Where’s your root cellar and do you have stinky garlic fangers? Meathenge Lab’s Helpful Hints

Chapter 1
Not everyone has some fancy root cellar that keeps our tubers and garlic fresh for the future. Some of us are relegated to use whatever we have handy. This could be, the floor. A bin in a pantry, under some stairs or wherever we have room. Up until semi-recently, I was among you. Today? Times have changed.
Chapter 2
How many times have you gone to bed with garlic hands? Every few hours you’re all woked up by the pungeant smell of garlic on yer hands. Need solice?
Venture within to have a little project and hint time with Biggles.

Here’s one of two large bottom drawers in our kitchen. I cleaned the crap out of it and wiped it clean. I did this last year and used it as our “root cellar”. It worked FAR better than any solution I had available. I knew at some point I would drill some large holes in the side so it would breathe. Here we are today in 2006. A Sunday in October and it was time. I got out a 3/8″ drill with a 1″ spade bit and put 6 holes on the bottom portion of the sides of this drawer. This will give me a nice wood lined storage area for tubers, garlic and other goodies. Supposedly you’re not supped to store onions with taters, whatever. I do what I can and this drawer has worked our far better than one would think.
Note: An addition might be to add some small mesh steel screen over those holes so vermin don’t get in. But I figure if you have mice, your tubers and garlic aren’t exactly your first priority.

I know I can hear you whiners. “Oh Biggles, I know this is such a great idea, but I rent. My landlord surely won’t let me drill holes in the drawers!”
Don’t ask. Do. You’re improving the kitchen and they never do a drawer check when you leave. If they do, just shrug and say you thought they did such a nice thing for them. Thank them and then leave, quietly.

How could this possibly be wrong?
Chapter 19
Since you have all the power tools out, this is a grand time to sand clean your cutting boards. I did a few today with a finishing sander. I used 220 grit sandpaper to finish and 120 grit sandpaper to start. You poor sots that have bought in to the plastic cutting boards, my soul weeps for you. I refinish mine each year and it isn’t uncommon for them to last over 50 years (family heirlooms). Does your plastic cutting board look like a work of art after 30 years of hard, hard use? No, it doesn’t and you suck because of your choice. The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

My father showed me this more than 30 years ago and always figured everyone knew. But maybe you don’t. If you don’t know rubbing your hands over carbon steel will completely remove any garlic smell from your fangers? You can and it does.
You can find carbon steel in many places, but the easiest place is your selection of kitchen knives.
Which knives are carbon steel? The ones that rust if you don’t fuss after them. Very carefully, rub your affected areas with the steel and low and behold! No more garlic hell.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s Sunday Project and a little hint from The Lab. What hints do you have for us?

14 thoughts on “Where’s your root cellar and do you have stinky garlic fangers? Meathenge Lab’s Helpful Hints

  1. Any carbon steel? So I could rub my garlicky hands on my oily wok and get them “clean”? Who’d a thunk it?
    BTW, love the blog. Good to find other meat devotees out there.

  2. Hey Michelle,
    Yeah, any ol’ carbon steel. I use my knives cause my wok is so oily and blackened. It’s fricken amazing how fast your hands clean up.

  3. Biggles — I love your very neat root cellar arrangement. Looks like a French kitchen to me. roots in baskets, tres picturesque (and baskets keep them ventilated, non? )
    About the carbon garlic disappear-er: have you seen the ads for those steel rectangles sold for the same purpose? They look like the old-fashioned hadwarmers people used to take to football games. I think (know) your method is preferable, handy, and free. Thanks for reminding folks of this homely trick.

  4. Biggs, Baby, You know wha’?
    I LOVE the smell of garlic!!!
    Indeed I do, I do. But, it is very nice to have the info on how to remove the aroma of garlic. I did not know that carbon steel would do the job.
    I love Garlic ARoma, because, first of all, I am severely allergic to dozens of things, especially in our present atmosphere.
    Garlic is the True Blue home cure for so many afflictions (including warding off vampires and since this is the eve of All Hallows, let’s do a reminder!) that the aroma brings blessed mist to my eyes.
    Tomorrow night I will go to my door with the strong presence of garlic whirling around my “aura” and I will probably be dressed as a Giant Garlic Clove!

  5. Biggles, Biggles, Biggles…
    First rule of RENT CLUB.
    In fact, fill the holes with toothpaste, slap a coat of Navajo White on them and the landlord will never know the difference.

  6. Hey BB,
    I do too, but not while I’m attempting to sleep! Sometimes I forget the trick myself and suffer throughout.
    Tiny E is so whacked out about tonight he can hardly think.

  7. Meathead,
    Yeah yeah. I think the only time we got caught was when the landlord did the walk through and wanted to know how boot prints made it on the ceiling in the basement. We denied easily enough because we couldn’t quite remember that evening, very well, much at all, not really.

  8. Hey Kudzu,
    Yeah! That’s it, forgot to mention about the baskets. Functional and kinda looks pretty too!
    I’ve seen a few carbon steel things over the years that help with stinky fingers. I suppose they’re worth buying if you have a modern kitchen and don’t thine older carbon love. Thankfully, I have plenty!

  9. Some of my best friends are homeowners.
    I only know there is such a thing as Navajo White because when we asked our landlord about us painting the place another color he said something to the tune of “Um, maybe not.”
    And footprints on the ceiling? Damn! I’d have convinced him that Abraham Lincoln did it.

  10. My method for getting rid of garlic stank from my hands is to rub them on my stainless steel faucet and then wash them. Works like a charm every time.