Last summer, my sister so kindly indulged my need to can some things. She drove for hours only to be met by a kitchen full of gear and days upon days of labor on her feet. She has a wicked sense of humor, so even her complaints are funny. She informed me that all of my canning would cost me roughly $80 a jar, after all was said and done. She doesn’t come cheap. One of my brilliant ideas was to can pickles. Seemed easy enough. We had several recipes and narrowed it down to a couple we wanted to try out. In my enthusiasm to can as many pickles as possible, I also bought a package of garlic at Costco. At Costco! So after we had made pickles, we literally had 90% of what we bought left over. So, being the nut job that I am, I said “Let’s can it!” and I began my search for a recipe. The only one I found was a balsamic garlic one. We spent hours peeling garlic. Our hands stunk in a way that seemed like it would last forever. We lamented that we had used several of the larger heads on the pickles and now were stuck with the tiny ones. Cursed be the small cloves of garlic!
I was going through the pantry the other day trying to figure out what I should put up this year. I clearly don’t need jam, even though I am all out of strawberry-black pepper – damn that was good! I just can’t justify making more jam right now. Lately, I have been using them as a base for my vinaigrettes. Pretty tasty, I must say. Anyway, I spied the jar of garlic and knew I had to use it before I stupidly bought another bag of garlic at Costco later this summer. I have a Garlic-Green Chile Pork recipe that I make and thought this would be a good swap out for the chilies. I basically browned the pork, added the jar of balsamic garlic plus 4 cups of liquid (this was about 3 to 1 beef broth to water) and roasted it at 350 for 3 hours. It was fall-apart tender and with the juices reduced, they were a lovely gravy for serving. Delish!