Friday, August 22, 2014


Made hummus yesterday.  Just ate some of it while reading the Times.  Pretty damned good.

The key, in my opinion, is the cumin.  And maybe the artichoke hearts I tossed in near the end.  Do you remember that cookbook that was all the rage last year, written by a Jew and a Muslim, both of whom lived in Jerusalem?  Which was also the title?   Beautiful book ...

If you click here to buy it, some of the proceeds of the sale go to The Year of Magical Painting.

No way you have your shit that together.
Come again?
No way you've figured out how to make money from people clicking through to Amazon.
Well, now that you say it, I haven't.  But lots of people have, and it would be a giggle if I could figure it out.
Yes it would.  But just to be clear, if they click where you tell them to click, then buy the book, you get nothing.
Nothing but the satisfaction of a job well done.
Which is completely different than money.
Yes it is.

Jerusalem got a good bit of attention relating to the religion/nationality of its authors -- the thinking being that if a Jew and a Muslim could get together to cook, eat and type recipes, surely the conflict in the Middle East is solvable.  Which is a topic for another post and which, regardless, seems highly unlikely in the near-term no matter how good the food is.

Jerusalem also got a good bit of notice for its hummus recipe.  Which seemed, as I remember, to emphasize something about adding cold water at a strategic moment.  Plus it used baking soda, or some other kind of soda, in the recipe.  And that bugged me.

Anyway, you need fresh cumin, ground from seeds, to really make the whole thing happen.  And no fucking baking soda.  Otherwise known as sodium hydrogen bicarbonate.  What's the point of making your own food if you are adding things that have three names?  Hell, if I wanted a bunch of chemicals I could buy Supremely Spicy Sabra.  Which, I should say, is damned good.

I do declare there were times when I was so lonesome I took some comfort there.
Nicely said.

Somebody on the internet told me that the secret to great hummus is to process the tahini in the food processor for a solid minute before adding any other ingredients.  I tried this, but I use the crappiest food processor in the world, and the tahini sat at the bottom of the processor while the blades whirled uselessly just above it.

I swear to God I could cook better with a word processor.

Anyway, in the end I just tossed all the stuff in and it was fine.  Next time I might toast the cumin seeds before grinding them.  And I didn't put in enough chili peppers.  But the artichokes were great.  Completely puréed, so there was no textural or visual clue to their existence, they added that same sort of thing that an anchovy fillet adds when you're sautéing something.

Like when they say that your stereo can produce sounds the human ear can't hear, and yet, somehow, that's a good thing.


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