Garlic & The Garden of Eden

Our feet sweated a lot and our toes always itched.  So she rubbed raw garlic on our toes.  We couldn’t wait for spring to get out of those rubber boots.

Mama’s powerful fist would squeeze her fingers until the (four-fifteen) cloves separated It was like putty in her hands.  She rubbed, diced, roasted or crushed the skinless cloves. 

Every peysakh (Passover) Mama told us that the Jews ate garlic in Egypt, and missed it when they wandered in the desert.

“Mama it’s only a vegetable” was my answer when Mama raved about that smelly white bulb.  All other vegetables were handled roughly.  If a vegetable was dropped, by one of her boys, it was just washed off. 

Not so for the king of vegetables. 

I now live not far from Gilroy, California, the garlic capitol of the world. 

Mama had a favorite spot for that pungent thing.  She said, “G-d kicked the apple out of gan eydn (Garden of Eden), but didn’t remember that the little garlic bulb also was there.  If She remembered, no one or thing would have received that punishment.”

“Mame, avu iz dos geshribn?” (Mama, where is it written?)

“Freg nisht aza narishkayt—s’iz geshribn.” (Don’t ask such foolishness—it’s written.)

Mama knew that raw garlic did more to “cure you” than cooked garlic.  Her most unusual use was against athlete’s foot.  In the winter we wore rubber boots and heavy socks. 

Surely, you know about using garlic as a cold remedy. 

Naturally, no microbe could stand the strong taste and smell of garlic.