24 April 2012

just twist your hip and do the dip

You know how you learn something and then find you see it everywhere? Like you'll learn a new word and then hear it in a song and read it in an article and hear someone say it in passing. I recently read a book - The Sense of an Ending - which has a whammy moment when you realise one character had been repressing, or at least not divulging, a particularly significant memory. No sooner had I read this book, when I'm flipping aimlessly, and I do mean aimlessly, through a weekly magazine. And I am confronted with an advertisement bearing the blankly content face of a commemorative Kate Middleton porcelain doll in a wedding dress. And it reminded me of something I haven't thought about in years and years: that I used to be a little obsessed with those Franklin Mint porcelain dolls and would rip the advertisements out of aunties' and nanna's magazines and catalogue them in a folder in alphabetical order (well they all had names, Heather and Rosa and so on) and dream of the day I could own them all. Luckily for my now utter horror at the idea of walking into a room full of expressionless doll eyes staring back at you, I had no disposable income at the age of eight or so, and as such the folder was as far as it went. But isn't it strange what you forget and remember again - not the traumatic things - but these vivid little slices of your life that remind you exactly who you were and are?



Leaving behind the "I Was an Awkward Awkward" chapters for now, I'd like to bring your attention to hummus. I know, hummus, that ubiquitous beige lotion which has gone from Moosewood territory to the sort of thing we get charged $5.50 for and purchase more per head of population than we ever did of pesto. How can it have still more surprises up its sleeve? Well who more reliable to elicit such surprises than my idol Nigella Lawson, who only goes and replaces the tahini (sesame seed paste) in homemade hummus with Peanut Butter. So important. And so importantly, so delicious. Peanut butter has a somewhat brash flavour, but against the mild chickpeas and smoothing yoghurt it mellows out and provides this sweet, nutty, oleaginously compulsive edge to your hummus. I really love tahini - sesame being one of my favourite flavours - but the tastebuds grow weary, and peanut butter doesn't so much deliver the goods as urgent courier them while wearing appealingly fitted shorts and saying in a warm voice, "I've got a big package for you".

Peanut Butter Hummus

Recipe from Nigella Lawson's book Kitchen, I've simplified it slightly. Really, just play with quantities of the ingredients as they please you. If you're not able to eat dairy, I'd add an extra tablespoon of water and lemon juice and peanut butter and it'll be all good.


1 can chickpeas, drained
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt

Blend all together thoroughly till smooth. Add a little more yoghurt or water if it's not spreadable enough.

Because I feel that hummus alone isn't quite enough to bolster this blog post, a second recipe for you. I'm really sorry that both of these require a blender/food processor - I hate when recipes give directions for making cake batter in a cake mixer when said cake mixers cost many hundred dollars, or when an ice cream recipe finishes with "and then put it in your ice cream maker and follow their instructions" or whatever. I'm sorry. You could effectively crush up the chickpeas with a fork or a potato masher, but the strawberries really need the swift action that only an electric rotating blade can provide. 



What, you don't have a dedicated hummus knife commemorating the Parahaki War Memorial in Whangarei? Look I'm not saying your party is "ruined" as such...

If you do have a blender though, there aren't many happier foodstuffs in this world than pink lemonade. I first tried making it with raspberries, and that was great, but strawberries are even more delicious, which is brilliant because they're also half the price.

Pink Lemonade

A recipe by myself

2 1/2 cups frozen strawberries (bully for you if you've got real ones, but it's winter in NZ right now. And frozen strawberries are really pretty cheap any time of year)

2 1/2 litres of lemonade
Optional: passionfruit syrup, mint leaves

Place the strawberries in a blender and allow them to defrost somewhat. Add 1/2 cup of water and blend till smooth and gloriously pink, adding more water if your blender can't deal with it. Spatula into a jug and slowly top up with lemonade. The bubbles and the strawberry puree will form scuzzy bubbles on top, just stir it with a wooden spoon to break it up.



