Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pressed for Space

One thing I love to do is cook, well, bake more than anything, but I really do like to cook, as well. Like most people who like to cook, I love to watch great chefs (I use the word "chef" knowing there's a possibility some have not actually been trained as a chef but are what a chef may call a cook, but whatever). The Food Network is like a drug to a good foodie. I must admit I've had entire Saturdays eaten away (ha ha) by an endless stream of thirty minute make-this-or-that cooking segments. But, in the all the time I've loved the Food Network, I've never seen Giada de Laurentiis, Mario Batali, Gordon Ramsay, or Ina Garten actually use a garlic press. A good chef will smash the clove of naked garlic with the flat side of a good solid knife - usually a santoku-style blade - and then chop up the piece of garlic into fine remnants. They will then carefully gather the tiny pieces of garlic on their blade and use their index fingers to push the garlic from the knife into the skillet or dish they are preparing. I've heard many a chef even make a comment about how smashing the clove with a flat side of a knife blade really releases the garlic's true flavor. I suppose my knowledge base is too small on this - as I don't even pretend to be at a chef level - but I bet it's fairly difficult to find a chef that uses a garlic press.
This long introduction brings me to what I dug out of our utensil drawer this evening: none other than a garlic press. It looks completely untouched. I smelled it and sense nothing of the garlic variety, which seems hard to believe knowing the pungency of garlic even in it's natural state. I thought to myself about this particular garlic press and I can't remember the last time I used it. I think it's something I used once. If you've never used a garlic press the mechanics are easy - you simply place a cleaned clove of garlic in the inside receptacle and pull the other receptacle in on it. The pressure crushes the clove of garlic. But, if you've done this you've experienced what most everyone does - that it's next to impossible to get the garlic off of the device as it gets caught in the nooks and crannies. I did see that my garlic press was made in Italy. I suppose that was to give it more authenticity as Italy and garlic go hand-in-hand. That being said, this garlic press is useless to me. In looking at it, I'm sure I paid top dollar for it, too, but that doesn't matter. That which is not used must be eighty-sixed. That's the resolution and I'm sticking by it.

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