Good morning from our home gym to yours. Just came back from the supermarket — I consider it a small victory that we made it six days without going out for food. No flour, no toilet paper, no tofu (?), but they did have Pringles, which I believe will compensate for a lot. Yesterday I went for two walks because the weather was so nice; had a call with some old coworkers; and tried to create the perfect hummus. And I’m hesitant to even announce this because I fear it won’t stick, but after dinner (a huge empty-the-fridge salad with crispy, spicy chickpeas) we queued up episode 3 of The Wire. I’ve watched the series already — and Andy has seen it twice — but we figured why not use this time to introduce the girls to the best show in television history??? Here is today’s Pantry, Project, Purpose…
One of the best things about working with the Cup of Jo team these past two years is that the office is in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, which means that lunch is way more exciting than it is when I’m seven-minute-ing an egg at home. And at least a few times a month, I hit the legendary Middle Eastern market Sahadi’s for their hummus, grabbing an extra large container to bring home to the burbs. Smooth, slightly lemony, creamy-to-the-point-of-pourable, it is beyond superior to any storebought version in our neck of the woods, and I’ve turned my family into a bunch of addicts. I’ve tried to recreate it several times, but my kids, particularly Abby, are ruthless in their criticism. Too thick. Too garlicky. Too this, too that, too whatever. Finally, yesterday I made two members of the family stand next to me and advise while I whirled my cooked Rancho Gordo garbanzo beans in the food processor. I started with a basic Ottolenghi recipe just for framework, then made my tweaks from there. Creamier, they cried. Saltier! Why can’t I taste the lemon? Then, finally: Stop! It’s perfect! Unfortunately I wasn’t measuring, but here is the basic idea. Be sure to make it alongside your most discerning critic.
Makes about 4 cups.
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (from about 1 1/4 dried)
1/2 cup tahini
1 large garlic clove, smashed
juice from one decent size lemon (about 1/3 cup)
Add chickpeas to a food processor bowl and pulse until rough and pasty. Add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and 1/3 cup ice cold water. Process until smooth, adding more salt and lemon juice until it tastes right and more water until it reaches desired consistency. We like it super smooth so I probably ended up adding more than a half cup of water.
Serve on a platter drizzled with good olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt and paprika.
To turn it into dinner, serve with a platter of roasted vegetables and pita.
Project: Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats
This classic Smitten Kitchen treat goes out to all my quarantine friends who can’t find flour or yeast. I haven’t officially checked, but I’m guessing there isn’t a run on marshmallows and Rice Krispies at the moment? We haven’t made them in so long, but we’re down to our last bag of flour, so I see them in our near future. (Picture forthcoming!) What’s remarkable about these is just how much better they are than the ones you make from the back-of-the-box instructions — and that’s hard to do with a recipe that iconic.
Purpose: Apps That Aren’t Tiktok
I asked Abby to recommend something she’s doing that helps her feel connected to her friends (besides Tiktok and FaceTime) and she suggested the following game apps: Photo Roulette, Psych, Anagrams on Game Pigeon. I can vouch for Psych. That was a favorite Thanksgiving game for the whole family last year — adults and kids.
Stay safe. Stay home.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, and connected. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No tofu here either! Except the mango flavoured stuff, which is a hard pass.
I don’t know how it compares to yours, but the hummus that Michael Solomonov makes at his restaurant Zahav is creamy and thick and delicious. You can find the recipe all over the internet. And, once this is over and we’re allowed to travel again, if you find yourself in Philadelphia, try to get reservations! The braised lamb shoulder is so so so good.
I have had his hummus (he had a place called Dizengoff at NYC’s Chelsea Market for a little while) and I agree, it was amazing! I’ve tried recreating his…and Ottolenghi’s and Balaboosta’s…But my family is very particular!
I hear you on the hummus snobs! I will never be able to replicate the one they like-not ever.
I like to think that it was through exposure to tasty, healthy food that my kids have become so discerning. But sometimes I just want them to eat something I’ve made that might be slightly subpar without the critique!
Thank you Jenny for this daily diary. It has been my go-to during this crazy time. Thank you for bringing some normalcy to our daily lives. I have been cooking your recipes for years; you are invaluable. Thank you!
Enjoy The Wire! I live right across the street from Bodie’s corner (although it’s been renovated and is unrecognizable now).
We’re on batch #2 of those brown butter rice krispie treats, and apparently other Bostonians are in on the secret, as we snagged the last two bags of marshmallows at the store! Can’t wait to try your hummus.
1. What are you doing with the aquafaba?
2. Those rice krispie treats are amazing with a little extra salt and topped with a dark chocolate ganache!
I’m mostly using dried chickpeas these days — what would you recommend people do with the aquafaba?
I’ve attempted a vegan mousse once so far, trying to come up with more as we eat more. We’re mostly pan frying them as crispy snacks.
