With the Humility of a Sesame Seed

Ryan and I often take leisurely walks. Since the city we live in is not all that hospitable to walkers, we have to make our own paths. When we got tired of walking round and a round rich people’s neighborhoods, we decided our walks needed destinations. So it began that we walk from our house to Town Centre, our destinations usually Whole Foods or Books-a-Million. One night it happened that we walked to Whole Foods. On this particular night, I was fighting the temptation to eat a whole cow fried in butter. Whilst meandering through the organic grocery, I decided on a tub of hummus and pita bread instead (mainly because they didn’t have butter fried cow).

On the top shelf of the cabinet we use as a pantry are the remnants of our past gastric endeavors–all manner of flour from Ryan’s bread days, 1 quart of Karo consequently not used in pralines (see Rite of Passage: Pralines) and various beans from that freshman year when Ryan did not eat meat. I used up the last of the red-looking beans last week. They were not kidney beans and therefore did not swell when I soaked them overnight giving me a very runny pot of “red beans” and rice. I decided to make a dent in the half pound of garbanzo beans taking up space and try my hand at hummus.


To see where I really went wrong you need to know the whole story. Don’t worry, it isn’t a long one, but it does smell.

For starters, my recipe called for a can of garbanzo beans. Since I was starting with dried beans, I had to first cook the beans. Lucky for us, my mother-in-law had a spare pressure cooker and graced us with it a year or so back. Our dog and myself are terrified of this hissing clanking thing which spews hot vapor. We choose to stand back and not have anything to do with it while it’s in use. Enter Ryan to save the day and cook the beans.

Note the hot vapor and imagine the hiss
Note the vapor and imagine the hissing

It was then a matter of toasting sesame seeds, sauteing onion with garlic and mixing with Tihini, soy sauce and lemon juice. It was at this point I realized three things–I had not bought enough sesame seeds, what seeds I did have were creating a rancid burnt smell in the oven also, that I had bought tihina.

Tihina is not the off-brad tihini like I originally hoped. Tihini is sesame seed paste and Tihina is sesame seed paste with onion, garlic, lemon juice and garbanzo beens. Why tihina is not hummus I’m not sure. But for some unreasonable reason I foraged ahead to see what I could make of it. Well, I made a royal mess.

Spoonful by spoonful I put the cooked beans and a bits of the tihina mixture in my food processor. When I out grew the food processor, I moved the whole operation to the blender. I was blending blending the blades were on my side… and then it died.

In the Food Processor

Fake tihini hummus killed my blender. I thought at first that I had just over heated the engine, but no, I tried to use it when I made alfrado sauce a few days later (that more successful story to come soon) and the lights came on like it wanted to blend, but alas, the blades did not turn.

After that, our house smelled like smoked plastic, burnt sesame seeds and a rancid blend of onion and tihina. Adding insult to injury, it took over an hour to clean the kitchen and now I need a new blender.

Ryan composting my failed hummus


4 thoughts on “With the Humility of a Sesame Seed

  1. Cheryle

    Oh Lord Kelli, you had me laughing from the point you started talking about that old hissing pressure cooker! This was great! RIP blender and hummus.

  2. Cheryle

    I’m sure you were fit to be tied by the time you finished the hummus project but sometimes all you can do is chalk it up to experience and then write and give the rest of us a smile 🙂

    I’m sorry about your blender too. I am currently without one as well but to be honest, I didn’t really use it much. Do you have one of those stick blenders (like we got Lauren for Christmas)? We also refer to it as the “boat motor blender”. I find that since we bought that, it pretty much replaced the need for a traditonal blender and it’s much more convenient. If you need to smooth out a soup or sauce, you just put the blender end into the actual pot – so much less mess. Something to think about. Our’s also has a chopper & a whisk attachment. Maybe that could be something for your Christmas list (or b-day) (or a new blender if you prefer).

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