A clove a day keeps the vampires away

By Kitsey Burns Harrison - kburns@yadkinripple.com
Fresh produce at the markets in Kuala Lumpur. - Photos courtesy of Alicia Bumpus
Kitsey Burns Harrison - Photos courtesy of Alicia Bumpus

I love anything cooked with garlic. My friend Alicia recently chided me because I used garlic powder in a recipe rather than the real thing. Truthfully it was just one of those rare occasions where I was out of actual garlic cloves and had to improvise.

Alicia said if a recipe calls for two cloves of garlic she just laughs and adds six or seven. She has taken her love of garlic to the next level by visiting The Stinking Rose, a restaurant in San Francisco that serves nothing but garlic.

“It was heaven,” Alicia told me. “Garlic apps, garlic mains, garlic ice cream (which is so good) and they even sell garlic condoms in their gift shop!”

Now that is certainly a unique item for the person who has everything and also loves garlic!

Alicia now lives in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. On Sundays, she visits the market for groceries and always stocks up on garlic, which she buys at the market already peeled.

“It’s the best. Peeling garlic is the worst! This you just cut off the end and you’re ready to roll,” she said. She noted that it didn’t keep quite as long as the bulbs still in the skin, but as much garlic as she uses she tends to use it up before it goes bad.

Peeling garlic is a pain. I’ve started saving my garlic skins though, as well as onion skins and other vegetable scraps to make homemade vegetable broth. That’s a story for another time though.

When I was a child our neighbors were Winnie and Mae. I called them Uncle and Aunt even though we weren’t actually related. I remember going over to Aunt Mae’s and asking that she make garlic toast for me. I have no idea how this tradition began. Garlic toast surely seems an odd snack for a child, but I loved her garlic toast.

I still like to make garlic toast, especially to serve with pasta dishes. I make mine using garlic salt. I prefer to get a nice loaf of French bread and slice it, but I’ve also been known to just use regular bread or even leftover hamburger or hot dog buns. I spread the bread with lots of butter and sprinkle liberally with garlic salt. I like the garlic salt with parsley. I put the bread in the oven at 400 degrees for about five minutes, then I put it on broil until it gets nice and brown around the edges.

I always claim to not have had weird cravings while I was pregnant, but I confess one day I did think about eating garlic toast with strawberry jam on it. I didn’t do it, but I thought about it. Hey, if a restaurant in California can make garlic ice cream, I don’t think strawberry jam on garlic toast is really all that weird.

Kitsey Burns Harrison is a staff reporter for The Yadkin Ripple. Here she shares her musings on food, life, love and motherhood. She may be reached at 336-518-3049 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.

Pre-peeled garlic for sale at the markets of Malaysia’s capital city.
Pre-peeled garlic for sale at the markets of Malaysia’s capital city. Photos courtesy of Alicia Bumpus

Fresh produce at the markets in Kuala Lumpur.
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_38448620_198271164371532_451436126922604544_n_formatted.jpgFresh produce at the markets in Kuala Lumpur. Photos courtesy of Alicia Bumpus

Kitsey Burns Harrison
https://www.yadkinripple.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_Kitsey-Harrison-1.jpgKitsey Burns HarrisonPhotos courtesy of Alicia Bumpus

By Kitsey Burns Harrison

kburns@yadkinripple.com