Domestic Goddess Tip: Peeling Garlic

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Peeling garlic can be tedious and messy. One day, while contemplating the daunting task of peeling two heads of garlic for a recipe that needed 40 whole cloves, I recalled a commercial for a garlic peeler I had seen on TV. They were peddling a tube made of rubber that you put the garlic into, roll, and voila! Out came the peeled garlic cloves all pretty and naked!
Well, I’m not a fan of gadgets and I’m kind of a kitchen minimalist. I’m not a big fan of single task tools, (unless I use them quite regularly) which is why I have never thought to buy one.

It dawned on me however, that the rubber gizmo was made from material no different than my Silpat mat. I grabbed my baking mat (You can find off brand non-stick baking mats but the original is called a Silpat) and gave it a whirl:

Simply lay the cloves in a line parallel to the edge, and then ‘roll’ them gently, pushing down slightly while you roll. Use the palm of your hand to roll and keep the pressure firm but light as you feel the cloves turn under your hand.

I found I could process quite a few at a time if I kept them about the same size. I would remove the ones that were peeled and if needed, rub a couple more times to remove the stubborn skins.

This may sound almost simplistic, but trust me, it works. It saved me a good chunk of time and more than a few pennies for a product that I would have to store and only use once in awhile. And clean up is a breeze! Simply wipe down your mat with a damp cloth and let dry. If the garlic was juicy and you pressed too hard, you might need a bit of soap, but still…what a breeze!

I use this method for large quantities of garlic. You can use it for one or two cloves, also. I have an amazing garlic press which I use for one or two cloves which ‘minces’ the garlic and leaves the skin behind. Not the same result as whole cloves, but a tool I found worth the investment for minced garlic. That tip might be for another post.

Or maybe I should start a product review category?

Your thoughts?

 


Domestic Goddess Tip: Pet Pill Pockets for Pennies

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With Big Girl being diagnosed with a thyroid condition, she now gets a daily dose of hormones. Add to that challenge, in a recent visit to the Vet, Little Man was diagnosed with allergies and so now he also gets a daily pill. I’ve done the whole ‘down the hatchet’, i.e.: shove the pill down their throat; but, the concept of doing that daily for the rest of their cute little lives was just not in my bucket list of things to do. The pet supply store carries a ‘Pill Pocket’ that you can buy, but holy cow are they expensive, especially if they are needed EVERY, SINGLE, DAY.

Being a little on the thrifty side, I came up with a couple of alternatives that my dogs absolutely go bonkers for. Both incorporate the concept shown above. I tried many alternatives and this is the best one I’ve found so far, and really its’ just so inexpensive, (and the kids love it) that I am going with what works.

One option is to take a cheese stick, (no need to get all fancy here) any brand/price point is fine. Take a knife and cut a small cylinder off, and gently insert the pill. As you can see, this works for both a capsule and standard pill quite nicely. You may adjust the size of the wad to fit the pill but really try to keep it as small as possible. You want your furry friends to gulp it down without much, if any, chewing. (Little Man doesn’t even taste it, I swear) Also, I would only recommend cheese once a day. Dairy is not the best for dogs (cats however are a whole ‘nother story!) and so if your pet needs twice or more a day medication, choose the next option.

Spam. Yes, that ham in a can. It is like crack for dogs. (Hey, what can I say, I like it too!) I simply cut a rectangular block that is larger than the pill, (this is a little more delicate and it can break apart, so you might need a slightly larger piece for it to hold together) and then stuff away. If the Spam starts to break apart, no need to worry. Spam is kinda malleable, and simply gently press it together, just enough to cover the pill and get it to the animals mouth. I personally alternate, depending upon what I happen to have on hand or in my pantry. (Yes, I am a Spam horder. It’s the one thing I get every time I shop Costco. Yum, Spam and eggs in the morning…) Spam is a little bit more expensive than the cheese stick, but one can will go a LONG way. I have cut the loaf in half and frozen it, so that it doesn’t go bad before I get to the second half of the can.

So save yourself more than a few dollars and trips to the pet store. If your four legged companion is on medication, give this a whirl. And while your at it, make them do some tricks to earn their treat. Trust me, they’ll be jumping through hoops!