And lo, a joyful jugful of deeply pink, wondrously delicious lemonade shot through with the fresh taste of strawberry. A little passionfruit syrup helps sharpen up this berry flavour, and mint leaves are just delicious with nearly anything, but simply strawberries and lemonade on their own are more than fine.

I served both these delights over the weekend at my inaugural Ice Cream Demonstration Party (that's not necessarily what it's called but the capital letters make it seem official) where in front of a small group of lovely people I demonstrated and imparted pretty much every particle of knowledge I have about ice cream, taking them through recipes for said ice cream and sauces to go on top, then we all built our own ice cream sundaes and then they went home with a goodie bag. It was super fun and you can check out photos from the night (one of the guests was also a great photographer) on my Facebook page, if you please.
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Title via Rock the House by Gorillaz. Tim and I were lucky enough to see them in 2010 and it was so brilliant that my brain starts melting every time I think about it. Like, there's Damon Albarn, one of the first people who got me realising that I could have a crush on another person. Also present: Bobby freaking Womack.
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Music lately:
Lee Fields, Faithful Man. Tim insisted we buy this record. He insisted accurately. Fields is just really, really good.

Madeline Kahn, Getting Married Today. Mixing my obsession for the musical Company with my new fascination for the hilarious, babely, and sadly late Kahn, she does well with this horrendously challenging song.
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Next time: Still have some quinces lying there looking at me reproachfully. The time has come to do more than just sniff them rapturously, any suggestions?

32 comments:

  1. Awesome jug! (Not to be confused with "awesome jugs!") Your ice cream demonstration evening does sound like super-fun. Are you going to make it a regular thing?

    It's still autumn here in Canterbury and my strawberry patch is only just slowing down. If I could, I'd send some up to Welly for you :)

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    1. Tee hee.

      I will do more if people want them - am not going to advertise or anything, just if anyone sees it on here or whatever they can get in touch, I think that'll keep it at a level I can handle.

      Lucky you with strawberries, and thanks :)

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  2. Oh dear I am not sure about the fitted shorts analogy (eeewwww), but this hummus recipe does sound very interesting - I think I will give it a whirl! You made me smile with the Franklin Mint dolls walk down memory lane and your pink lemonade looks and sounds delish (and just a tad retro too!). Fabulous post sweetie. Becks xxx

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    1. Thanks Rebecca! And hey, give fitted shorts a chance ;)

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  3. Oh I DO like your blog! Also, I have a suggestion! I was at Depot last week (who are, apparently, the new champions of the restaurant scene. If you haven't been there you simply must. And if you do go you should introduce yourself to my boyfriend Adam who is one of the Sous chefs... he might just hook. you. up. End of tangent.) and they had the most superb quince tarte tatine, which I always think are super impressive because they look so pretty but are really quite simple to make. And so caramelly and delicious. AND they just beg for ice cream to be served on top.
    So that's my suggestion.

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    1. THANKS! And thanks so much for the suggestion, just attempting to blog the results now. Yes, I constantly hear about Depot, I'm never in Auckland though, or at least never for long enough and with free time, as we both know! This needs to be remedied.

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  4. That pink lemonade had me at 'strawberries'. And you know said catch up that hasn't yet happened yet? Could go well with pink lemonade. ;)

    P.s. I walked right past you at the Vegie market on Sunday... by the time I realized you'd already crossed the road. Poos.

    http://life-muse-ings.blogspot.com <--- some shameless self-promotion.

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    1. Hey! Yes! I've been so busy, as evidenced by this late late reply, but we should catch up for real and not just me talking about it. Maybe lunch sometime during the week?
      Yay your blog!

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  5. Replies
    1. After smashing all of mine I'm wary of trying again but yes, had I the quantities and the non-clumsiness, I definitely would - the tiny bit I got to drink last time was heavenly.

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  6. I doubt I will ever look at a courier the same again - regardless of his shorts..

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  7. OH DEAR LORD. You just reminded me that, when I was little, I fell in love with a porcelain doll at my local shopping centre. She was Native American and her name was Morning Dove, and ever Saturday morning when my family did the grocery shopping, I would dash off to sit outside the store and just look at her.

