Monday, April 21, 2008

*hummus serendipitous.

I just discovered a little thrill known as "blogging from bed." Generally I'm tethered to my sofa, where I languish and yawn and am frequently distracted by "Frasier" or "Kitchen Nightmares" or other things that make me wish I were watching British TV all the time. Yes, I caught a bit of that at some insanely wee hour of this morning and yes, it's phenomenally creepy. These men are all, "I have the dolls because what woman would want me?" Well NONE, now. Anyway, so now I've figured out that my only-as-old-as-it-feels (52 going on Methuselah at the moment) house has GREATER THAN ONE phone jack. My god, y'all, I'm partying like it's 1976. Go ahead. Envision me lazing gracefully in a sweatsuit and cold cream. I know you want to.

I'm fairly certain that my dwindling fan base, disillusioned by the broken promise of frequent postings, are all asleep now. Even J is all, "the TYPING is a bit MUCH for 11:38, now I shall commence to snoring." To the only one who might be up, as a kindred devotee of both Diet Coke and playing the odds: Riddle me this. What are the chances that, having eaten dinner at 9:47 pm accompanied by an impulsive and ill-advised Diet Mountain Dew, I will be falling asleep at any point in the near future? You know, on a scale of 1 to Never Going to Happen?

The insomnia and the inappropriate cravings are, I fear, symptomatic of some nutritional deficiency. I ran out of vitamins a week ago, and I'm jonesing. Because I'm an anemic oldster. No, really, I tend to silence the "I neeeeeeeeeed something" whine my body produces by throwing cream cheese and bagels the size of my head at it. I have been suffering from a severe case of freezer food/carb fatigue. I think it might make me cranky, too. Don't give me that look, hosebeast.

Or not.

I am delighted to report that—having made my selection of a light salad for dinner, tromped the dog on a suntastic death march, and discovered how to use my iPod FM tuner only 1.5 years after receiving it as a gift—I have been cured. Thank you, Kraft Foods and the Publix freezer section.

I will never eat a bagel again.

I won't even make the obvious observation here, because I'm pretty sure if there are any loyal fans left, my grandma is one of them (hi grandma!). Just know that there is a cinnamon version of this madness, and it looks ... diseased. I think they were going for a clumsy Twinkie knock-off, but the Web site describes the shape as "convenient." Um ... ok.

I love products that insipidly save people from their own laziness. If you can't figure out how to budget the time to put shmear on a bagel (and I think that takes less than the 2 minutes required to heat this up, which is also awesome), you don't need to own a microwave. It's too dangerous for you. In fact, I think breakfast of any kind might be a bit ambitious.

Once I recovered from the shudder-inducing frozen novelties, I made my way to the outer boroughs, namely produce. But a major ingredient of the salad I wanted to make (Stay! Tuned!) is avocados, and the ones at Publix were the color of cucumbers. I was in the market for something more like car tires. They also had the heft of hail. I had a good mind to ping one at the tiny old man glaring at me over the mangos. I don't know why. He just looked like he had it coming.

So! I improvised. I know, can you believe it? I'm the kid who couldn't get past the first math problem on the times-tables test because I didn't think you could do them out of order. I do not like to deviate from a plan. I'd make a great cult member, come to think of it ...

Yeah, that never gets old.

I decided to try to re-create, FROM MEMORY, the ingredients of Ina's hummus recipe. I knew I'd need tahini, because that's the reason I've never attempted homemade hummus before. Yes I have no tahini. I also knew I was craving some fresh veggies. It was a gorgeous and warm day, devoid of the humidity and mosquitoes that will soon drive me inside until November.

I got home and put the avocados in a paper bag to ripen at room temperature. I turned to page 46 in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and would you believe it? I had everything I needed.

Garbanzos, salt, lemons, hot sauce, garlic, and tahini. There is going to be a LOT of hummus making in my future, and not least because this turned out to be completely delicious. That enormous container of tahini cost $5.99, and I'll be damned if I'm going to let the rest of it rot in my refrigerator. That's the job of the crusted 2-year-old tube of anchovy paste, thank you very much.

The steps are twofold:

1. Put ingredients in food processor.

2. Process.

Eat your heart out, prepackaged nonsense. I am an utter convert. This was infinitely better than anything you get in a container, and you end up with double the volume for a lot less money. Ah, cheap and easy. You are my bellwether.

I chopped up some tomato, cucumber, kalamata olives, and a tiny bit of red onion and feta.

Then I smeared a whole wheat pita with the luscious chickpeas (note, crazy Bagel-ful gawkers: It only took a second).

And THAT, dear reader, is how you take a self-congratulatory, preachy post about the importance of fresh veggies and complex proteins and turn it into yet another sandwich.


at: 8:55 AM said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Fragmentadora de Papel, I hope you enjoy. The address is A hug.

K. says:
at: 12:30 PM said...

oh! hugs from spam. i'm all warm and fuzzy.

at: 2:59 PM said...

Blogging from bed is indeed the second best thing after hummus. I'd try using dried chickpeas next time, but that's just me.

K. says:
at: 3:28 PM said...

hummus guy ... would that the woodside had access to such delights! i had to settle for the inferior canned pea.

it was delicious nonetheless. then again, i'd probably eat hummus made of cardboard. it's just that good.

at: 7:53 AM said...

Cheap and easy is a sentiment to which I can happily subscribe. I also applaud your campaign to save the glorious bagel from a fate worse than death. However, I can not endorse your praise for British televison. While living for 18 months in London, I discovered that TV there is subject to even more extremes than our own broadcast choices. The antipodes are represented by fabulous history and masterpiecy literary adaptations on one end and the worst possible soaps, endless reality series, tedious public affairs panels, twee kiddie shows, dreadful cop shows and really bad made-for-tv movies, on the other end. Their best shows are often better than ours, but their worst shows are much more frequent while, at the same time, making the Dukes of Hazzard look like Shakespeare by comparison. (Which is not to say that Dukes of Hazzard re-runs are not easy to find on UK TV! while Shakespeare is almost non-existent) All in all, I give UK TV a score of only 1 1/2 chickpeas.

at: 11:14 AM said...

we should share tahini. i cannot eat the amount of hummus that one jar of tahini makes before it starts to change colors and textures in my fridge. and there is nothing better than homemade hummus.

K. says:
at: 4:07 PM said...

anonymous: antipodes? bravo.

shope: identify yourself! my mother always told me never to share my tahini with strangers.



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I am a work in progress. I perpetually need a hair cut. I'm totally devoted to my remarkable nieces and nephew. I am an elementary home cook and a magazine worker bee. (Please criticize my syntax and spelling in the comments.) I think my dog is hilarious. I like chicken and spicy things. I have difficulty being a grown-up. Left to my own devices, I will eat enormous amounts of cheese snacks of all kinds.