Mom’s Favorites III

Mother had an enduring love affair with garlic as noted in the first of these entries. She joined the Lovers of the Stinking Rose. I can’t seem to find a web site, but I know she received copies of The Garlic Times (see below) and invitations to the Gilroy Garlic Festival as part of her membership. She always asked for extra garlic in the pasta and broccoli dish, even though the sauce wasn’t cooked.

Here are a few notes on the subject. From June 3, 1993: Why couldn’t you grate garlic – add olive oil – add vinegar / black pepper – and use it as a salad dressing?

From June 15, 1983: I usually cut up a clove of it in my portion of the salad we eat at dinner – every night. We discovered, or more likely she read somewhere, that one could avoid having non-garlic lovers jump back in revulsion by eating a sprig of parsley with or just after consuming raw garlic. The chlorophyll acts to neutralize the stinking rose’s odor.

I still have my mother’s copy of The Book of Garlic by Lloyd J. Harris. Far more than a cookbook, it includes history, medicinal uses, and offers for bumper stickers that read “fight mouthwash, eat garlic.” Some recipes from the earlier publication, Garlic Times, appear. I don’t recall that we ever ate any of them, though there is a bookmark in a page that includes a recipe for crêpes with aioli (four cloves garlic), bouillabaisse (six to twelve cloves), pilaf (five heads of garlic) and chicken (six large cloves). I love garlic, but not that much!

To end Mom’s Favorites on a sweeter note, Mother always threatened to make an Election Cake, also known as a Hartford Election Cake. If she did, I never got to eat any of it. The history of the cake is fascinating, since it was meant to feed the many hungry voters who had to travel miles to vote. One recipe from 1796 started with thirty quarts of flour, that would be one hundred and twenty cups, enough to make approximately forty-plus of those one-two-three-four cakes. The site also offers a recipe that still seems awfully close to fruit cake with a minimum of all that candied stuff. At this point I think Election Cake will rest in the archives and not make an appearance in my oven or on my table.

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