In the back of my mind where memories exist, there are a few things so closely tied to my childhood that it is impossible to imagine my days as a child without them.
Among these things are walks in the park with my mother, who would carry me as we chased butterflies among the trees; riding around our backyard on my tricycle with my brother and sister in tow; playing on the turquoise blue swing we had at our old Sea Breeze Road home.
And of course, eating huge chunks of fragrant garlic bread – sliced pieces of French baguette loaded with freshly minced garlic, melted butter and chopped parsley – a delicacy we would savor whenever we went for dinner at Jack’s Place, a Western food restaurant chain.
It’s weird how much I associate garlic bread with my childhood, instead of some local Singaporean dish – but I suppose that the aroma of garlic and toasted bread has always teased my senses, and many happy times were spent in the lovely company of this fragrant appetizer.
The bright yellow color of melted butter and garlic, combined with the complementary dark green of fresh parsley, this is one snack which never fails to whet my appetite or cheer up my day.
I’m convinced of the powers of garlic – health wise and taste wise – which by some miraculous power, seems to always be able to make things feel better.
You know how the experts say that our memories and emotions get unlocked when we smells certain scents and aromas?
The smell of freshly-toasted garlic bread wafting in the kitchen, after a long, weary day, can completely erase my tiredness. It makes me feel alive, energetic, hungry, and comforted - I get teleported back to sometime in the past, to my childhood where nothing mattered more than playing with my brother and sister, where life was just a little bit simpler.
How I wish both my sister Valerie & my brother Ronald were here with me to share this snack! I miss you both!
CLASSIC GARLIC-PARSLEY BREAD (Serves 3-4 as an appetizer)
1) 1 loaf of French baguette
2) 100g of butter, room temperature
3) 3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
4) 3 cloves of garlic, minced as fine as possible
1) Mince garlic and chop parsley
2) Mix minced garlic and chopped parsley with butter until a homogeneous mixture is achieved
3) Slice baguette into thin slices diagonally
4) Spread garlic-parsley butter spread over bread slices
5) Arrange bread slices on a baking tray
6) Toast bread slices in pre-heated oven at 180 deg cel for five minutes
7) Serve hot out of the oven with freshly grated cheese (optional)
Fresh garlic, parsley and butter: