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"Our lives are a book that has already been written. The brilliance of the plan is that we are only given a chapter at a time..." ~A. Drayton Boylston

Friday, August 03, 2012

Amazing Alliums

"Shallots are for lovers; onions are for men; garlic is for heroes." - Unknown

Cooking without alliums is like having sex without kissing.  It can be done, but the resulting feast lacks depth, sweetness and passion.

Alliums, which include onions, garlic, shallots, leeks and asparagus, are from the lily family.  They are renowned aphrodisiacs and appear in European and Asian erotic literature.

The most beloved member of the allium (in Latin means "garlic") family for me is of course, garlic.  Not only is it an essential cuisine ingredient that was love at first taste as I grew up with French cooking, but it is a great enhancer in the bedroom.

For the first half of the twentieth century, garlic was not very popular in the American culinary scene, and was ignorantly ridiculed as "Italian perfume."  The Egyptians, Chinese, Japanese, Jews, Greeks, Romans, and Europeans however, knew the power of this allium without question.  Asian lovers ate garlic to enhance sexual strength and beauty.  The Romans consecrated garlic to Ceres, the Goddess of Agriculture, and believed that eating garlic stimulated the penis.  They also made a love potion from pressed garlic juice.

Sacred to Hekate, the dark goddess of the witches, garlic was also used in love potions and to reverse spells for impotence.  In Elizabethan England, garlic was proclaimed an aphrodisiac believed to "reawaken desire."  King Henry IV of France, who was baptized with a clove of garlic on his lips, ate huge quantities of garlic before sleeping with women....in order to enhance his sexual performance.

In the fourth century B.C., the religious leader and performer Ezra issued an order requiring Jews to eat garlic on the Sabbath nights because it "promotes love and arouses desire."  According to the Talmud, garlic was believed to increase passion and fertility, and thus enhance marital lovemaking and procreation, important parts of observing the Sabbath.  To this day garlic still plays an important role in Jewish cooking.

Ancient Egyptians worshipped garlic and used it as part of the embalming process.  Believing in sex in the afterlife, they placed whole cloves in their tombs.  They also fed it to slaves to keep them healthy and energized.  Ancient Olympians ate garlic to increase strength and stamina.

Science has discovered that garlic can enhance erections (cheaper than Viagra!), lower cholesterol, and help prevent tumors.  Especially when taken with the amino acid L-arginine, Garlic works for erections by increasing the activity of an enzyme called nitric oxide synthase, so that more nitric oxide can be made from L-arginine.  This is especially helpful for men over 40, who have low NOS levels, but even men who need no help obtaining an erection can reap the benefits of raising nitric oxide levels with garlic....which include lowering blood pressure and preventing heart attacks.  Garlic is a major hero to the circulatory system, and anything that significantly boosts blood circulation improves sexual vitality.

Garlic is called the "stinking rose" for good reason.  The strong scent comes from a chemical reaction.  When a garlic clove is cut, the cells release an enzyme called allinaise that transforms an odorless chemical called alliin into a strong smelling sulfur containing molecule called allicin, which is what makes garlic so medicinally valuable.  The mineral of sulfur, which is found in garlic, onions, asparagus and eggs, is required for the production of glutathione, an antioxidant found in all living cells that helps protect the body from toxins and premature aging.

According to researchers at Penn State, to increase the formation of disease-preventing substances in garlic, let your minced or crushed garlic sit for at least ten minutes before eating so that the allicin has plenty of time to form.

Garlic is a powerful antiseptic and also kills viruses that cause colds and flu.  Taken internally, garlic boosts the immune system  by stimulating T-cells.  Researchers have been studying how garlic may be used in the prevention and treatment of Cancer.  Garlic may also prevent pregnancy complications.

Garlic Love Potions....
According to Pliny, "Pound a little garlic with fresh coriander and take it with some neat wine, and those sex problems will be gone."
And according to the Kama Sutra, "Mix garlic root with white pepper and licorice.  When drunk with sugared milk, it enhances verility."

To dispell the smell of garlic after eating it, munch on parsley, chew on a citrus peel, or rinse your mouth out with water.  Nothing will remove the smell completely, but the above remedies will help.  The benefits however, far outweigh the smell!

An interesting fact..... in Alexandria Minnesota, a man cannot make love to his wife with the smell of garlic, onions, or sardines on his breath.  It is illegal!  And in Gary Indiana, Michael Jackson's hometown, it is against the law to go to a theater within four hours of eating garlic.

Love Maker's Pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves, washed and dried
6 cloves fresh garlic
1/2 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup coarsely grated parmesan
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan in a blender or food processor.  With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil.  Store in the refrigerator or place in ice cube trays and freeze for later use.

Green Rods of Sex
This is one of my favorite things to do with asparagus.... its yummy and quick!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Take a big bunch of asparagus purchased at your local farm stand or grocery store, and cut off about 1 inch of the ends.  Rinse and pat dry.  Spread the asparagus out onto a baking sheet covered with foil.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt (and pepper if you like) to taste, and as many chopped cloves of garlic as your heart desires.  Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 20mn or until roasted and sizzling.  Enjoy the nice orgasmic appetizer!

Temptations by Ellen and Michael Albertson
The Green Witches Herbal

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