has anti-aging properties.
It has been referred to as “The Stinking Rose”.
Different cultures all over the world seemed to believe that garlic was good for pulmonary disorders and respiratory disorders as well as being beneficial to the cardiovascular system.
The only thing I don’t quite enjoy about garlic is the way it makes your hands and breathe REEK. There have been times when I have chopped garlic and scrubbed my hands 10 times and still the smell remains. And when it’s in my mouth? No toothpaste, no mouthwash, no liquid can seem to rid that horrid smell. During my garlic research I found that parsley is something that will kill garlic breath. I haven’t tried it but I will! One thing I have tried is swishing my mouth out with organic, unrefined coconut oil; it seems to get rid of the smell/flavor for the most part.
Garlic is really good for you and it is so easy to add this ancient ingredient to practically all of your cooking. Sprinkle garlic into your pasta, dice it and add it to vegetables, put it in your marinades (always turns out good), make homemade ranch dressing (That’s what I do! you need 1 clove of garlic, lots of dill, chives, cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, a little bit of milk
and salt and pepper. Toss is a blender and walla! Ranch Dressing goodness!). Use in olive oil with Parmesan and Italian Spices for bread dipping oil. Basically, garlic is what’s for dinner!
Are there any special ways you use garlic?
The American Society for Nutritional Sciences, “Historical Perspective on the Use of Garlic”; Wikipedia; Spice Islands; Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Legacy.