Garlic and rosemary

Dinner tonight, improvised: lamb chops with rosemary, garlic, and sea salt, in our grill pan, with oven roasted potatoes in olive oil with more garlic, rosemary, and sea salt.

Is garlic a sublimity for everyone or just for me? Is it a cultural thing, a biological thing, or what? I know that for me it’s not a childhood taste or anything; I love my mother’s cooking dearly, but garlic in the cuisine of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania is nonexistent—or powdered. Never roasted. Never diced on lamb chops, or sliced thin and roasted on top of a bed of sliced potatoes.

And rosemary? That’s for remembrance. (Warning: stupid college dating story ahead.)

Two months away from graduation, I had a talk with my then-girlfriend that ended in us agreeing that we needed to be apart. I was okay with it. The next day we had scheduled a cookout with our friends outside my Lawn room, on my little hibachi. We decided to go ahead with the cookout.

The next morning in her apartment I marinated chunks of meat and vegetables in rosemary, Worcestershire, black pepper, onion. That afternoon shish-kabobs on the hibachi. After everyone left I sat by the hibachi on the ground, threw whole rosemary sprigs on the coals and breathed in the fragrance. It was then I knew that I wasn’t okay with it. It took a long time to erase the hurt. But rosemary’s remembrance can be cleansing too.