Garlic clove size for Annies Salsa

crrand(z4 MN)October 2, 2013

I don't know if anyone else is familiar with the garlic variety known as Music, but that is the variety I grow and will use for canning salsa. The cloves are large. You get about 4 cloves per bulb of this garlic variety. I'm wondering if anyone else has figured out the size substitution for the recipe. I'm planning to use 3 cloves of Music garlic rather than the six called for in the recipe. Does that sound right? If someone has figured out the average weight for garlic in the recipe please let me know so I can adjust accordingly.

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Average head of garlic = 10 cloves

Average clove of chopped garlic = 1 tsp.

Average clove minced = 1/2 tsp.

The salsa calls for 6 cloves minced (equals 3 tsp) so mince one of your cloves and see how much you get in tsp. and use accordingly.



    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 12:21PM
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I grow Music and German Extra Hardy. Usually I use 3 or 4, depending on the size.

I just minced a large clove last night and needed to measure it for a soup recipe. Spot on - 1 teaspoon :-)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 1:49PM
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not to hijack the thread, but I've been wondering the sizes of everything in the recipe and how safe a product I am making. tomato, onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro. how chopped is chopped? over the years I've found considerable differences in the fineness of the chop, on a yield of 6 pints to 10 pints per batch depending on how fine the chop is.

There is more product per measured volume, the finer the chop with more yield, but adding the same amount of acidity.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2013 at 4:46PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

not to hijack the thread ..
I wouldn't think so. Related information is always good. We are all here to learn.

Again, the old measurement methods have a lot of shortcomings, IMO. Volume(of chopped veggies, etc) can have a lot of varied amount of air in it. The proper way should be weight measure. Every kitchen should have a good scale, with a minimum accuracy of one tenth of an OZ.


I personally do not think using even twice as much garlic would make any difference, as long as it suits your taste and preference.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2013 at 5:50AM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

two or three times the garlic is just what i'd like to do , and halve the amount of peppers in recipes like Ball's antipasto relish. (bell peppers come in different sizes too)
since the FDA gives peppers as pH 5.9 and garlic as pH 5.8 (upper limit for both), the only question would be density. we're talking a cup of chopped peppers versus teaspoons of minced garlic. this sounds safe to me, am i missing anything really important here ? ( besides tweaking recipes and causing confusion) .

crrand, i grow music too and they are so easy to use ! the bulbs don't get nearly as big as the german red does for me.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 4:20PM
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You can't sub garlic for peppers since the water activity, density (OK, you can mince the garlic finer), and the resistance to change in pH (buffering capacity) is different. It's harder to acidify garlic than peppers.

I wouldn't exceed the measurements (as Dave gave them) for garlic in any tested recipe.

NCHFP tested recipes use 1/4" dice for peppers and onions, and that's what Annie used. I don't know how finely the garlic is chopped - I tend to just buy minced garlic in water and use 1/2 tsp (drained) for each clove called for (says so on the label 1/2 tsp = 1 clove).

Oh, and to get the 8C of chopped drained (slicing) tomatoes in Annie's recipe, I made a note it took 9 lbs of whole tomatoes.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 4:53PM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

thank you ! i didn't consider buffering capacity- i think of buffers as liquids only....i don't know about solids .
what is "water capacity" ?- do you mean the ability to add or soak up water ? i can't imagine that small amount would affect volume. i'd think the garlic oil might be a bigger concern.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 5:15PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

The oil in all the extra garlic would indeed be a concern, a serious one. The water activity (not capacity) pertains to the amount of free water in the combined vegetable mix. The free water has an alkaline pH of its own and it must be neutralized by the addition of extra acid or at least bound up by something else in the mix. Oily water (as in garlic) is encapsulated and very difficult to neutralize or bind. The instructions allow for some leeway to compensate for different size cloves but it doesn't allow for doubling, much less trippling, amounts.

Excess garlic beyond what is called for in the approved recipe is added AFTER the jar is opened, not before. Easy and safe to do. As an alternative you can use dried garlic cloves that have been rehydrated first in vinegar or lemon juice or garlic powder but not fresh cloves.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 6:11PM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

thanks dave, i didn't know about the alkaline water. i'll try my dried garlic in lemon juice.
now where can i take a food science course ? ;0)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 7:22PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

now where can i take a food science course ? ;0)

Contact your local state/county ag extension office and ask when they have any canning classes scheduled. Also check to see if your state or any nearby states are offering a Master Food Preserver's series of classes anytime soon (it it usually annually or bi-annually). And your states land-grant colleges - CN State may have some classes too.

A basic online course is offered by NCHFP.


