Alter Boys and Roasted Garlic

For some boys, the attention span does not last long.

I was in 6th grade at the time. Now, the middle school years were pretty rough. I had glasses, braces, and acne. I have a wonderful picture of me in 4th grade, when is when the ugly process started, that people don’t think is me, if that tells you anything.

Anyway, I was at the awkward age of 12. I was at some family function (I think it possibly was an uncle getting remarried, but that’s my best guess) that involved us going to church.

Now, on top of that gorgeous picture I just painted of myself, to this event I was wearing an unfortunate outfit. My mother used to make me a dress every year for Easter and Christmas to wear. Now, my mother was quite a good seamstress, but she always insisted on making the dresses have puffy sleeves.

Back when I was in middle school, I HATED puffy sleeves. HATED THEM.

So here I was, in church with my family, decked out in a floral print dress with puffy sleeves, with braces and glasses that took up half my face (the acne wasn’t as bad as normal that day). We’re in the middle of mass, and we’re at the part where everyone shakes hands and says “peace be with you,” for those non-raised-Catholic folks.

In this particular church, the priest and alter boys would walk around and participate. One of the alter boys made a beeline towards us, shook my hand, and then said, “You’re the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.”

I was flabbergasted and flattered, since obviously it wasn’t true. However, he then turned to my cousin who was standing next to me, and said, “You’re even more beautiful than your cousin.”

Obviously he hadn’t learned too much about manners as an alter boy.

Saintly Roasted Garlic

this garlic has more manners than some alter boys


  • Whole head roasted garlic (you can roast multiple at a time)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut off tops of whole bulbs of garlic to expose the tops of the cloves.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in oven until soft for 35 minutes.
  5. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Use in sauces or just squeeze out a clove and spread onto a piece of good bread…my favorite!

62 thoughts on “Alter Boys and Roasted Garlic

  1. I remember those days in which I started looking ugly at the pre-teen stage! Terrible… the worst thing is my mother still keeps the photos of those days on her wall! Even worse than terrible!!

  2. I like this recipe, couldn’t be simpler yet with such fantastic results – for those whose love of garlic rarely preceeds them. I pop this into a cup made of tin foil and put it on the BBQ – you’ll have neighbours gawking into your patio.

  3. i vaguely remember wearing over-sized plastic glasses at that age. somehow they are trendy again. the impetuousness of youth still eludes me today.

  4. I’m so glad I don’t have to re-live any part of my youth, but especially not the pre-teen years. Remember banana clips for your hair, and those t-shirts that changed color when they were warm, so your arm pits were always a different color? Why was that cool? Anyway, garlic heals all wounds.

  5. y’know…had you roasted some of that garlic back then, perhaps those alter boys would have simply avoided you altogether. 🙂
    nice story and recipe. simple and useful.

  6. First time I had roasted garlic like this – was in Victoria, BC in 1990 – thought I will never be able to eat a whole garlic like this, but no problems .. really good and yummy. Can’t recall I ever eaten it again and I have never done it myself. I will now. Like you little story – a smile for a sunny sunday. Thanks

  7. I have been in love with roasted garlic since I started making Ina Garten’s Roasted Broccoli recipe…I’m afraid I may actually have an addiction to roasting vegetables and garlic now. Oh, well. This particular recipe is going to happen soon.

  8. I love garlic and that looks so good! I really like your stories and recipes. Entertaining and tasty lol

    BTW- I tagged you in a recent post on my blog, check it out!

  9. I think I could eat that whole head of roasted garlic straight out of the peel…though I would have to make Micah eat some, too, or he’d be avoiding me for the rest of the night. 🙂

  10. Your stories are always so entertaining. We all go through awkward stages, our “ugly duckling” stages and turn into swans. By the way, I was an altar boy when I was a kid…I had manners too. Don’t want to think about what would happen if I said such a thing!

  11. Love the story and I can totally relate, right down to the glasses, braces and acne, and the puffy-sleeved dress (my mom didn’t make my “tween” years Easter dresses, but they were hideous nonetheless.) And thanks for the roasted garlic tip – we love garlic in all it forms around here.

  12. Oh dear, now I’m thinking of all the dresses I made for my daughter… no puffy sleeves but lots of froo-froo’s. She stills loves me though. As for the alter boy, huh! what was your cousin wearing?

  13. roasted garlic is the best thing ever! Although I find it often burns when I just do single cloves in with my veg for a Sunday roast…any ideas why? I only put them in for no more than 45 mins. How long do they generally take to cook?

    By the way, as a follower of my blog, I’d like to invite you to my first-ever linky party on Wednesday 11th April at 4pm. The theme is High Tea and I’d love to see any posts you have that fit in with this idea. It could be cupcakes you’ve made, your favourite teacups, paintings, what you’d wear to a tea party, a tea-party tutorial, recipes, photographs – anything goes, as long as it’s on a teatime foodie theme!

    The party’s on until Friday 13th at 4pm, so you have plenty of time to find your favourite posts. The linky party will be a bi-weekly affair so hopefully I’ll see you at one or two of them. Have a great day!

    – Sarah 🙂

    1. For the garlic, it’s probably burning because it’s the single clove and not submerged in liquid or olive oil. Garlic burns really quickly (I’m not the only one that had to throw out the onion-garlic diced on the stovetop and start again, I’m sure!). Part of the reason it doesn’t burn when you roast the entire head is that you keep most of the covering intact and the exposed parts are doused in olive oil. Maybe if you tried having some liquid in the bottom of your roast and submerging the cloves in that would solve your problem?

      I won’t be able to make your party that week unfortunately- that’s my surgery date so I’m scheduled to be intubated and sedated at the exact time of your party. My blueberry muffin bread would be a great potential recipe, plus I have a recipe for scones I’ll be posting, too, in the next few weeks!

      1. Thanks for the tip, I’ll give it a go on Sunday! I love roasted garlic so much, so I hope it works.

        Hope your surgery goes well, sorry that you won’t be able to make the party – but there will be another one in 2 weeks after that, so I’ll look out for your blueberry muffin bread. Sounds delish! 🙂

  14. I remember when my brother was an altar boy and my family would sit up front and try to make him laugh. Priests love that! I would also be picky about which mass to go to so that the cutest altar boys were there. Not one of them ever said I was beautiful!

    Happy Easter!

  15. Love the story. I made inconsiderate mistakes like that in my early teens – I was also the weird looking one, so I guess insensitivity is universal for thirteen year old boys.

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