Monday, January 07, 2008

That Doesn't Suck

Back in college, I copied (by hand mind you) a hummus recipe from one of the Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks. Moosewood is one of those hippie, worker-owned vegetarian places reminiscent of Heartland CafĂ© in Rogers Park or Casa Nueva in Athens, Ohio. Another slice of liberal commie heaven. It's in Ithaca, New York. I've never been, but who knows… maybe someday. A girl can dream, right?

When I copied the recipe, it was the summer of 2000 (the summer before my senior year of college) and I was living in Athens, Ohio taking a few courses so I could lighten my load for the remaining three quarters of college. I was living in this awesome house, which was exactly one mile from the center of campus. At least, “we” thought it was awesome. Our parents thought we were living in a condemnable hellhole.

I was sharing the house with two auxiliary roommates for the summer before my real roommates came back to school, a woman and a man, two graduating seniors who each needed a few more credit hours to get their diplomas. She was an artist who had this breathy voice that sounded… well, like she was high. He was an English major who talked with his mouth full. Inexplicably, these two ended up getting busy all summer long. And, it was totally hush-hush because she had a boyfriend far, far away, but I – being the uber-sleuth that I am – figured it out before it even started happening. And, being that I had no particular loyalty to either of them, told everyone that I knew.

It was total drama-rama, and it kept my brain occupied (this is, of course, pre-YouTube, Pre-myspace, and pre-blog phenomenon) through the hot Athens summer.

One day, the woman half of this dynamic duo that didn’t last made this awesome hummus. That’s right – the one from the Moosewood Cookbook. I immediately copied it down, but my subsequent attempts at making the hummus fell short… the beans never seemed blend right, everything was chunky and poorly mixed. I gave up for all intensive purposes, but after having hummus at a local Mediterranean restaurant with MM on Saturday, I reminisced about the recipe and decided to give it another shot. I knew – against all odds – exactly where I had put it, wrote grocery list, got a ride from MM to Whole Foods, and approximately an hour and a half and $60 some odd dollars in groceries later, I was tossing cans of garbanzo beans into my shitty, good-for-nada, sorry-excuse-for-a food processor.

And, per usual, the hummus turned out chunky and gross. That’s when I decided to “improvise” in an attempt to save the hummus. Here’s what I think I did:

3 or so cloves of garlic, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
Handful of parsley, chopped
1 can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp tahini (maybe 2 and a half)
1-2 Tbsp water, drizzled into food processor
Juice of ½ of a lemon (maybe a bit more)
Sea salt, to taste (1/2 tsp maybe)
1 tsp cumin

Directions: Put the garlic, green onions, and parsley in the food processor first and let ‘er rip until everything looks like it’s chopped into itty bitty pieces. Next put in the tahini, beans, and lemon juice. Turn on the food processor and drizzle in the water while it’s going… this will make the hummus creamy (the water, apparently, is the thing I’ve been missing. Adding the water changed everything). Add the salt and cumin, and let it go ‘round in the food processor a bit more until it looks like hummus not some clumpy bean crap you have no desire to eat. Finally, chill it. I tasted the hummus before putting it in the freezer for a few minutes (I was hungry, dude, I needed it to chill fast-like) and I was like, “Oh no Lord… this hummus has not been saved.” But then, I took it out of the freezer (after about five minutes) and was like, “Oh yes Jesus, praise the hummus.”

It was good. It was actually really, pretty good. Try it.

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