Recipe for Semi-Disaster

The "Surprising" part of this recipe is not born of higher hopes, as one might assume, but instead comes from crashing expectations. In case I didn't have you at "surprise" or even at "mediocre," because aren't those two qualities everyone is looking for in a recipe, do read on.

Here's what you'll need:

2 cups garbanzo beans
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
And, most importantly: 1 totally absent-mind


1.   Soak the garbanzo beans overnight. Drain and set aside until you're ready to assemble.

2.   Return in the late afternoon (of, er, two days later), tired, hot, and preoccupied. Squeeze lemons by hand to come up with 1/4 cup juice, probably with at least one small laceration somewhere on your hand that will sting the entire time.

3.   Add ingredients to your small, inexpensive and unimpressive food processor, only to have it not start. Of course.

4.   Transfer ingredients to your large, expensive and impressive blender, only to have it start but not blend.

5.   Curse.

6.    Realize that the garbanzo beans, now mixed in with all the other ingredients, are in fact not yet cooked.

7.   Repeat step 5.

8.   Throw the chunky mass in a pot on the stove. Because what harm is there in seeing if it can be salvaged?

9.   After checking on said mass several times, stirring and smelling it, get distracted with your children and let it burn to the bottom of the pot, ever so slightly.

10.   Cool. Blend with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a big squeeze of more lemon juice.

Enjoy - while being impressed that it actually turns out into an edible, hummis-like product. (Or, just feed it to the baby.)

In spite of how I have now presented my culinary abilities, I generally do produce a pretty tasty product. As my kind husband says, I "almost always hit a home run" with my cooking. (Thank you Dear; you almost always hit a home run with the post-dinner dishes.) My last major cooking foible was years ago, while making a penne vodka sauce. I'm just going to say, hazelnut creamer can look an awfully lot like half and half if you're not careful, but one is definitely not a substitute for the other. In light of that inedible disaster, I'm suddenly hungry for some hummus.


  1. Hilarious. Good to know I'm not the only one whose hands get too full and makes mistakes in the kitchen. :)

  2. wow, Jennifer,
    you can really write. aside from the story you have to tell, even simple things like recipes are so sharply observed -- i'm the editor of Easy Reader and Beach magazine, and as such, i read an awful lot of writers...this is as good as it gets.

    let's sit down for a cup of coffee and figure out how best tell your story in newspaper/magazine form. i see it as a high impact cover story for one of our publications.