Slow Down



Our lives have become so adjusted to the fast pace of society, we have forgotten what it is like to just slow down. Between the housework, feeding animals, working in the garden, errands, the kid’s activities and other busy work, we spend more time chasing our tails than getting anything accomplished.

The food we eat is a primary example – if it isn’t a drive through, the microwave will do just as well. With that attitude, we just cannot remember what we are missing out on. For instance, our world has been running wild lately. While in the grocery store, I found myself tempted by a four ounce jar of pre-chopped garlic. Since I was making garlic bread to go with lasagna, I actually considered going the quick route for just a second. But then I remembered. True garlic butter needs to simmer a bit, to bring out the true flavors. Whether my schedule liked it or not, my taste buds won out.


There is nothing better than slow-cooked food. Think of it this way – would you rather have a roast that has been zapped in the microwave, or one that has been cooking in the oven for several hours. Can you smell that heavenly aroma? It has been tested over and over again that spaghetti sauce that has simmered all day, put in the refrigerator overnight, then re-simmered the next day has a richer flavor.

And bread. Which would you rather have? A loaf that is wrapped in plastic and has been sitting on the grocery store shelf for several days, or one that is piping hot – right out of the oven? Yes, I know you are supposed to let it cool before you slice it, but if you wait too long, the butter just won’t melt!


Speaking of bread – the garlic variety is a prime example. There are some decent garlic bread products in the freezer aisle. But they just don’t compare to making it at home. Even if you just use a loaf wrapped in plastic, you can still ‘doll it up’ by slicing it and making your own garlic butter. The trick is to allow the minced garlic to simmer in the melted butter for at least five minutes, if not longer.
Think I don’t know what I am talking about? Put that frozen garlic bread back in the freezer, and try the way that takes a bit more time. After the first bite, I just know you will be agreeing with me!


Garlic French Bread
One loaf French bread – sliced approximately 3/4” – 1” thick (Slice to the bottom, but do not slice all the way through. Leave the slices connected on the bottom)
2 sticks Butter (oh, please! NOT margarine!)
1 small pod Garlic (not one clove, but the whole pod) or 6 to 8 large cloves
Melt butter over low heat. Peel and finely mince the garlic, then add to the butter. Continue to simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for five to ten minutes. Place the sliced bread on a sheet of tin foil. Gently spread each slice apart and spoon the butter between the slices. Continue until each section has butter. If there is any left, gently pour it over the top of the bread. Wrap the loaf tight in the foil and place in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 15 to 20 minutes – 30 minutes or so if you you’re your bread a bit crusty on the outside.
Pull the bread apart and enjoy!!!
Now it’s your turn. Tell me your favorite slow-cooked meal. And if you want to share your recipe, I am all for it!

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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