SO much garlic! "You must really like it, or you must really like "pickling." Yes to both.
Garlic is so abundant and priced right now, I just couldn't help but take advantage of sales, and add to what's left of the 17 heads of my own garlic I harvested earlier in the summer. Now what to do with it?
There are many ways to preserve garlic - by freezing, in oil, but "pickling" (really fermenting, my new favorite way to preserve food) seems the way to go for me. 1. It's so easy. 2. It only mellows the taste, doesn't really change it. 3. I'll have pre-peeled garlic cloves ready at any time to smash, slice or mince into a recipe. 4. I don't have to can it. 5. It won't take up any of my miniscule freezer space.
During the process, I found the easiest way to peel garlic (by far!) is to blanch it - dunk it in boiling water for 30 seconds or so, then into ice water. Squeeze the root end, and it pops right out of the skin! I was shooting them all over the kitchen until I got the hang of it. The having pre-peeled garlic at the ready is the most appealing aspect of this, I think.
You could eat the cloves as-is once they are fermented, for the health benefits. To each his own. I put a lot of garlic cloves in when I make pickles, and I have found those are very good to eat 'raw.' (did I mention I live alone?)
Put the cloves in a jar, cover with salted water, stopper the top, and leave in a dark place for a month, then into the fridge, where it will keep for at least a year. It's as easy as that. For those who want a bit more detail in their instructions, try this site: http://www.deliciousobsessions.com/2012/09/52-weeks-of-bad-a-bacteria-week-32-lactofermented-garlic-updated-for-the-pickl-it/ I don't have one of the fancy jars she mentioned, nor do I use whey. I just use a canning jar, with a baggie of water in the top of the jar to weigh the cloves down.