Radioactive Garlic

Happy Sunday to all, here’s a throwback from my previous blog, enjoy!

Cooking lesson for my girls
Last week was not one of my finest, we spent a lot of time not eating regularly or picking up meat and cheese and bread to snack on over the course of the evening. I guess there is something to say for having you girls around, it keeps us on a regular eating schedule. So this week I though I’d give you a story of your grandpa Chuck.
By the time you girls came around Grandpa was a really good cook, but, when we first starting eating his food he spent a lot of time learning and experimenting on ways to cook things differently. Needless to say we had a number of meals that were barely edible at best. I remember an evening when I was 10 when after dinner grandpa pulled out the cook book and dived into a section on bruschetta , there were beautiful recipes of toasted breads, photos with tomatoes of all colors, paired with green basil and pine nuts, some with meat others without, all drizzled with oil and topped with garlic and cheese. After stewing over the book for a little while he pulled out large elephant garlic from the basket next to the stove and lobbed off the top, put it on a plate and poured a large helping of oil all over the top. He then sprinkled it with salt and instead of turning on the oven decided that it could be roasted in the microwave, with the same results in far less time.
Now I have to tell you that microwaves in the 80’s are nothing like we have today, the one we owned had a dial for time, that also started the contraption and a button to open the door – That’s it, no convection setting, no timed thaw or popcorn button, it was the bottom of the line and was probably a throw back from the 70’s when Grandma and Grandpa were starting out. He tosses the garlic into the microwave – turns the dial to 15 minutes and walks upstairs to watch TV and wait.

In our old duplex, we had the bedrooms on the top floor and the living room, bathroom and kitchen on the ground floor, when you walked out of my bedroom to go down the stairs you could see the kitchen from the top of the stairs, and the microwave on the far wall. I’m not sure why I was going downstairs at that precise moment, maybe because I wanted an after dinner snack, maybe because I needed to brush my teeth before bed, I’m really can not tell you, but as I started down the stairs, I looked into the darkened kitchen and saw something odd, a glowing light coming from the microwave – now I know a microwave glows when it’s cooking but this looked a little funny to me. Then I realized that not only was the light glowing weirdly it was also pulsing, keeping time with the sound the microwave made when it was cooking things. As I got closer, the box dinged to say it was done cooking but the window still showed a glowing pulsing light, Grandpa came strolling down the stairs to see how his garlic was cooking and stopped short at the bottom of the stairs, just staring at the pulsing glowing garlic in the window, as we stood there a ribbon of liquid started to ooze from the roof of the inside of the microwave on top of the garlic, suddenly we heard a loud bang and speckles against the glass as the entire thing exploded inside the box. Grandpa and I turned and looked at each other with surprise; he slowly hung his head and sighed, patted me on the shoulder and turned to the top of the stairs. “Maude, we’re going to need to get a new microwave.” Grandma replied “OK? Why?” – “Oh, no reason.” He slowly turned back to the kitchen, walked to the defunct microwave; un plugged it, and carried it out to the back yard, a stench of charred toxic waste and garlic wafting back in the house behind him.
Even though there have been many “incidents” since, like the infamous roasting of the chestnuts or the setting fire to the sink fiasco. The radioactive garlic is still one of my favorites and it teaches everyone a lesson about what you can and can not cook in the microwave.


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