Wednesday, December 22, 2010


While fixing shrimp scampi at my friend Pattycake’s home one night, I searched the cupboards and counters to assemble everything I needed. Except for measurement utensils. I mean, really. Who can’t tell what a teaspoonful looks like in your palm?

So I melted butter, added minced and sliced garlic. I think I put some flour in to thicken it a bit. Then I finished it off with a bit of white wine. Some for me, some for the sauce.

I thought it was ready for the shrimp, but I knew my friend’s husband, Jimbo, wanted to check it out first.

I told Jimbo to use his taste-o-meter to try it. He gamely dipped in and slurped a spoonful.

“What does it need?” I asked.

His reply: “Not more garlic.”

So, I’m generous with garlic. Sue me! It’s a fabulous punctuation mark to foods. I have to agree however that being happily married makes it easier to use a lot of garlic. Dating gals and guys should probably wait until after the final paperwork for the marriage is signed before giving full reign to their inner garlic spirit.

Here in Arizona we even have a town named Garlic—well, Ajo, but that means garlic in Spanish. And have you tried garlic ice cream? Don’t gag. Open yourself to possibilities.

On a note that is not going to sound connected, but is, I just love those food quizzes and lists in magazines and online, don’t you? “What Kind of Spice Are You?” (I’m wild cinnamon) or “10 Ways to Serve Chicken You Never Thought of (Who knew you could make fried chicken ice cream???) I mean, really, who can resist these things? Love them!

To welcome you to my blog, I put together a little garlic quiz for you. I put the answers in a comment at the bottom, so you can check yourself.

Garlic, the food of lovers, vampire repellent, tuberculosis and broken bone cure, giver of strength and courage, and a recently-touted health food! Through the centuries, garlic has been lauded for magical properties. Garlic, the bane of dating teens and the friend of flea-infested dogs! Garlic, the lowly bulb that elevates food to a sensual experience!

Amazingly, for as common as garlic is, many cooks are not sure what it is or what to do with it beyond dicing it into the spaghetti sauce. Take the quiz and find out what you know.

1) Garlic is . . .

a) an herb.

b) a member of the onion family.

c) a member of the lily family.

2) Garlic powder is . . .

a) more healthful than fresh.

b) easy to make on your own.

c) anathema to real cooks.

3) Garlic releases its strongest flavors when . . .

a) kept whole.

b) sliced.

c) minced.

4) Garlic was first used in cooking in . . .

a) Italy.

b) France.

c) antiquity.

5) Other than in cooking, garlic has been used as . . .

a) perfume.

b) an aphrodisiac.

c) medicine.

6) Garlic is sold in . . .

a) cloves.

b) heads.

c) cubes.

Next time, I’ll share my garlicky shrimp scampi recipe with you. Yummers!

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1 comment:

  1. Quiz answers:
    1. B
    2. C
    3. C
    4. C (I didn't say it had to be a place.)
    5. A, B, C (Mulitple answers are okay here.)
    6. A, B