in the early part of the 2000s my sister, marilyn and i often thought our phone calls were being tapped. click-click. pulse. beep. "what was that?"  one of us would say, "i hope the sneaky-wire-tapping-agency-gmen find our conversation about pasta and pesto intriguing. you see, the meat of all of our lengthy phone conversations usually stirs its way around to cooking and food.
          our eavesdropping suspicions were tipped by the scrutiny squared at her husband, karim, when he was traveling for his job. sometimes he was detained for questioning, inspected and reinspected. other times he was just given the "eye". he was being surveyed because of his name, because he was born in egypt, and because he grew up in kuwait. we didn't like the thought of our benign sister-chats being listened to, and we were incensed that our husband / brother-in-law was being profiled. hell hath no fury like a defensive marguet sister.
          karim is most certainly like a brother to me now. he is an ibm=international businessman. smart, funny, musically inclined. he's a dutiful husband/father/brother/uncle. and the man is a devotee of good food, wine . . . and chocolate. he and marilyn were introduced at college, and we all took a trip together the summer jim and i met–laughing, drinking and eating our way through the french quarter. this resulted in a call to jim's boss to ask for another couple of days off. i saw my first stripper that trip . . . probably my last one come to think of it. and the four of us formed a bond that was captured in a black and white photo at our cajun dinner table. jim and i enlarged it and hand tinted it as a gift to them. every time i visit now, i make sure to look back in time at that shot.
          In the 80's when karim became part of the family, i had never heard of some of his favorite middle-eastern foods: koftas, baba ghanoush, and hummus. but he and marilyn taught me to make those dishes, and a few others from his childhood visits with relatives to greece and belgium. hummus became my favorite of the ones they taught me. it always makes me think about a young karim eating it sea side, in a place so far away . . . and yet he ended up as my brother, dividing the globe and our cultures in half.
i modified a traditional hummus recipe, substituting some of the olive oil with greek yogurt so i can eat it by the spoonful without thinking about my fat intake. i use a mixture of chick peas, black eyed peas, and pintos with sautéed garlic in place of raw  because jim prefers it cooked. enjoy it with pita bread, raw vegetables, or as the spread for a sandwich.
•  mix cooked or canned chick peas, black eyed peas, and pintos and measure out 2 cups
• 1/8 tsp. paprika
• olive oil
• 3-4 gloves of crushed garlic
• 1/3 cup tahini
• 1/3 cup greek yogurt
• water to thin
• salt and pepper
1. lightly coat the bottom of a sauté pan with olive oil and heat on med-low until shimmering.
2. add the smashed garlic to the pan and cook it until it starts to soften, but doesn't brown.
3. add the beans and the paprika to the pan and cook so that the beans can start to absorb the flavors of the garlic and paprika- about 7-10 min.
4. process the cooked garlic and beans mixture in the bowl of the food processor along with the tahini, yogurt, and salt and pepper to make a smooth paste.
5. add a little water if it needs to be thinned for use as a dip or to spread on bread.
6. put the hummus into a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil over it to serve.


deb said...

Looks like another good one patty! I think i'll try it!

Bryce Hudson said...

Yum! Can't wait to try... your photos are excellent too by the way ;-)

Michelle said...

Lovely story. Great post.