Stinkin’ Dinners

Howie went to his mom’s this afternoon for the annual sauerkraut and pork over mashed potatoes. I had a headache and opted to extend my nap. He’s bringing a plate home from her house, but not soon enough. I’m HONGRY, people. I can almost smell that horrible/wonderful sauerkraut smell. Glad I’m not the one who cooked it in my house, LOL. Actually, we eat kraut quite a bit throughout the year. One of our favorite ways to make it is in Chicken Reuben (Note: unless you’re a Dave’s Garden subscriber, you won’t be able to read the follow-up posts to the thread where I gave the recipe, but you can see the first one, containing the recipe).

Food smells are such a mixed lot, aren’t they? Garlic, for instance. When we’re out shopping and the scent of garlic-laden Chinese or Italian food wafts across the parking lot from a restaurant, it’s enough to drive us insane. But old garlic smells permeating a house? Not-so-good. Back when we were living in an apartment in a big old Victorian house, Howie made a Cuban rice dish containing green olives, black beans, and garlic, among other things. The recipe called for three cloves of sauteed garlic. Howie mistook that and sauteed three heads of garlic. Imagine this, knowing how sauteeing garlic brings out more of its flavor to begin with. One small bite of this dish was all I could eat; you truly could not taste anything except garlic. The biting stench of that stuff lingered in our apartment — and the hallway — for weeks. Ugh!

When I worked for a big catalog company as a team leader and phone associate, there was one particular guy I just hated helping. It wasn’t because he was a bad person; actually, he was terrific on the phones and a really nice guy. But he took garlic supplements and ate a lot of the stuff, too. I can’t begin to describe the sinking feeling I’d get in my stomach when I’d see him raise his hand, his awaiting headset in his grasp, and say he needed me to take a supervisor call. His headset…Oh, my gosh. It reeked of THE most gut-churning, old-sour-garlic odor imagineable.

Fortunately, a brief and unfounded head-lice scare got many of the supervisors a little twitchy about hygiene and we took to carrying our own headsets with us around our necks, like some brigade of doctors with stethoscopes. That solved the Garlic Guy headset dilemma, as long as I kept my breaths shallow and through my mouth when I was within a three or four foot radius of him. Sometimes health benefits just don’t outweight the social downfalls of a supplement.

So, you want extra garlic with that pizza bread?

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