But not for one of my books. This is a plug for Garlic-Free Gourmet: Be Your Own Personal Chef by Andy Ward.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: garlic-free gourmet? That’s an oxymoron, isn’t it? To me, garlic is its own food group, just like coffee. And the only time I entertain the notion of putting the words “garlic” and “free” together is when my local natural foods store overbuys and puts out a basket of free garlic bulbs. I live for those days.
But Andy and his wife, Donna, have an adverse reaction to garlic, so Andy developed several dozen recipes that use other flavorings to take the place of garlic. I’ve tried a couple, and they really are good.
Only for Andy, though, would I forgo garlic, even for a meal or two. We’ve known each other for…um…many, many years. We first met in Miss Radcliffe’s fifth-grade class at Sensor School in Millville, New Jersey, in 1960. My earliest memory of him dates back to one morning when I was basking in the glow of having just won the class spelling bee. Andy piped up and challenged me to spell “antidisestablishmentarianism.” Quite the precocious guy, he was.
To this day I maintain that even at the age of 10, I could have spelled that word correctly. But he threw me off my game. I turned bright red, blinked back the tears and wanted to run out of the room. Miss Radcliffe, bless her heart, chided Andy and told me I could sit down.
I have no doubt that this is why Andy has been deprived of enjoying one of life’s finest culinary pleasures. Let this be a lesson to all males everywhere: Before you make a young girl cry, consider the karmic consequences.
Enough. Now I’m in withdrawal. I’m going to go sauté a whole bulb of garlic just for the heck of it.