The best time I have in the kitchen is when I am getting all my bases started, the prep time as you call it. Slicing peppers and onions, prepping the spices, peeling the veggies, all that believe it or not actually makes me very serene.
More than anything though I love peeling and chopping garlic. I guess because for me each little clove holds the promise of powerful flavor possibilities. I can mince it, chop it, slice it, dice it, keep it whole, pair it with butter or garlic, whatever I do it will not disappoint. It’s like the character actor of the culinary world, it makes things better.
I love it so much I took a picture of some in my kitchen
My favorite thing to make with garlic is a simple pan roasted chicken with whole and diced cloves, simply delicious.