I’m hunting. Whaling actually. And it’s thrilling. I have my harpoon in my hand as I stare down into the clouded ocean, trying to spot that one last whale. The knife of hunger is giving my senses a keen edge and… and there she is. The white whale! She surfaces but my attacks force her back into the opaque waves. Another stab and I’ve hooked her. Fat. White. Glistening. Delicious.
On my cracked wooden spoon rests that final pearl of gnocci. Beneath it the boiling water, cloudy from the starches, begins to come to rest and I realize how hungry I truly was. Hungry Lady Jane is Dramatic Lady Jane.
And so with a resolve to go back and finish Moby Dick I drain the gnocci and drop it into the empty bowl. A few final stirs of the boiling sauce (from a jar but still delicious) before it’s dumped from the orange pot and my main course is complete. It’s gorgeous, the white of the gnocci peaking through the earthy red sauce (I’m suddenly reminded of the tiles in my grandparents’ old house) surrounded by the porcelain with blue bowl. Next to it on an old tiny plate rest two slices of super-quick improv garlic bread.
Sometimes you need to cook a meal for one to be reminded why you fell in love with cooking in the first place.
Super-quick Improv Garlic Bread
You’ve probably made this yourself but just in case you haven’t here it is. Give it a try when you want something garlicy, bready and easy.
Preheat your oven to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a clove of garlic (this is assuming you’re making two slices of bread and have a strong enjoyment of garlic) and cut it in half. Now dice it up and set it aside. Toast two slices of bread (I used a very thick version of a baguette) before lathering butter on them. Take half of the diced garlic and push the pieces into the butter and then repeat with the other. Place the two pieces of bread (butter side up!) on a tray and then put it in the oven for just a few minutes (maybe two or three). Take out when the butter has melted in and the bread it really crusty on the outside. Eat it.