    Oh dear lord. And just this morning, I was writing an email to a friend and suddenly remembered another story I'd pushed out of my mind, but that related to a boy so I shan't admit it here.

    P.S. You know how I feel about peanut butter and chickpeas. xoxo

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who was weird about dolls, doll.
      Boys! *faints* (haha! jokes.) Good grief, dolls and boys, what is this comment coming to?

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    2. S'cool. We're just embracing our inner Babysitter's Club wannabes. Let's go braid each other's hair and eat Tootsie Rolls!

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  8. Ubiquitous is actually the first word i can remember that happening with. I learned what it meant while in high school and the person who told me what it meant said that hte funny thing about it was, once you found otu the meaning, you'd hear the word everywhere. So true.

    Oh hummus how I love thee. Even more with peanut butter.

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    1. I'm sure the words are there all along and it's just that you notice them once you learn them, but I'd like to think it's something a little more cosmic than that :)

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  9. Bobby Womack, so jeal!

    Hummus and lemonade seem like a perfect snack combo, I'm on it.

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  10. I'm afraid of that peanut butter hummus. But I'll go for that lemonade. I'll go for that whole JUG of lemonade.

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    1. Be not afraid! It's so delicious :)

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  11. Peanut butter hummus with Pic's Peanut butter. Soaking the chickpeas NOW!
    Quince paste can't be beaten-(a bit like hummus, how dare they charge so much for something so simple?) I use an old fashioned Cookbook, Annabel Langbein circa 1988 where it is microwaved- far easier than all that stirring! Once you have said paste, then Julie Le Clerc does a great sourdough bread and butter pudding with quince paste and white chocolate in a starring role. Or a surprise cube inside muffins. Cute.

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    1. Pic's is so good, I love it! Good idea microwaving the quinces, unfortunately I don't have a microwave, but I can see how it'd be so useful for this fruit! Maybe next time I'll have a go at paste anyway.

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  12. Why won't it let me leave comments? I tried to leave one very witty comment yesterday, and then another unwitty one, and then a failingly bland one this morning. Darn you, blogger, getting in the way of me discussing my heartfelt thoughts on the word 'reneged' and it's found place in my life!

    But this time it'll work, I know it....!

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    1. HA! it worked! I just had to use the embarrassing openID logo. BLEH!

      :)

      Bonus thoughtful thought - my grandma made me a doll once, in a class at her retirement community. She'd already developed some dementia and had forgotten how old I'd gotten (not old enough to be gracious), so I didn't appreciate the doll as much as I should have. One of my major life regrets:/

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    2. The comment thing can be a bit of a pain, I've considered adding disqus instead...but yay here you are!
      :/ life regrets aren't cool, the only thing I can say is that I'm sure we overthink the things we regret, if that makes sense.

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  13. Peanut butter hummus, what an ingenious idea! I can imagine this being very good. Can't wait to try it.

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  14. By lemonade, do you mean the Sprite/7-Up variety or the American style of lemonade? I'm assuming it's the soda due to mention of bubbles, but I figured it's worth checking! Also: peanut butter hummus? Yes!

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    1. Oh yeah, I mean soda/sprite/7 up/spree (is spree still around?) that kinda thing. And yes indeed to peanut butter hummus!

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  15. I don't know how Nigella does it but she seems to think of things that at first seem bizarre but on reflection make So. Much. Sense. And I'm making that lemonade this weekend, yusssssssssss. Your ice cream party sounds awesome!

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  16. Yummm been dying to make some pin lemonade lately!

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  17. I just found your blog and I must say I absolutely love it! Especially because you've provided a recipe for hummus that doesn't involve the ludicrous $10 jar of tahini! I'm definitely bookmarking this

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  18. YUM!!! Homemade Hummus is ze best !!

    http://www.notfromdio.com/

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  19. Oh hummus! It's a regular treat in my house :)

    I find those commemorative dolls really kind of creepy. They always seem to have eyes that follow you ...

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