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Attack of the killer garlic cloves...

Thanksgiving looms around the corner, and memories surface of all my cooking blunders over the years.

Like the time I attempted my first homemade tomato sauce. I read the recipe, which called for three cloves of garlic. So, I put in what I thought was three cloves of garlic. During dinner, one of my dear friends began picking through the sauce.

“What’s all this?” she asked, holding up her fork, where a large clove of garlic sat imbedded on the tines of the fork. She stabbed another one and held it up. “And this?”

Her husband and mine sat opposite us, whisking their forks through the sauce.

“What are all these? Garlic cloves?” My friend asked.

“Yes,” I replied. “The recipe called for three cloves of garlic,” I stated proudly, lifting my chin. “How do you like it?”

Her husband pulled out several more cloves from his sauce.

So did my husband.

“Um…” my friend started. “It looks like there’s way more than just three cloves of garlic in this sauce.” She bent and sniffed the sauce atop her pasta. Then she wrinkled her nose as the odor of garlic permeated the air.

I rose from the table. Making my way towards the refrigerator, I pulled out a head of garlic from the vegetable bin. I held it up for her scrutiny. “See? I put in three of these.”

My friend’s eyes widened. Then she burst out laughing. “Oh my God!” She had tears in her eyes as she gave way to fits of uncontrolled giggles. “That’s not a CLOVE of garlic, that’s an entire HEAD!”

I looked down at the odorous bunch of garlic in my hand. Then I started laughing, too.

So did her husband and mine (editor’s note: smart guys…they at least waited until I started laughing).

Eau de garlic is the fragrance we all wore that evening (it’s good we all ate it, otherwise, one of us would have passed out from the stink from all the others).

I’ve come a loooooooooooooong way since that cooking blunder. Amazingly, I’m still friends with everyone who came to dinner that night. Thirty years later, through many trials and tribulations, good times and bad, we get a good laugh from ‘the night of the killer garlic cloves.’

So as I prepare my turkey (yes, I did remember to take out that plastic bag from the inside…I can’t tell you how many times I cooked the bird with THAT still inside!), and as I peel the potatoes and make the stuffing, I wish you all a happy, healthy holiday, filled with lots of good memories. Along with all the food you might prepare, make way for some new memories, too.

Remember to invite someone to the holiday table that might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

If your turkey and fixings don’t come out just right – who cares?

Just enjoy it – and remember my night of the killer garlic cloves.

Catherine Chernow


Lisabet Sarai said...

Great story! I would have loved it anyway. I always double or triple the amount of garlic in any recipe that I tackle.

Anyway, you didn't have to worry about vampires!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Kim Dare said...

Even with the garlic, your a million times a better cook than I am. With me it's tea and toast if your lucky - and the toast will probably be burned too!

Great story. Happy Thanksgiving.

Catherine Chernow said...

Thanks, Lisabet and Kim. Glad you enjoyed the story.

Hope you had a wonderful turkey day.

: )

Catherine Chernow