Monday, August 6, 2012

Visiting with Hummus

Hummus is made up of Tahini, Garbanzo Beans, Lemon Juice and garlic, just five ingredients but everyone makes it differently. Just five ingredients and it can turn out right or so wrong. At some point I got lazy and instead of just reserving part of the garbanzo bean water for the recipe, I started throwing the whole can in recklessly. I didn’t think anyone would notice it’s less-than-creamy consistency in the Tupperware container. At first, the recipient, I’ll call her “Mother”, taking a stab at it with her pita bread merely said, “It’s the taste that matters,” and ate heartily. She asked me to make some every other time we spoke. Life happened those next three weeks and I couldn’t. Sometimes I didn’t have the Tahini and sometimes I ran out of lemons.  Her voice became more and more strained each time she asked about my next batch. When are you going to visit me next?
A month went by and I thought about making the hummus for her all the time. I became resentful. Why does she love Armenian food so much? She’s Argentinian. I almost never had Tahini on hand, that key ingredient because it would always go bad just before I needed it, the contents of the jar turning dark with anger. Finally one day I got desperate and a light bulb went off. I would make my own Tahini.
I’ve always been resourceful in a pinch, remembered the bag of sesame seeds in the pantry and Googled. Make your own Tahini with toasted sesame seeds and olive oil, the first page promised. I dumped the seeds onto the black cast iron pan and toasted with desperation. I hope this turns out.

Here's my simple version:

Toast half a cup of sesame seeds until fragrant and slightly brown. Watch carefully as they burn quickly. Place slightly cooled sesame seeds into food processor and slowly add olive oil until you make a pasty consistency. Refrigerate up to a week or sell at Farmer's Market for ten dollars.