Saturday, December 9, 2017

Nonconsecutive Gratitude - Garlic Bread*

What CAN'T Jeremy Be Grateful For?

On Tuesdays and Thursdays we're gonna answer the question, "How in the world can Jeremy be grateful for _______?" The blank is up to you to fill. Leave your suggestions in the comments below or find me on Instagram @nonconsecutive

I know how you probably function. If you see a delicious patty of beef then your hand instinctively goes for the ketchup. You’re gonna spread a bun, crown and heel, with mayo. Maybe you’ll squeeze some mustard and call it good. Maybe you like some salad in the mix. Lettuce, tomato, onions, you people are all the same. I know you’re thinking about bacon. You think I don’t know where you’re planning to put those crispy strips? All the same, I tell you.

What if there were another way? What if you gave the usual condiments the day off? What if you left the salad for the bunnies? Do this for me. Toast that bun. Not too much, just crispy not crunchy. Now grab the butter. Do you trust me or not? Slather the bun. Don’t spread it, slather it! Now find your garlic powder in the cupboard. Yes, garlic salt is fine. Shake it on both bun halves. More. Don’t be stingy with the garlic. Now put the delicious patty between those two buns. Yes you will, we’ve come too far to go back now. What do you mean, what else? That’s it, bun, butter, garlic, patty, done. You’re welcome.

It was a cool autumn day in the early ‘90s when we discovered the garlic bread burger. We didn’t call it that at the time. In fact, it wasn’t until I was describing it to a friend at work a few months ago that it dawned on me. Why, that’s just a burger with garlic bread for buns. Clearly I’m a little slow on the uptake.

The reason I’m most grateful for garlic bread is it’s accessibility. If you’re having a bread-in-hand kind of meal and you’ve poorly planned then there’s hope where there’s garlic. You’re going to be hard pressed to whip up a mess of biscuits before the pasta cools. You don’t even have the pan seasoned right for cornbread. Does anyone actually know how to make yeast rolls? I think there’s a special machine. Short of pulling a fistful of 7-grain from the sack (which I’ve seen done) you’re going breadless. But not if you've got garlic and butter, my friend.

Imagine the gulf between the expert and the novice. Your home-made lasagna is barely Stouffer's, so how would it ever pass muster at a restaurant with no crayons on the table? But your made-in-your-robe garlic bread could compete in the finest haute cuisine ristorante.

My favorite, for sentimental reasons, is the long, frozen loaf sold in the cooking foil. It has center pieces that are like sponge cake and ends that will require a dunk in the gravy just to make chewable. C'est magnifique! I can live peaceably with the the garlic sticks and knots. I understand the pressures of marketplace and fashion, but thanks for staying the course. My utmost respect goes to the garlic toast. Wherever there is even a rudimentarily provisioned kitchen, there awaits garlic toast. Nothing could be easier and nothing more delicious. We could all learn a lot from a slice of garlic toast.

This idea is based on the book 14,000 things to be happy about by Barbara Ann Kipfer

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