Christopher Ranch

  (Gilroy, California)
Gilroy's finest. Family owned since 1956
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Garlic: 'Tis the Seasoning For Holiday Stress

My boss always says “garlic just makes people happy”. Well, we have only to look at the Gilroy Garlic Festival for evidence of this because, in a sea of 100,000 people, everybody looks mighty blissful when polishing off all manner of garlic goodies. I’ve also been to dinner parties where garlic has brightened up the conversation and camaraderie as well as the food. There may not be unequivocal proof that garlic has the magical power to make people happy, but during the holidays when stress can reach epic proportions, a nice meal generously laced with garlic, can certainly turn a frown upside down.

I try to keep my stress level low during this time of year by being well organized, eating well-balanced meals, getting lots of sleep and meditating but, of course, I’m lying through my teeth! I cook when I can, shop when I can, clean when I can, and the meditation… I mostly crumble in a heap in front of the tube with visions of garlic bulbs dancing in my head. That’s when I know it’s time to put my favorite stress-buster, CR California Garlic, to work. Here are a few easy and timesaving ways to raise your spirits, induce a smile (maybe a few ho, ho, ho’s) and give even the simplest food the gift of good flavor.

EAT GARLIC, BEAT STRESS – FIVE EASY WAYS

1. Buy a lovely pot roast, make a dozen slits all over it with a knife and stuff each opening with a peeled garlic clove. This not only smells heavenly when baking but it tastes pretty darn awesome. Bonus stress reliever: you might have leftovers for sandwiches the next day. (Starting to feel relaxed?)

2. Buy bagged salad or make your own, but before putting the greens in the bowl, peel a clove of fresh garlic and rub down the inside of the bowl with it; and/or smash a clove on the cutting board with the flat side of a knife, remove the skin, chop fine and add to your favorite bottled dressing and blend well. (Your breathing has slowed down considerably.)

3. Nestle whole garlic bulbs around a chicken and bake. Squish the baked cloves on French bread slices or slather on the chicken before serving. (Your mouth is turning up at the corners .)

4. Add fresh chopped garlic to drive-thru burgers and fries, pizza, deli sandwiches and salads, canned soup or chili beans to redeem these guilty pleasures. (A warm feeling washes over you.)

5. Pop CR Pickled Garlic Cloves for an instant party in your mouth. (Ohyummm, you’ve reached nirvana…)

However you celebrate, sprinkle a little happiness – I mean garlic – on your food and have a holly, jolly holiday!

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