How much is a ‘clove,’ exactly?


I browse recipes. I get bored and I search for interesting recipes or something different that I might actually be able to make. While doing this I’ve come across the instruction for “a clove of garlic” or “two cloves of garlic, crushed,” etc. What I’ve also noticed from using a lot of garlic in my cooking is that the size of a clove of garlic varies greatly. A head of garlic is fairly straight forward.

A clove of garlic, however, is not so uniform. Generally I try to go with the medium size clove and adjust from there. But is that right? Is my guess at the size of a clove correct? Does it really matter? Probably not, but for some reason it bugged me today.

That said, I did make a rather odd experiment today. I have been craving pulled pork for about a week now. I haven’t cooked much meat in recent months, but I think the cold front (and yes, it did get cold here, just not freezing) put me in the mood for comfort food, and pulled pork is one of my all time favorites. Usually I make this with my version of Grandmom’s BBQ sauce, but today I wanted something a little different.
My sauce cookbook had a recipe for Korean BBQ sauce in it, but I was missing sesame seeds, so I scoured the Internet for another version. I found one recipe that used ingredients I had on hand. This recipe, calling for five cloves of garlic, combined with my wildly varying sizes of cloves today, prompted the above question. No satisfactory answer has been found. But, I digress. I skipped the thickening part of this recipe and left out the cornstarch. I also blended it in a blender just a bit to get everything smooth since I don’t have a garlic press and the mortar and pestle didn’t exactly get everything to a paste. Anyway, I made up the sauce as the pork was cooking.
I also made corn bread.

This probably counts as Northern Cornbread or Yankee Cornbread since it has sugar in it, but I happen to like that version of cornbread, so I’m going with it.

I also found this incredible Brussels Sprout Salad that I just had to try. It looked so fresh, so bright and just so good that I wanted this for the crunch with my pulled pork. I actually used my Ninja with the disk to shave the Brussels sprouts. Way easier than hand chopping.

So for dinner tonight we had a pulled pork with a Korean BBQ sauce, Yankee Cornbread and a Brussels Sprout Salad with an Italian cheese. This should not have worked. The flavors should have clashed. Instead, the savory pork went exceedingly well with the salty sauce, which was cut by the brightness of the salad and tamed by the semi-sweetness of the cornbread. The South American wine I had with it was ok. Well, the wine was very good, but it only paired ok with the meal. As a bonus, Bob loved all of it and we have leftovers for a few days.

Gracie tried to help. She likes helping, but really, I think she just wanted the cheese.

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