There’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you. It’s about garlic magic. You ready? Please kick back, put your feet up, put your hands behind your head, and hear what I have to say about disability and the Queen of Spices.
Garlic is my favorite. But for a while, I couldn’t handle it. I mean, we would buy fresh garlic, and I could make the food I needed to eat, but usually, I couldn’t handle finding some good garlic cloves, peeling it, chopping it, and getting it cooked right with the food. When I made certain dishes, yes. Garlic was not optional.
But it would sit too long; it would dry up a bit, I would feel guilty, and it was a whole emotional thing. I felt bad for wasting garlic, as it is sacred and holy.
Often, I just used dried garlic. It’s easy and has a good taste too. I know part of garlic’s magic is its medicinal properties with the freshness. There is or was an ulcer in my stomach, and I believe a little raw garlic can help heal it. Is that true? I would like some medicine, so I have a little raw garlic in my food, sometimes.
When I changed the way I eat because of the obscure health condition I may or may not have, fresh garlic became hella crucial. I’ll smash three cloves, peel them, chop them slightly, and throw them in the water when I make rice or quinoa. When I ate eggs, I would saute some chopped garlic in the oil for a minute before cracking the eggs into the pan.
When I eat sweet potatoes, I’ll sprinkle some fresh chopped garlic on top of the tahini, sometimes. What a treat.
Beauty Not Bombs
But the thing I’m working toward to tell you, reader Friend, has to do with the chopping. I remember long, long ago, I was at a Food Not Bombs cook in Oakland with Ming, and I was helping somebody chop a fuckton of garlic. I’m talking we peeled like six heads of garlic, so the person I was working with minced and minced, for a long time, getting those garlic bits superfine, with the big knife, on the big cutting board.
Speaking of superfine, they were wearing the most brilliant blue glitter eye shadow I had ever seen. I had no idea I could deeply respect someone for the intensity of their eye shadow. Never have I been a makeup wearer, but if I was, I would try to find blue glitter eye shadow like that.
The thing I want to tell you is that a main component of my garlic anxiety, besides the fear of it drying out in this desertness and being wasted, was getting it fine enough. It stressed me out, the feeling it needed to be micro.
Lately I sidestep that issue by chopping it only a little. I’ll put bigger chunks in the water when I’m going to make rice or quinoa, and then the smaller bits, I’ll put raw on my food. Carefully, I don’t worry about how small I’m getting it.
Is it peeled? Ok, we’re good then. If I chop it at all, I’m stoked. That will work.
And this is how we do disability at our house. Staying flexible as we can, smiling, saving our spoons for what’s important.
I put three cloves of garlic on a cutting board or paper plate, put the knife flat on top of a clove, and learn forward, pushing down on the knife and garlic, smashing the clove. It’s satisfying. Then the garlic peels easily.
I cut off small brown spots that might be there, and break off the very end, which might have a small hard thing. I chop the clove a little, nonchalantly, a casual lady.
There is much garlic in this world. Hoping for tons of days ahead of me, to eat garlic, and if it’s barely chopped today, that’s 100% fine.