I’ve found a few things that have elevated my hummus:
1. Cook your own beans
1.1. if you can, soak your beans overnight before cooking
2. Use the cooking liquid instead of water – it makes the hummus feel silkier in your mouth
Now I’m going to go soak some beans and have hummus this weekend 🙂
thanks for this. I echo others in saying somehow these posts are a little nugget of comfort. I have always loved your cookbooks for their down to earth, real slice of life feeling they convey and it’s what i enjoy in your blog posts as well. In an overwhelming time, it feels comforting to see small doable chunks of family cooking and life – especially interspersed with real emotions and processing. Thank you, thank you.
Thanks for these PPPs, I love them
Alas, no tofu in my neck of the woods in Montreal either! We also love the Ottolenghi hummus … but have you tried peeling the chickpeas? I know, it sounds insane. But my perfectionist husband started and now we can’t go back. Doomed to peel chickpeas for ever. Although it is almost meditative once you get into it. And the hummus is, as Deb of Smitten Kitchen says, ethereally smooth.
Yes, peel them! Pinch one end and they squirt right out. Not near as tedious as it sounds and makes a world of diff.
Random thoughts from my world:
My 10 year old spent a good bit of time boardgamearena.com playing chess and checkers and hearts with his school friends.
That hummus looks great and reminds me of the saying that food should be a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach (or something like that).
I get flour in 50 pound bags and have done so for years. This is the place: https://centralmilling.com/store/#central-milling-organic. If you have ever visited Berkeley, you’ve likely had ACME bread. This is the flour they use. We go through about 50 pounds every six months or so. If you have storage, this is the way to go!
Tonight I’m trying to make naan and salmon tikka and dahl. CSA delivery comes on Saturday and I’m excited to get more food!
Today is our celebratory full month of not going to school. We shall pop popcorn and play a game of Risk to mark the day.
How do you store such a large bag of flour? I live in a city and our Costco has had plenty of flour….in 25# sacks. No one is buying it because cityfolk don’t generally have that kind of storage. Sometimes Costco sells a double package of 10# sacks of Gold Medal flour, and even that is a challenge (but manageable). How do you re-seal a 50# sack?
By the way (to everyone else), there is no shortage of flour in this country. Grocery stores just need time to stock up. My local Trader Joe’s had plenty of flour (and tofu).
Loving this Project Pantry Purpose series. Thanks so much for making the time for it.
NO tofu here either! Right before the s=t hit the fan, I was doing a frantic WF run and saw someone with 20 lbs. of tofu in her cart. It DOES expire, right?
There is a run on marshmallows but we managed to get some last time and I made those very same SK RK treats. It’s the only thing that EVERYONE loves.
I just wanted to say thanks. I am at home in freezing cold snowy Alberta with my three young children (preschool to grade three). I have found managing all their school work and needs, both physical and emotional quite difficult going into our third week of this new at home life. But everyday we do a mandatory quiet time where everyone must be in a room alone and doing something quiet for an hour. This is when I have my cup of coffee and read your post. It has become my daily treat that I look forward to all morning. Just wanted to say thanks for a little warmth on these cold days!
Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats for the win! I’m a rice krispie treat-aholic in the best of times and these are even more irresistible. Made them on Monday and still have just under half a 13×9 pan left, which is a miracle. And I live alone.
Could you make hummus with any bean if you’re in a pinch? Meaning: I only have dried black eyed peas in my pantry right now.
Hi Jenny – I too am in year 22 of being married. I have a 13 year old son and 16 year old daughter. For the last 17 years I have stayed home and too have cooked most nights. As far back as I can remember I have always wanted to know what the plan for dinner was before I finished breakfast! Your original cookbook has been a bible to me. Party in a Pot is my all time favourite!!! Just wanted to reach out to let you know keep up the recipes – my family will not be going meatless anytime soon ( unfortunately ). Tonight we are grilling marinated chicken thighs along with homemade beer bread, garlic broccoli, Caesar salad and raw veggies.
Do you have a brand of tahini that you recommend? I have tried a couple brands but haven’t had good luck with finding one that was easy to mix, had good flavor, etc.
Yes, I love Soom brand (Here is post about it http://www.dinneralovestory.com/tahini-time-giveaway/) but didn’t have any when I made this version, so used Mighty Sesame brand which Andy found at Whole Foods a while ago.
Plenty of marshmallows in CA! But also tofu is also scarce. What brand(sl of tahini that you like?
Any chance there’s something I could use instead of tahini? Like sesame oil? I’m guessing probably not…I have an abundance of garbanzo beans and a craving for hummus, but no tahini!
You can use any seed or nut butter. Tahini is just sesame seeds ground up into a nut-butter consistency. The flavor will change a little bit, but I’ve definitely used PB in a punch.
You mention crispy chickpeas – PLEASE TELL ME HOW YOU GET THEM CRISPY! (Sorry – not meaning to shout; I’m excited to find out!). I have gone through several cans of chickpeas and have roasted them, but have never gotten them crispy. I rinse them and let them air dry on a towel for a few hours. Then, I drizzle with olive oil and roast and 350 for 25 minutes. Pull them out, toss them with seasonings, and back in the oven for 10 more minutes. What am I doing wrong? Thank you!
Your pup watching those planks is perfection.