Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kids will be kids

During a recent visit to New Hampshire we were enjoying breakfast at one of our favorite eateries in North Conway. Peaches is a small restaurant with limited seating, so if people are there with a large party it’s very likely they will be split up into separate tables.  

Such was the case during this visit  . . . seated nearby was a family with six people at one table and three children at another.  The children . . . two little girls and a boy . . . were seated right next to our table.  The adults at the other table were eating their meals and involved in their conversation and not overly paying attention to the kids.  The kids were generally behaving themselves but were goofing around a little.  The girls had each taken a packet of sugar substitute and poured it into a pile next to their plates, where the grown ups wouldn’t see.  They were dipping their fingers in the sugar substitute and licking it off . . . why they weren’t snarfng real sugar, I have no idea.  They kept doing this . . . giggling quietly . . . pulling one over on the 
old folks.  It was kind of cute.

It was especially amusing to me because I remember doing the same thing when I was young and us kids were sequestered at a separate table while the grown up sat off on their own drinking their coffee and conversing about grown up things . . . except it wasn’t sugar packets and it wasn’t quite as innocuous. 

We used to practice our spoon bending prowess.  If we happened to break a spoon we’d have to dispose of the evidence . . . often by slipping the stem of the spoon into the ketchup bottle and the bowl end in the napkin dispenser.  Yeah were wire minor . . . very minor . . . magicians.  Troublesome punks is what we really were.

Sometimes we'd get to wait in the car.  We’d hang out goofing off, gossip and huff matchsticks.  That’s right . . . I said it . . . we inhaled white phosphorous from the igniting match.  Dude!  It was cool!  When the white phosphorus reaches your lungs it absorbs the moisture there and converts it into what looks like smoke when it is exhaled.  
Not exactly healthy for us . . . but totally awesome.  What can I say . . . it doesn’t take much to impress a bunch of 14 year olds.   

The funny thing is,  I don’t ever remember my mom commenting on the smell of burnt matches in the car . . . what’s up with that?

The moral . . . adults are clueless.    Oh wait!  I am one.  :P

44-Clove Garlic Soup With Parmesan Cheese

Sweet mother of the garlic gods this soup is fantasmically delicious!

26 Garlic Cloves (Unpeeled)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons (1/4 Stick) Butter
2 1/4 Cups Sliced Onions
1 1/2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Thyme
18 Garlic Cloves, Peeled
3 1/2 Cups Chicken Stock Or Canned Low-Salt Chicken Broth
1/2 Cup Whipping Cream
1 Cup Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese (About 4 Ounces)
4 Lemon Wedges

Roast the garlic.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Place 26 garlic cloves in small glass baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until garlic is golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Or use this method for the crockpot.  

Cool. Squeeze garlic between fingertips to release cloves. Transfer cloves to small bowl.

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and thyme and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add roasted garlic and 18 raw garlic cloves and cook 3 minutes. Add chicken stock; cover and simmer until garlic is very tender, about 20 minutes. 

Let soup cool.  Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to saucepan; add cream and bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide grated cheese among 4 bowls and ladle soup over. Squeeze juice of 1 lemon wedge into each bowl and serve.

Note: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

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