Because it’s now officially February, and because I’ve always officially been a Virgo who was born on a Wednesday, let’s do this list style:
1. Being sick sucks. Being sick and still having to take care of four energetic kids all by yourself really sucks.
2. I’m not complaining, just stating the facts people.
3. I am so over flu shots. Twice in my life I’ve had one, and now twice in my life I’ve had the flu. Yes, the real flu, confirmed by a medical professional. Not just residual symptoms from the shot. And in both cases the events were not close enough to each other to make me inclined to believe I already had the flu before I got the shot.
4. I am in no way advocating any of you should skip a flu shot, I’m just saying I don’t think they work for me. I’d like to think after 30-something years I know me pretty well, and I like my odds better. Just so we’re clear on that.
5. While I was down and out (well, as much as you can be with four crazy kids in your presence), I did not cook one single thing for five days in a row. Not even toast. The crazies survived on leftovers and the fact that #1 can use a microwave and knows how to dial the Chinese delivery guy. Amen for that.
6. Now that I’m no longer writhing in pain and scaring the bejesus out of the poor crazies (who are probably going to need therapy in the near future), and hacking up whatever is left of my lungs, I’m back in the kitchen. But I’m keeping things simple. Crazy simple. And this garlic bread fits right into my plan.
In theory, making any garlic bread should be simple, right? But I can’t tell you how much “bad” garlic bread I made before I figured this out. I’ve tried making garlic bread with garlic powder, garlic salt, and don’t even get me started on the inventive combinations of other herbs and spices I’ve tried throwing in the mix. Some tasted ok…most did not. I’ve had some garlic bread come out mushy despite being in a very hot oven for a very long time. I’ve had some that came out burnt beyond any recognition (which reminded me that I am definitely my Mother’s daughter…P.S. I love you Mom!). And I’ve had some that came out with a funky green tint to them, even though I used no green herbs what-so-ever. Can anyone explain that to me? Never mind…I’m not sure I want to know since I ate them anyway! I really thought I was doomed to forever be an epic failure at garlic bread.
But then I figured out the secret…or rather, my Dad figured it out and taught me. Thanks Dad! My Dad made this garlic bread for us a couple years ago when he came to WA to visit. And he made it again when he was here in November. That time I paid attention. And now…garlic bread success!
Now put your thinking caps on people because this is really difficult. Be prepared to exercise your mind and body and take a nap when it’s all over. You ready?
Garlic. Butter. French Bread. And oh yeah, by the way, I was totally just kidding about that whole difficult thing. You know I wouldn’t do that to you! And four days post-flu, I definitely wouldn’t do that to me!
Two things…make sure the butter is room temperature. Not melted. And more importantly, do this with a really fresh loaf of bread. The better the bread, the more epic the garlic bread.
If you stuck a popsicle stick in that, I’d eat it. Does that make me weird? Wait, don’t answer that!
You get bonus sympathy points if you too use your mini Martha Stewart spatula that your then 17-month old grabbed off the shelf at the PX and clung to with all the life force in her tiny body.
You get my envy if 90% of the tools in your kitchen were not acquired in a similar manner.
Seriously! It’s that simple!
In my very unprofessional opinion, I think the secret to this bread is the low oven temperature. It lets the flavors in the garlic really develop and sink into the bread, while preventing anything from burning. I guess if you wanted to add some cheese, herbs, or seasoning of some sort you could. But it is unbelievable how good this tastes all by it’s simple little three-ingredient self.
Cut into pieces and serve along side a big bowl of your favorite pasta. Add a salad and it’s a meal. Enjoy!
- One loaf of french bread
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4-5 large cloves of garlic
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Peel, smash, and chop garlic. Mix into butter.
- Split loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Spread garlic butter onto bread and bake for 20-25 minutes.