Recently, I had a birthday.
These things sneak up on me, in part because I was busy thinking about the Toddles' birthday party (4 two-year olds plus parents plus sibs, 4 grandparents, 1 caregiver plus roommate for moral boosting, 1 craft plus many toys plus fabulously, Zina-frosted cupcakes = happy, presentless Toddle-party. Easy peasy lemon squeezy, as the Eldest likes to say.). And heavens, but that birthday of mine seems to surprise me every year. Time is fluid in the Imperfect household - think you've got a hold on it, and it will be October when your bones are still thinking about summer's warmth and hiking. But go hiking anyway - it's nice in the crispness.
Hurriedly, I made a gift list. Shelves, I wrote with the Man looming over my shoulder. Sports massage, pretty toes, gift certificate somewhere - the Man started looking ominous, grumbling about women who expect him to work all day and still be creatively gifting them at the end of it.
Okay, okay. I'll try harder.
As we squabbled amiably, the Eldest was preparing his own birthday gift to me.
Happy Birthday, Mama. I'm not allergic to chickpeas anymore...
This must be the best birthday I've had in a long, long time. Thirty sailed past me happily, a pish tush of a thing. Who could be bothered fretting over it? But this, this, this is like when his body stopped making antibodies, or inhibitors to his clotting meds. I remember the breathless fear that came with the news - fear, of course, because when you've had your head down and plodded onwards for a while, it's actually scary to hope that change is coming, or is true. So yes, fear. And breathlessness, and hope. And finally, a growing belief that it might actually be true. And still, fear - if this is true, what else might follow? What if it is taken away? Oh, but what if-if-if-if. Ah, shaddup and enjoy it, ya silly woman.
Happy Birthday, Mama. With all of the births and rebirths and evolution that one can pack into that sentence. Oh, my - it might just be true..
An Astonished Mama's Hummus
1 can of chickpeas (check that the can doesn't have things like citric acid, which is made of beets, citrus or corn - the companies often can't tell you which)
5 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife
1/4 cup of olive oil, and more as needed
juice of 1 lemon
salt and cracked, or coarse-ground pepper to taste
Squeeze the lemon, and pour the juice into a food processor. Drain chickpeas and rinse, dumping into the same food processor.
Place a small skillet on the stove, and pour the oil into it. Warm the oil over a medium flame. Toss in garlic cloves, and sautee gently. You want them to start changing color but not really browning - the goal here is just to mellow the garlic a little. Let oil cool a bit, then pour oil and garlic into the food processor.
Puree the mixture, and add salt and pepper to it. If the dip is a little too dry for you, add a bit more oil (or lemon, if you like it lemony. I do, the Eldest doesn't.).
Optional: add parsley, scallion, red pepper flakes, green olives.
Serve with wedges of something crisp, like cucumber or apple or green pepper, and watch boys ignore your lovingly sliced veggies or soup-spoons and wide open mouths. Dang.
from joy, another gem: http://modan.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/04/queen-of-the-scottish-fairies/