Friday, August 8, 2014

Free Range Friday ~ How a Half Dozen Heads of Garlic Made Me Gain 5 Pounds

What a gift I got a couple of weeks back! Again, some other friends from up in cold country brought me some garden grown garlic. If you have been living on garlic from China, it is the difference between eating a deeply red, succulently juicy flavor bursting in your mouth home grown tomato and one from the store that has traveled from who knows where, gassed to sickly pink on the outside and white inside, somewhere between cardboard and styrofoam on the tongue in texture and taste. This garlic also traveled over 1000 miles, but with garlic, that's okay. Very okay indeed.

The last man standing. Or leaning, in this case.

The small heads lacked nothing in flavor for their size
My first plan was to save one for planting. The garlic from Nancy is still growing but I'm scared to pull one up to see what's going on with it. The tops still have some green. It must not be their time yet. My second plan was to roast one of the heads and have it with some cheese. Brie and roasted garlic, oh my. But...I had no brie. Well, for a moment I had brie but the garlic wasn't with me. The third plan was a fallback plan, but an ever enduring one in my food repertoire, pasta and garlic. Specifically, thin pasta because there was no angel hair pasta. Oh the sufferings we undergo! I went with the third plan.

Because the heads were small, I used a whole one, slicing each clove, not terribly thinly as I didn't want them to brown too quickly over a very low heat. I went to various containers in the yard and gathered up a couple of kinds of basil, some tarragon and some racao.

For the first meal of this (are you twigging on to something here yet?) I used olive oil to sauté the garlic and herbs. But I ran out of olive oil and this time I used butter. Because butter is truth and life and the way. And it works. Which is better than using olive oil and THEN adding butter. That happened too.

I always put some sort of oil in the pasta water (and salt, don't forget salt), USUALLY olive oil but unless you have the attention span of an MJ, you will olive oil. I did have sesame oil and a couple drops would enhance without overpowering. At least, that was my thinking. Luckily, it proved correct. 

Slow and low cooking here, smallest ring of fire on the lowest setting.

The water was boiling, in goes the pasta. One reason I really like angel hair pasta is that it cooks really fast. It's kind of amazing to me how much longer thin spaghetti takes. Some day I'll experiment  with freshly made pasta and see if works the same.

The garlic was soft, the herbs had released their fragrance, the butter bonded. I was in an olfactory swoon.

I'd splurged on some shrimp awhile back and remembered to get it out of the freezer in time to toss it in the very last couple of minutes pasta cooking time. It stopped the rolling boil for a moment but it didn't matter, I just needed it to cook through, not turn into shoe leather.

And there it was. Garlicky, shrimp-ish, herbal, buttery, delicately salty.  Way too much for just one lunch. There would be enough for seconds in the evening. Of course there would.

Not. I've done this six times now, due to my, as has said before, somewhat odd and obsessional eating habits. That's every day this week. The garlic is gone. The shrimp is gone. I need five pounds to be gone. But oh!!! I enjoyed gaining every one of them.

Thanks, Patty, for the garlic! I'm blaming everything on you, with love.

Have a find your food fanaticism with fondness Friday. Do something feasty.


  1. Yeah, thats cool silverware...

    1. I had a sudden need to use that fork today. Glad you noticed it.