Things have been a little crazy here this week- they always seem to get like that around this time of year. But sometimes it’s important to get back to basics. I believe this was at the heart of the issue when my sister asked my mom today if we have any plans for tomorrow and my mom replied, “No… I just know that we will have to eat something.”
There have been about 84,000 trips to various grocery stores this week, however there is a rumor going around the house that there is nothing to eat. I believe that this rumor may have something to do with the fact that it is nearly impossible to find what you are looking for in the black hole that is our college dorm room-sized refrigerator (just keep looking behind the chocolate milk, soy milk, buttermilk, two half-gallons of skim milk and orange juice and you might find the pita bread). When several of us were looking for a snack this afternoon I did manage to find a couple of cans of garbanzo beans on the cupboard shelf and suggested the possibility of making hummus. Garlic? Check. Lemons? Check. Cumin? Check. Olive oil? Check. Tahini? Check. I decided to start with the tahini and immediately noticed that it appeared to have separated. I proceeded to “stir” the rock hard bottom layer into the oily top layer and mentioned the consistency to my mom who was busy making the best molasses cookies on the planet (I will post that recipe tomorrow). I remained vigilant until I “stirred” too ferociously and ended up with a spray of oil all over my down vest. At this point I took a break to soak my vest and my sister, after picking up the jar of tahini to examine it, discovered that it had expired in 2005. I’m impressed that we were apparently buying tahini sometime in 2004… Our snack seemed doomed until NPR and Nigella Lawson saved the day. My mom and sister both instantly remembered hearing on NPR that Nigella Lawson said that she likes to make her hummus with peanut butter. Luckily I can’t live without peanut butter and we were back in business. I have to admit that I was skeptical, but this hummus was, as my dad says about my sea salt that makes his humidifier steam like Old Faithful, “the bomb.”
Peanut Butter Hummus
2 x 15-ounce cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 garlic clove, peeled
3-5 tablespoons regular olive oil
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more as needed
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoons table salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 – 1/3 cup Greek yogurt*
2 tablespoons peanuts, finely chopped, to serve (optional)*
1 teaspoon smoked paprika, to serve (optional)
breadsticks, mini pitas, crackers, tortilla chips, to serve (optional)
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Put the garlic clove, chickpeas, 3 tablespoons oil, peanut butter, lemon juice, salt, and cumin into a food processor and blitz to a knobbly puree.**
Add 1/4 cup of the Greek yogurt and process again; if the hummus is still very thick, add another 1–2 tablespoons yogurt and the same of oil. (This will often depend on the chickpeas, as different sorts make the hummus thicker or not.)
Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice and salt if you feel it needs it.
On serving, mix the chopped peanuts with the paprika and sprinkle on top if you wish, and put an array of bits and pieces to eat with or dip in, as you see fit.
Makes enough for a party of 10***
*I omitted the yogurt and the peanuts
**I just mashed up all of the ingredients with a fork
***Or a party of three….
I served up the hummus with some pita bread (I found it!) that I warmed in the oven, carrot sticks and a few olives. The leftovers were immediately eaten with pita chips.
In other news, I went to my first yoga class this morning in several years. I wish that I could write that I loved it and felt rejuvinated but I had a hard time not focusing on all of the snuffy nasal breathing and coughing that I heard going on in the very cozy room. I also found myself doing a head count at one point and figuring out how much cash that meant for the instructor (and then wondering how much of that cash she gets to keep). My proudest moment came when I stayed standing on one leg longer than a woman who looked like she knew what she was doing. I thought to myself, “I won,” which then reminded me of the time that I was an archery instructor at summer camp (it’s a long story how I ended up in that position) and a young man named LaTroy declared that he had won archery after hitting a straw target. I’m pretty sure that all of this mind wandering and self-imposed balance competitions with unknowing participants is not the point of yoga. I suppose I’ll have to give it another go….
Tonight Dan and I took a walk to my favorite tree that I have been admiring on my evening jogs so that I could take a picture.
It’s a somewhat calm evening for now (I’m actually home alone for a few minutes with a snoring dog) so I am taking it all in. Happy solstice, everyone- the earth is now tilting ever so slightly back toward the sun (at least in Wisconsin).