Edible Alchemy: Comfort Garlic Toast

Sometimes we need to nurture, comfort and care for ourselves if we hope to serve the world to our fullest.  A lot of femmes I meet seem to fogret this fact- we are the lover, parents, warriors and poets upon whom Atlas’ load is balanced.  Without us the world would crumble and fall, without us we have this feeling the turning would stop and gravity would let everything we care about fly away into the ether.

One of my comfort foods is what I have deemed Comfort Garlic Toast.  I have made variatons of it since I was a child.  Powdered garlic, shredded cheddar and cheap bread were all it took for my mother to make me smile on a day someone had been mean to me or when I’d not aced a test.  But I’ve grown up and the idea of a pool of cheddar grease leaves me wanting.  This is my version of this treat and sometimes side dish to italian, french, or american cuisine… with a bit of grown up and a lot of childhood memory.

Ingredients needed for this recipe:

– 3/4 stick of butter (or an equivalant of margerine for my femme allies on a diet)

-5 cloves of garlic

-Italian spice blend (there are tons of great options out there)

-A few slices of wheat bread (or some other healthy-ish bread… the more texture the better in my opinion)

-12 minutes (20 for me, see below)

-Shredded Asiago Cheese (I get mine at Fresh&Easy in a round tub and keep in my fridge to use as a condiment; Parmesean, Romano, or other hard cheeses will also work, and for the flavor adventurous, you can use a blue crumble cheese or feta but use less garlic in my opinion).

-Cutting board

-Paring knife (this all black one was a recent gift from my mother as part of my housewarming package)

-A happy thought somewhere in your heart

Pour yourself something to drink that makes you smile.  I chose to make mint drinking chocolate using nonfat milk, and my lips, tongue and belly was delighted.

Remove butter from the fridge, and cut it into cubes, tossing it into a microwavable coffee mug.  Mine matched the one I was drinking choclate from, another thing to make me smile :) Brek it up with a butter knife a bit, venting agression stored in your muscles, then set it in the microwave.  Hit the “Express” button twice, totalling 1 minute on 80% or so.  Check consistency.  Can you push the butter around without it being runny?  Perfect.  If your microwave runs hot, then do 30 seconds, check, etc.

Once the butter is pliable, grab the garlic and do not despair on how to peel it.  Schuck off the obvious dead stuff that you see in the top right of this image- the part where the tendrils and roots ran into the ground.  This was once a flowering plant, and you are eating its bulb. By consuming bulbs we are absorbing the potential to be flowering beings ourselves, harnessing our ability to grow by spreading roots between our friends and loved ones, and reading towards the skies to show our potential.  We become grounded in the bulb inside us, and for this we celebrate.  So pull off the tendril sction with your thumb, having the individual cloves fall away- or cheat!  Take the paring knife and just cut it off!  That will remove the hard section from the bottom part of each clove, and take some of the skin away with it.  Instead of fiddling with each piece, you can expose their naked pearls in one speed-strip.

Look at how cute they are as bottomless.  Bottomless and ready to be consumed, or bottomless potential… either way.  Both are very sexy.

Now pick up a clove, and either slide the tip of the paring knifein the space between the dead skin and the pearly white beneath- or if you are rocking long nails, that is even better.  Slide in slowly, then twist- the skin pops away… about half the time.  To gaurantee it, use a meat tenderizer to help separate the skin, but if you are lazy, just try again on the other side.

You now have naked pearls of garlic, and your kitchen is smelling of your endeavors.  Remember the last time you had a good date at an italian restraunt.  Remember the taste of marinara or alfredo sauce.  Remeber the love that goes into hand-pressing olive oil, and the love you are pouring into your own creation.  Now to mince! Start by lining up each clove one after another and slice them thin.  Do all of them.  By turning it into a repetitive motion you save time and are more likely to create something consistent.

Look down and *look*.  Snowflakes each.  You can stop here if you like huge chunks of garlic, but most folks prefer smaller pieces.  ow we go from slicing to mincing.  Put all of the sliced garlic in a pile and begin doing downward pressure strokes with the whole knife at one time.  One hand is on the handle, and the thumb and index finger on your other hand are holding the tip.  Lift together, push down together.  Note the line created.  Repeat.  Over and over and over again.  Every 10-20 strokes, wipe off the blade, pile it all back up, rotate the cutting board one quarter, and do it again.  Keep repeating until you are happy or have totally tranced out and snap back when the song on the iPod changes.

Add minced garlic to the coffee cup of butter.  Mix with the butter knife.  Knock over your beverage.  (Optional).  Curse yourself loudly at having forgotten it was there and reach for kitchen towels to start mopping thedrinking choclate off of your foot, the floor, the counter, the cutting board.  Throw it all in the sink and be annoyed for a moment until you realize it is an opportunity for self-compassion.  Shit happens.  Dishes are washable, kitchen towels cleanable, and there are worse things for your floor to smell like.  Fess up to yourself that you were daydreaming about the guy you played with last night who was really hot who you’d had a minor crush on for years.  Shake head in amusement and move on.

Add two large pinches of shredded cheese to the mix.  Blend.  Close tub quickly for fear of dumping it over too.  Open up mixed italian seasoning, turn it over the coffee cup, and pat it 6 or 7 times like it was being lightly spanked.  Blend.  If it doesn’t look like enough of either, add more to your taste, but this is usually about right.  Set seasoning down to put lid on it an note that the top looks like a flower, a reoccuring universal theme from this toast lesson, and meditate on it.

Blend one last time and the start buttering toast with the mixture you have created.  Not too much, but enough to cover the whole piece of whole wheat.  Note the connection between whole piece and whole wheat, and reflect on how whole you are being in your life.

Turn on your oven to Broil (and Broil on the other dial- make sure it says so on both lest your stove get confused and look at you funny).  Set the buttered bread on the rack not on the very top rack slot possible but one down from there.  Push the rack in and laugh about the word “Rack”.  Close door to oven 75% but not all the way.   Wait 2 minutes and peek because you’re nosy.  Shake head at dishes and decide to do them a bit later.  Come back a minute or so later.  Remove when it looks perfet to you.

Put on a plate.  Serve.  Love yourself.  Sit down and enjoy.  Put the leftovers in a tupperwre and store in the fridge for easy comfort a few days from now.  Feel free to double the batch or triple it for speed comfort for the coming weeks :)

If you are not craving garlic, consider replacing the garlic with 1/3 of a tart apple (Granny Smith works well) or pear, the cheese with shredded coconut, and the italian seasonings with cinnamon-sugar.  Its a really great dessert for folks on a budget.

Enjoy the Alchemy.  May the Philosopher Stone of your life unfold before you, and may you enjoy the journey, and the matching flaatware, along the way!

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Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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