Hey there little girl. It's me / you as usual with a little bit of wisdom carrying on where I left off. I am so glad that the letter G from the A to Z Challenge has landed on the Friday that my challenge from Crazy4Blogging weekly challenge is due.
What kind of self respecting Jersey Girl would you be if Garlic wasn't the practical/mystical herb that is addressed in conjunction with the "5 things about me". Heads up all, this one has a lot more links in it due to my love of the subject. Within this post about garlic, you will have to find the 5 things Easter eggs. They shouldn't be too hard to spot though. I will summarize them all at the end though to prove they were all there.
I am not quite sure why someone would want to know even 2 things about me, however these letters are going to you, dear younger me so I am sure there are AT LEAST 5 things you want to know and more probably millions of "about mes" that I have yet to address even up to this point. So, hold on to your hat, here comes...
is for Garlic...
Ok kid, by now even at your age of of 16 or 17 (what ever year it is when this gets to you) you should know what garlic looks like. There is an advertisement right now for a tabasco sauce named Franks Red Hot that uses a slogan that fits here for you.
They even have shirts and aprons with the slogan that I SO WANT!
Origin & Identification
Garlic has long been used as a spice in cooking (as you know being in a predominantly Italian area) and its use has been known for over 7,000 years believe it or not. While it is native to Asia, it also grows wild in many other countries including Italy, France, Africa, Egypt, United States and Mediterranean areas.
There are many types of garlic but at the local A&P grocery store the most common for you is going to be the typical California Garlic which grows like a potato, onion or shallot with the actual gorgeously ambrosia like bulb or "fruit" in the ground. The stalks from the ground will get about 3-4 feet high and blooms in either a white or purplish flower that almost resembles a clover.
Practical Uses of GarlicThere are so may practical uses for garlic it is not possible in a day to list them all. I will be completely honest right now in letting you know that I am totally obsessed with garlic (yes this letter is to you my dear younger self so you already know this). Garlic adds a unique flavor to cuisine from Italian to my absolute favorite type of food, Indian. It was said somewhere (that I completely forget) that garlic maintains the ability to arouse 5 of the 6 flavors detectable by the human tongue, those being bitter, salty, sweet, pungent and sour.
Medicinally garlic is known to aid in cardiovascular diseases. Regular consumption of garlic reduces cholesterol by reducing the bad LDL and increasing the good HDL. Some studies believe it may also help in reducing blood pressure. The USDA has a whole nutritional breakdown on their website but I found this one on WikiPedia that sums it up beautifully.
Taking garlic has been proven scientifically to prevent and or reduce the length and severity of the common cold. (helps with the flu as well! BONUS). It has also been known to be used as an aphrodisiac. I think that last reason is enough to enjoy a clove once in a while! Garlic can be taken in a pill form supplement, used in cooking from bulb/clove form, used as garlic powder (mandatory on Jersey pizza though in TN, it seems they have never heard of this) or garlic salt. You can even get garlic in liquid form.
|Gets no better than me eating real Jersey Pizza - @ Ron's Landmark, Netcong NJ 11/15|
Once upon a time many years ago before I was married, I actually went on a garlic themed date to a restaurant in New Jersey called the Garlic Rose Bistro. I strongly suggest anyone in that area - go. Outside of NJ, it is worth the pilgrimage. Every item on the menu is garlic themed from appetizer to garlic ice cream for dessert. Here are a few links through my Amazon Affiliate connections.
Metaphysical Uses of GarlicNow that we know there is so very much I can say about garlic, let's get into the metaphysical side of garlic. Garlic is a masculine herb which is associated with the power planet Mars and the element Fire. Any time you are looking for that strength and fighting spirit or are putting together a lusty piece of work, garlic is a readily available and versatile go to.
It is known for the aspects of protection (yes, just like in those cheezy vampire movies), lust (of coarse with an aspect of Mars - YEAH GIRL to all us Scorpios!), Anti-Theft and exorcism. Being the kitchen witch that I am, making a decent power-filled gravy is one of the first things I taught my children in their early education.
Garlic for it's protection powers has been known to be carried by sailors to avoid wreckage. In ancient days soldiers would carry for protection, while Roman soldiers would eat it prior to battle for courage. Due to it's healing aspects, rubbing a freshly peeled clove on a part of the body with a particular ailment and then throwing in running water to cleanse the body of that ailment.
Brides have carried it on their wedding day to invoke protection and lust.
While I am not a fan in any
way of horror movies, I AM a passionate fan of Vampire stories (only second to time-travel). No matter which side of that fence you are on, most everyone knows the old string of garlic bulbs around the neck to protect against vampires. The same type of protection when hung at a front door will protect the home itself.
An interesting note on garlic is that it also is one herb associated to Hecate. Gifts of garlic can be left at a cross-roads at night when invoking assistance or protection. (HIGH CAUTION - do your research before invoking someone as powerful as Hecate!).
Lustily still a Scorpio,
Bigger Little B
Cheat Sheet 5 Things
1. Though I have had many views of my letters, I am one of those who are uninterested in my thoughts and ideas.
2. Absolute favorite cuisine is Indian, Chicken Tikka Masala baby!
3. Halloween baby - SCORPIOS RULE!
4. HATE horror movies
5. Passionate about vampire stories, particularly Anne Rice.