Hummus is a staple in our home. Pita chips, bell peppers, carrots, broccoli (well, only I eat the broccoli) and other yummy dippers bring us delight. However, I have never made it from scratch. All ingredients were easy to find except the Tahini or sesame seed paste. Nothing at Ralphs. Trader Joes has a Tahini sauce they said is much thinner but many people use it to make hummus. Of course, they were out of stock. So I called Sprouts and they had it.
I wish I would have taken a picture of the Tahini paste. Have you ever bought natural peanut butter? You know you have to stir it well to mix in the oil that separates. Same is true of the Tahini paste. However, much, much, much stickier and thicker. I stirred, and stirred, and stirred and got oil on my clothes so I took a stirring break to get the oil out of them. Then I put on an apron and began to stir again. Barely incorporating the oil and paste. Finally, I used the best tool in the kitchen, my hands. I got 1/4 cup worth mixed and my son and I began the fun of running the food processor.
After some time in the refrigerator, we brought out the hummus to serve with dinner. We ate almost all of it. Another success. The one change is that I would be less generous with the lemon zest. It was a bit too lemony. The great thing is that I can tailor the flavor in the future. Most of the time I will still buy store-bought. For special occasions or just for fun, I now know I can create customized, homemade hummus. I would like to try it again with the Trader Joe’s Tahini sauce since it’ll be easier to mix.
I grew up in the Hamburger Helper generation. This was when our moms finally got a break from cooking from scratch all the time. We have so many conveniences now, we forget our moms didn’t have these options as readily as we do. I remember hearing a speaker when my kids were babies. The speaker encouraged us moms to start cooking from scratch again. With babies at home, I completely ignored her. However, a few years ago I pulled out my notes from that talk. I began making homemade pancake batter. I must confess I thought Bisquick was the only way to make pancakes. To my delight, the kids preferred the pancakes from scratch. They were fluffier too. I keep Bisquick on hand for crazy mornings but more often than not, homemade is used. I encourage you to find a food item you serve regularly and attempt to make it from scratch. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results. You may be so frustrated that you will curse my name and rush to Ralph’s for a store-bought item. Either way, you tried. For me, (true bakers forgive me), I will never make homemade pie crust again. So not worth the effort. That’s a whole other story for another blog.
Get out there and homemake something. Guacamole for the Super Bowl is an easy first step. Let me know what you try.