For those who were interested in the slug repellent recipe*, this is what you do. Break up a bulb of garlic and put all the cloves in a plastic bag. Bash them on the head with a steak mallet or a rolling pin. The plastic bag should stop the bits of garlic flying around the kitchen which is useful if you spent a large part of the previous day cleaning said room.
Close and hermetically seal the door between the kitchen and the rest of the house. Open all kitchen windows and the back door to the garden. A good through breeze is what you need. Boil the crushed garlic cloves in one pint of water for 3-4 minutes, removing them from the plastic bag first. Obviously. The recipe calls for 2 bulbs of garlic and 2 pints of water but I thought that was rather a lot, as you’ll see in a moment. Plus I’d only bought one bulb. Pour the resultant liquid through a strainer to remove the solid bits of garlic. Add more water to make back up to a pint. Repair to an open air location post-haste and allow to chill (the garlic infusion and the chef).
Now comes the fun bit. Dilute one tablespoon of the solution into 5 litres of water and you’re ready to roll. I used a 5 litre pressure sprayer with lance attachment and it was a doddle to apply. Everything vulnerable to slug attack has had a proper drenching: hostas, heleniums, rudbeckia, irises, peas, beans and, much to Mike’s consternation, salad leaves. It’s best done in late afternoon on a dry day and a little does go a long way.
Even with just a pint of the concentrate I had loads left over. But in the course of explaining the process to Mike I had a brainwave. We could freeze the surplus and then I wouldn’t have to go through the whole darn boiling thing each and every time. It has to be said that in spite of my best efforts a less than delicate aroma does seem to persist around the corridors chez rusty duck. Better yet though, I could freeze it in tablespoon sized chunks so whenever I wanted another five litres of spray I could just pop the appropriate measure into water. And how best to achieve this? An ice cube tray.
Mike, who had been paying more attention than I’d given credit for at the time, snapped his head up from the paper he was reading. “Well you’re NOT using mine.” ‘Mine’, in this context, refers to the two bog standard ice cube trays that came with the fridge and whose only purpose in life (up to now) has been to facilitate the ‘clink’ of his Sunday night gin and tonic.
A new tray would have to be purchased to accommodate the garlic infused cubes. There’s always the worry though isn’t there. One can imagine the scene. Mike comes in from the garden, tired after a hard day’s toil and there’s a momentary lapse in concentration. And you can guess whose fault that would be. Even if she was nowhere near the premises at the time. Proceed directly to the Maison du Chien. Do not pass Go. Do not collect £200.
The exact same scenario must have featured in Mike’s mind too. This is the ice cube tray he came back with..
Pink. Identifiable. Quite possibly even in the dark.
It should do. Shouldn’t it…??