A friend of mine (also a mom to a toddler) checks out this blog. We recently reconnected and have seemingly similar views on our priorities of lifestyle, fitness, activity, wellness and of course attentiveness to raising our little boys. She’s intelligent (with the PhD to prove it!) but also intuitive and inquisitive. She didn’t grow up eating or living the way I did (she was probably way more “normal” and therefore no doubt blended in better) but like so many women (and men too) there is a turn to be conscious and aware of what goes in, on and around our bodies. Natural, local, organic, whole, real; all pretty trendy words these days. And I’m not complaining, it’s wonderful. It’s hip to be healthy. Finally.
She says she loves my blog and can’t wait try out some of the recipes. And then she says the best thing (and I quote): “I like that you don’t use much preamble or many pictures with your recipes…it invariably jams up my old iPad and I don’t need to hear about one’s cat, cup of coffee, bad day at work or plan to have people over…I just want the damn recipe!!”
I love it. I laugh out loud. Like, actually. I don’t use the acronym in our text conversation, but I do ask her if I can use it and quote her because I genuinely think it’s hysterical. I love creative criticism and feedback and I love people’s real-deal-say-it-like-it-is personalities and preferences coming through.
And then I start to think. What do people like? I tend to agree with my compadre over here about the complaining-vent-session writing and bla-bla-cup-of-coffee talk, but I also think people’s lives are interesting and if you’re going to be so bold as to document and photograph your culinary pursuits you’d better have an inspiring lesson for me and some solid knowledge on the topic.
I like to keep most things clean and simple, this site is no exception. (I tell her so) And frankly as a personal assistant (i.e. mother) to a very cheeky little boy I’m not sure I have the ability to photo-document each stage of the cooking, stirring or measuring process when I am making up recipes. So what you end up with is clean and simple and (mostly!) to the point.
The irony is that it’s taken me this long in the preamble to say, I genuinely want to know! How much is too much and how much is too little when it comes to knowledge, stories, recipes etc. If there are things you want to share or ask or suggest, I always love to hear. If you want me to just shut up and give you the damn recipe, I am down with that too. Most of the time. 😉
So without further ado here’s how we make garlic confit. It sounds fancy, but confit means to slowly cook something in it’s own fat (generally implying meat) but making confit vegetables means cooking them in oil and letting the flavour if the plant mesh with the oil and vice versa. It’s rich yes, but simple to make, great for your immune system and is a staple in our fridge. I love garlic as an ingredient but can find raw garlic hard on my digestive system (my mom does too! She finds as a stimulant it keeps her up at night) but roasted or cooked garlic is much easier to digest plus has a more subtle and rich taste. It is great to use when cooking food for little ones because it’s less intense while still adding flavour. I use it in my hummus recipe and often drizzle the oil on soup or rice dishes, which takes them to a whole new level! Add a drizzle of the garlic oil and some rice, ramen or soba noodles with a few vegetables (and an egg if you fancy!) to a miso broth and you have yourself a meal—homemade pho or ramen bowl. So good!
- Fresh garlic
- Olive oil (or oil of your choice)
- Rosemary or thyme
- Bay leaf
Peel garlic cloves (As many as you want. I tend to make a batch around harvest season to preserve the garlic from going bad. It lasts for ages this way!) Put garlic in a ceramic baking dish. Cover garlic with oil. Add a sprig of your favourite herb, I usually use a branch off our rosemary bush because it’s massive and always begging for me to use it. You can use a bay leaf or something else too. The herb doesn’t really come through in the flavour because the garlic is so strong, but it adds a nice subtlety and helps the cooking. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the garlic cloves are soft, lightly browned but still hold their shape. Your house will be amazingly fragrant! Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Put the garlic and oil in a glass jar and refrigerate.