By Katia Protsenko
Politics & Culture Editor
Being in college and cooking don’t exactly mix.
In this weekly column, I hope to teach you a little something about the world of food. Having food — and cooking food — is a useful skill. We college students should have our cake and know how to bake it too.
I was making lunch for a friend a few days ago, and we got to talking about garlic.
“It’s unhealthy how much I love garlic,” he said.
Besides its numerous health benefits, garlic is just awesome.
My love of the “stinking rose” started at a young age, and was nurtured along by my family in the Ukraine.
When eating borscht, a traditional Russian beet soup, my family always served it with a few garnishes: dark rye bread and whole garlic cloves. You take a bite of garlic, another bite of the bread, and finally a spoonful of borscht.
My mom dips a garlic clove into salt and eats it alongside almost anything. Despite the strong taste of raw garlic, she is unfazed.
As I started cooking, I turned to garlic more and more. It would be the first thing I took out of my pantry and started peeling. Dropping garlic into a pan of heated oil gave me a few spatter burns, but the immediate smell and sizzle made it all worth it.
Garlic was a huge part of my first go-to recipe — garlic butter pasta. My garlic butter pasta sauce can even be made in the microwave. For me, and my well-being, it was necessary.
After burning myself pretty severely while cooking, I took some time away from the stove. As I finished all the leftovers in the fridge, I began craving something else. Something that wasn’t a leftover. Something new.
We had plain pasta in the fridge, so I warmed that up, but had no pasta sauce. This was the conception of my garlic butter sauce, which I will share with you now.
Put a stick of butter into a microwave-safe bowl. Peel and chop an ungodly amount of garlic and add it to the bowl. Season with salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes, and microwave the mixture for 90 seconds, or until the butter is fully melted and bubbling.
Pour the sauce over cooked pasta. Add chopped parsley and lemon juice to the pasta for some color and freshness.
I leave you with the words of Alice May Brock, whose restaurant inspired a song about 1960s counterculture and a subsequent film, both titled “Alice’s Restaurant.”
“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.”