As summer stretches on, it has come to my attention that I will be turning eighteen in about half a year. That means I have but six months left to complete the other eleven items on my eighteen before eighteen list. I’ve gotten dressed up; I’ve watched all six seasons of Lost; I’ve cookie ninja-ed a complete stranger; I’ve had a proper sleepover; I’ve run for student council; I’ve biked from Edward Gardens to the Lakeshore; I’ve visited Cornell for three weeks. Suffice to say, I’ve done all the easy stuff.
This summer, I’m hoping to see the sunrise, finish reading War and Peace, go vegetarian for a week, and get my G2 driver’s licence. I’m not quite sure what to first though. Theoretically, to wake up extremely early for one morning to see the sunrise should be easier than to finish reading the 875 or so pages I have left of War and Peace, but waking up early is really, really hard to do in the summer. Incidentally, I’ve decided to tackle the issue of getting my driver’s licence.
I’ve been driving for nearly a year and a half now and I’d like to think that I’m a decent driver, save for my less than stellar parking skills. On a particularly balmy Civic Holiday afternoon, I practiced driving to the test center with my mom. We headed east out of the city. In unfamiliar territory, I missed the turn onto the street which led to the test center, so I kept driving in hopes of doubling back on a different road.
“You can’t miss this turn,” my mom counselled as we approached the stoplight, “otherwise we’ll end up on the highway.” A stark image of my mother holding onto her seat for dear life while I tried not to steer the car into oncoming traffic at a hundred kilometres an hour popped into my head. Driving at seventy already left my palms sweaty—I didn’t want to know what would happen at a hundred kilometres an hour.
I signalled to turn right. The car in front of us moved forward with a lurch. Suddenly the driver backed up a little bit and got out of his car. It appeared that he had rear-ended the car in front of him. “Um, Mom,” I asked worriedly. “What do I do? Do I drive around them?” Cars from behind us were changing lanes and whizzing by.
“Yoooouuu,” my mother replied, stretching the word out into three syllables, “get out of the car and let me drive.”
Disaster averted, we located the test center and practiced parking and driving in the area. On our way home, we dropped by the grocery store to buy some bread. As I approached the bakery section, the scent of freshly baked bread wafted towards me. Suddenly, I was hit with the hugest craving for garlic bread. After some debate, I managed to convince my mom that we would finish the entire baguette, that I would personally eat the entire thing if I had to, and that half of a stale baguette would not end up in the garbage (like it apparently usually did).
The second I got home, I asked all my family members if they wanted garlic bread. As it turned out, Dad and my older brother were still seated around the TV watching the women’s soccer game. “As much as I can have,” was how my brother responded, his eyes glued to the screen. Well, then, I thought. Better use the whole baguette.
I minced several cloves of garlic and then sautéed it gently in some olive oil. (This helps take some of the “bite” away.) I mixed the garlic with the butter and added some salt, parsley, and white truffle paste. Using the sharpest knife in the kitchen—which, coincidentally, is the steak knife with which I cut myself last year—I sliced the bread. I slathered the garlic butter onto the bread and toasted it for 5 minutes at 400F.
The results were delicious. Garlicky, buttery, slightly crispy bread heaven. I had had the intention to save some garlic bread for my younger brother, who wasn’t home, but all bets were off when my mom, who had said she couldn’t eat crispy things because of her sensitive teeth, snatched up the last piece.