Potty training, it turns out, means a lot of waiting. Even if the kid isn’t peeing, you’re checking in every few minutes to see if he might be peeing. And so you waste whole days waiting to see whether or not someone will pee. No wonder kids can get so stressed about it: you’d be stressed too if someone was hovering nearby all day with bleach wipes at the ready.
During potty training, I needed a distraction. A good stop-hovering recipe, one that could take my mind off of to-pee-or-not-to-pee, but that was still easy enough to take being constantly interrupted. The answer? Slow-roasted garlic.
This recipe requires no attention, so if you do have to leave to mop up a puddle you don’t have to worry about setting the kitchen on fire. Your whole house will smell of delicious roasting garlic instead of bodily fluids and/or cleaning solvents. It’s also, just like potty training, a lesson in patience. It will be cooked through at around 45 minutes, but if you don’t fiddle with it and give it an hour or two, you’ll be even happier with the result.
Start with whole heads of garlic. I used 6, but regretted it two days later when I ran out of roasted garlic, so I suggest you begin with the number you think you’ll be able to eat in a week and then multiply it by 3.
Cut off the pointy tips of each head. This is mostly about presentation, so don’t worry if you miss a few. It will be easy enough to get them out later once they’re roasted.
Place the heads cut side up onto a sheet of aluminum foil.
Sprinkle the heads with salt. If you’re planning to use the roasted garlic in other recipes, omit the salt now and salt to taste later.
Drizzle a little olive oil (or a lot! I won’t judge!) onto each head.
Fold the aluminum foil into a packet and roast in a 400-degree oven for at least 45 minutes, and up to 2 hours if you’re patient.
Serve the garlic in its skin and use small knives or forks to spread it on bread or crackers.
Stephanie Loomis Pappas is a professor turned stay-at-home parent committed to debunking all of the bad parenting advice on the internet. She prefers iced coffee (because toddlers), and especially Dirty Sheeds (because vanilla syrup). She started snackdinner.com to remind googling parents that whatever they’re doing, they’re doing just fine. You can find more snackdinner on facebook and instagram.