A few days back I was making garlic bread. I had pressed garlic into olive oil, added a little salt, and forgot about it for a good half hour or so. When I came back to it, I stirred it up a bit, and it seemed to thicken slightly. Intrigued, I whisked some more and it ended up extremely thick, with self-sustaining peaks.
Tonight I tried to recreate this phenomenon, and it really didn't do anything to speak of. After whisking hard for about 45 minutes, I still basically had a bunch of pressed garlic sitting in a pool of olive oil.
What did I do wrong the second time, and what did I do right the first time?