|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Oct. 06, 2003 - 5:04 a.m.
In Manhattan one of my favorite streets to wander along is 9th Avenue. I don't have to expend too much energy waddling my fat legs to get there, for one thing, since it's only a block from the Port Authority Bus Station, which is how I get into the City. For another thing, it's got block after block after block of terrific restaurants and food shops. The 9th Avenue Cheese Shop is almost hilariously stocked with cheeses floor to ceiling, from all over the world. NewWifey(tm) goes on pilgrimages there like a Muslim to Mecca. She bows down and prays towards it 5 times a day on a little bathmat.
Friday afternoon we were canvasing the city, and before we caught the bus home NewWifey(tm) and I decided to hit a restaurant. We walked up and down a few blocks and settled on a Spanish place that looked good. And it WAS good. Very good. And about the best dish, we both agreed, was the garlic soup. Very rich, very sweet with heavily roasted garlic and rich broth. NewWifey(tm) asked me if I could make it at home.
What kind of a question was that? Of COURSE I could make it at home!
So we went home and I made it.
Now, when I make food at home I almost never use a recipe, unless it's for baked goods. There are the occassional dishes where I might have to check the ingredients used, but I rarely even glance at the assembly instructions or ammounts. Sometimes this leads to embarassing disasters of course, but not as frequently as you might imagine.
And so it was that I proceded to make Spanish Garlic Soup the next day without any instruction. I figured, ok, there's probably garlic in it. Check. And it tasted like a strong chicken stock as a base. Great, I had just made stock a few days before and had plenty left. It was finished with cream, and few other spices. Maybe thyme and sage. I'd play it by ear.
The soup we'd had on 9th Ave was very garlicky. I mean, people moved away from us on the bus ride home that day. That was exactly the kind of effect I wanted to duplicate at home. So I roasted four whole heads of garlic - approx one head per bowl. The house smelled GREAT! The cloves were mahogony colored and the consistancy of toothpaste after being roasted, and tasted sweet and nutty. Perfect! I mashed them up in a roux, added a little Fino Sherry, then the stock and herbs, and finished it with cream and adjusted the salt and pepper. It looked absolutely like the real thing. NewWifey(tm) said she could smell it in her car from the end of our block. I wasn't suprised.
We tucked into it with gusto, and a loaf of fresh bread. Oh my GOD was that good soup! Perhaps a bit stronger garlic flavor than the 9th Avenue version, but it was all the better for that. We polished off the entire tureen and went to bed.
Some time in the middle of the night I woke up to get a glass of wate (actually to pee, but I'm too embarassed to say that). Five minutes later when I opened the door to wriggle back under the covers I was almost knocked backwards off my feet. It smelled like the world's largest garlic processing factory had exploded in there. I couldn't figure it out...until I heard "PFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTT" from NewWifey(tm)'s side of the bed. Not ten seconds later: "PFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT"....from me! It was uncontrollable!! We were both farting non-stop for HOURS that night. You literally had to squint through the fog, which was also burningly acrid.
But you know what the funny thing was? The ONLY thing it smelled like was garlic. Pure, unadulturated extract of the "Rose of Italy". None of the other smells usually associated with flatulence were present. In fact, it actually smelled GREAT; just like the soup! When I crawled back into bed NewWifey(tm) woke up and decided to use the bathroom also. I didn't say a thing.
Funny how you don't notice it when you're immersed in it. But when you leave and then come back....NewWifey(tm) opened the door, stopped dead in her tracks, and two seconds later just burst out laughing. We spent the rest of the night farting and giggling until we fell back to sleep. With the windows open, though.
It's now Sunday afternoon, a little before my bedtime. The dog still can't stop sneezing. It's 42 degrees out, but every door, window and ceiling vent is thrown wide open. Fans are set up at strategic points and several bottles of Fabreeze top the recycle bin.
NewWifey(tm) had no idea how I'd made the soup, only that it tasted great. When I told her today that we'd each eaten probably two full hands, she about fell out of her chair. "What were you thinking?!" she asked.
Hey, I wanted it to be garlicky! And it was, wasn't it? She sure couldn't argue with that. But she did suggest that I go jut a *tad* lighter next time, just so we wouldn't burn more holes in our sheets. I think she's right.
I actually have another funny garlic story, about the time I made "Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic" and took the leftovers on a bus tour of Newark about 10 years ago and almost started a riot. But that'll have to wait.