Now with 15x’s More Garlic!

My apologies to anyone who is expecting deep thoughts here in my posts lately.  I think my intellect is taking a sabbatical.  I have, however, been very busy in my kitchen, which seems to be my default subject when nothing is going on upstairs.  I’m like in “do” overdrive, but “think” seems to have flown out the window.  This happens periodically. 

Also, I usually type my posts in Word and then move them to the WordPress site because I don’t know how to increase the font size otherwise, and I know this is miniscule.  However, it also screws up the format, and I have to re-work everything and I don’t feel like doing that today, so get out your reading glasses.

At least the follow-up on my preserving experience is pretty amusing…. I don’t know what I was thinking while I was making my pickles and salsa.  Perhaps I was focusing on the details of the things I didn’t know so things I did know did not have room to make their way to the forefront.  I’m not really sure.  All I know, is that three days after I made them, I was suddenly hit with a thought…”Wait a minute….”  This thought was followed by google searches which only confirmed what I already knew.  The recipes for the pickles and the salsa both called for cloves of garlic.  A clove, as most of you are aware, is ONE of the little pieces that will come off of a bulb of garlic when you break it up.  They are pre-separated in to wonderful sections.  Sections called cloves.  This is important.  And for some reason, my brain chose to ignore this tiny little detail.  I broke up the bulbs of garlic and everything, but instead of putting 6 cloves in my salsa, I put 6 BULBS of garlic in my salsa.  All beautifully peeled and chopped.  It actually took quite a long time because I was chopping it all by hand.  You would think I would have realized it during this long process.  But I didn’t, and so the result was pickles and salsa with roughly 15x’s the amount of garlic called for.  I’m not sure that’s a selling point.  “Now with 15 times more garlic!”  Hmmm.  The amazing thing is that everything was still beautifully edible.  The pickles are strong pickles, like movie theatre pickles if you’ve ever had those, but amazingly, not overwhelmingly “garlicky.”  The salsa, although definitely a little heavier on the garlic than I prefer with just plain chips and salsa, is possibly the best salsa I have ever had on tacos because it is so flavorful. 

But, alas, this discovery meant that even my one tentatively cabinet safe jar was not to be stored.  See, the flavors grow stronger the longer a preserved item sits.  If the garlic is strong now, I can’t imagine how strong it would have been in a couple of months.  And so, my first batch of preserved food cannot be preserved after all.  But it is yummy, and so not a terrible loss.  And again, definitely a learning experience. 

I did try again this past Sunday, and now have one newly preserved, and presumably safe jar of salsa in my pantry.  The process was also not nearly as daunting the second time around.  I took the luxury time in between waiting for the water to boil and things to also make candied carrots  (I don’t like carrots, so I had to make them a way I would eat them) and chicks-in-a-blanket.  That’s chicken sausage, and I rolled it up in homemade dough, and it was delicious.  I have found a crust/dough recipe that is the best…it’s made with sour cream and butter instead of shortening, and I would think better for you than shortening crust.  From what I understand of crust making, it’s also easier to get a successful one.  I’ve never tried other crust, so I don’t know.  I just happened to not have shortening, so I was looking for a recipe with some other thing and I’m sure glad I stumbled onto it.  I don’t think I would ever try another one.

Then, well, you know how I hate to waste things, right?  Making salsa requires that you get all of the liquid and seeds out of the tomatoes and only use the “meat” of them for the salsa.  So, from making salsa last week and this week, I had a decent amount of tomato juice that I did not want to just throw out.  I started to make tomato soup, and I added lots of soup-type ingredients to it, and put it in a crockpot.  Although it smelled really good, every time I tasted it, I thought, “I don’t want to eat this by itself.”  And then I remembered that I don’t like tomato soup.  Why would I make it if I don’t like it?!  So, I chopped up some squash, threw it in the crockpot with it, and ran to the store to grab some more ingredients to make some squash lasagna.  I used the “tomato soup” with squash thrown in it as my “meat”/tomato sauce layers in the lasagna, and it was delicious.  (Still is delicious as we haven’t finished it yet.)  My boyfriend said, “It couldn’t have been any better if it had meat in it.”  Success!  I didn’t waste all of that wonderfully nutritious organic tomato juice AND I made something seriously tasty.

So, along with the squash lasagna, we can now add squash tacos, squash soup and squash chips to my Squash repertoire.  I figured out it works very well in any recipe if you just treat it like the meat.  Season it like the meat, do whatever you would do to the meat, and it is great.

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4 Comments

  1. Kris said,

    July 10, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    You know I’ve often overlooked the “15x garlic” section of the grocery store, but I suppose I’ll have to go and check that out!

    No one in this apartment knows how to cook. I think Jessica was thinking about learning. She’s made two cakes. The same kind of cake both times. Good stuff, but not really meals. I’m not really home for dinner anyways. Alex and I did experiment last night, though! We put chicken nuggets in chicken/oriental ramen. It was pretty good.

  2. Mom said,

    July 10, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    Too funny!

  3. jody said,

    July 10, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    man, you certainly are creative! i am loving this a CSA thing. it certainly makes you think outside the box and make things you never thought you would make! its awesome! keep up the good work! and….i want to try your salsa! 🙂

  4. zephaniah317 said,

    July 11, 2007 at 10:50 am

    I’ve been eating salads at work this week instead of junk food. Does that count for anything? 🙂

    I can make cereal and spaghetti. That’s about it.


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