    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 7:40PM
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pattypan - UCONN doesn't offer MFP program. NHCFP online course is the best to start with, state and Farm Bureau just offered FDA Better Process Control School for acidified foods in Dec. There was a rumor they'd be revamping the course for CT residential farmers wanting to sell under the Pickle Law, since FDA course was geared toward commercial processing plants. If I hear anything I'll let you know.

UCONN was doing some "demos" (more like lectures, if they're the same as one I attended a couple of years ago when I wanted to get my old AA gauge tested). I think they're done for the summer. If you want I can give you the home economist's email address so you can ask when there's going to be one in your area. A couple of years ago they did do a hands-on course in Storrs but I think she said something about no AC so it was hard to do them in the summer in that kitchen. If there's enough interest they may run one in the future (maybe in the fall? Or spring would be good so everyone's prepared for summer/fall harvests) but it would be in Storrs.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:30PM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

i will start with the online course, although i'm very comfy following NCHFP's and Ball's recipes. i'd like to understand the biochemistry behind them. if either of you have taken a MFP course, would it delve into things like water activity and food densities ? if so, i'd consider camping out in a neighboring state if the course was a day or two. it almost sounds like there could be a math equation behind a recipe.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 9:46PM
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I think the closest is Maine. Dave can tell you how long the course is, I think it might be more than a couple of days (FDA course was 2 days for acidified foods and 2 more for low acid) but the thing is, an MFP has a service requirement like Master Gardener and I don't know if that can be fulfilled out-of-state.

The FDA course didn't go very deeply into the biochemistry "why", was more on "do this, don't do that" with a short background on the science/microbiology. I don't know if the MFP is what you're looking for - that might require a degree in food science and microbiology.

I don't think it's as simple as an equation. Too many variables. It isn't rocket science ;-) Are you an engineer?

I know our community college doesn't offer anything but the ServSafe course for food handlers - no food science. UCONN doesn't have the MFP, but come to think of it they may have some food science courses in the regular degree program - I'm sure Eastern, Western, Southern don't since they're not land-grant universities. I don't know if they still offer a food science degree program. I know there's no Process Control Authority there (again, the closest is Maine) since that was mentioned in the FDA course - if you're developing a recipe for commercial food sales (at least interstate, and DCP was pushing for in-state though it's not in the law) you have to have the recipe and process approved by a PCA as well as tested by a food lab (we do have labs in state that will do the required pH testing).

Maybe you could audit some courses if you're near Storrs?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 4:09AM
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pattypan(z6b CT)

no to engineering, i was a medical research asst. it helps me understand if i can envision stuff on a molecular level. sounds like what i need is an hour to pick a food scientists brain ! i've learned a lot in this thread too. canning is fascinating. i can see why all recipes need to be well tested.
maybe you or dave know how close the densities, etc., are of the vegetables on page 18 of the 2006 ball book for variations of pick-a-vegetable dill pickles. i grow trombocino butternut squash as a summer squash. it sure seems denser than zucchini (smaller area of seeds too), and i've canned it in several pickle/relish recipes. now i'm wondering if i should......

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 10:30AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Based on my experience, the MFP course length is approx. 40 hours and number of hours per day varies depending on scheduling and location and who is teaching it.

And while it goes into much of the underlying chemistry with commonly processed foods - more than enough to convince you it isn't a simple math equation :) - it sure isn't going to compare with a degree in food science.

The bottom line is that experimenting with canning recipes, trying to fine tune them to personal taste, or using personal recipes directly conflicts with the basic principles of safe food canning in the home. The conflict disappears when we adjust our goals to the guidelines rather than trying to change the guidelines to what we want.

We have 2 choices: 1) follow the lab tested guidelines, use the approved recipes as written or can the basic ingredients separately and then fine-tune them after opening the jars, or 2) ignore the guidelines and can whatever we want and accept the risks of doing that.

Obviously that amount of risk varies depending on the food in question. Unfortunately salsa is one of the most risky. It is a mix of several low-acid foods, is BWB processed only, and is eaten fresh from the jar with no cooking first.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 11:26AM
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Dave - do the hours you put in on this forum count as your MFP service ;-)? I'd spend a week in Maine if I could fulfill the service requirement here in CT and/or online. Though convincing DH to spend the $ (if it's anything like MG it's $400-500 for the course, plus lodging/food up there) is another thing!

pattypan - stick to experimenting with jams - I commented on the other thread where you posted the link to the "pick a wet and a dry zing" table.

Though I did just experiment with a pickled bean recipe - white wine vinegar instead of distilled, and dried rosemary instead of fresh dill - I'll let you know next month how it tastes! But substituting a 7% vinegar in same proportions as 5%, and changing dry spices/herbs is considered a safe substitution.

To the OP - sorry we got off the topic of garlic and salsa (does it count that the beans have garlic in them too?).

    Bookmark   August 23, 2014 at 1:24PM
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