Friday, March 9, 2012

pita & hummus, highs & lows

i only have a few cookbooks--this one's a must


i spent all week teaching high schoolers to cook and eat.  it's a hell of a job, but some one has to do it.  it's actually one of my favorite things to do, and was a high in my tough and busy week.

one thing i've really perfected in my kitchen is pita and hummus.  i created a recipe for hummus that works every time, and i use deborah madison's pita bread recipe.  yesterday, two teams of students created both recipes and they both turned out perfectly.  i sat and watched while they did it.

if they can do it, you can too. 

here are my recipes:

lara's hummus:

blend in food processor:

2 T tahini
4 T. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1 t. salt
juice of one lemon
1 t. red pepper flakes (you can add more if you like spicy, or less if you don't)

after that stuff is ground up, add:

2 cans of garbanzos.  i drain one and leave 1/2 the liquid in the other.


    * 1 1/2 cups warm water
    * 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
    * 1 teaspoon honey or barley malt syrup
    * 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
    * 2 tablespoons olive oil
    * 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, preferably coarsely ground with flakes of bran, OR 1 cup whole-wheat flour mixed with 1/2 cup bran [I chose the latter]
    * 2 cups bread flour


   1. Put the warm water in a bowl, stir in the yeast and honey, and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, oil a bowl for the dough.
   2. Stir in the salt and olive oil, then beat in the whole-wheat flour and bran until smooth. Add the rest of the flour in small increments until the dough is too heavy to stir. Turn it onto a counter and knead until it is smooth and supple, adding more flour as required; this should only take a few minutes. Put the dough in the oiled bowl, turn to coat, then cover and set aside until doubled in bulk, 50 minutes to an hour.
   3. Punch the dough down and divide into 10 pieces for 8-inch breads. Roll each piece into a ball and then cover them with a damp towel. Put a baking stone or 2 sheet pans in the oven and preheat to 475°F. Allow the dough to relax while the oven heats—about 15 minutes—and then roll each ball into a circle a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Do not stack the rolled-out dough.
   4. Drop the rounds of dough directly onto the stone or heated pans and bake for 3 minutes. At this point, they should be completely puffed; remove them from the oven and cover with a towel to help them deflate.

and here are two more highs:

1.  reading at the provo peace international women's day reading last night.  there were some seriously good student poets, and susan howe, who teaches poetry at byu, read a beautiful poem about her mother.  susan mentioned what a great energy was in the room, and she was so right.  it's one of those times when the students are rallying to make change in their school, community and the world, and it feels great.  so thank you, students, for lending those of us who are a bit more

ummm. . . .

fatigued. . .

your youthful energy.

2.  i just discovered this provo blog (pro(vo)cation) .  it's marvelous.  


they aren't very interesting, but i hate people who are chipper all the time and positive about everything, so i'll let my eeyore flag fly a little.  here it is.  and obviously i'm not going to tell you everything, or even much at all, but i just felt like total, total crap all week, in every way, and it was really tough to get through the day, or even the minute, all week, and for various reasons.

the black dog was chasing me.

then he caught me,

wrestled me down

and stood on top of me for a few days.

but i did get through the week, and had some good times, some good moments.

and maybe that's partially what this project  of daily blogging is teaching me:  to look at the positive trends and good things and let them get me through the hard moments, or minutes, or even days, weeks and years.

to not let the bad cancel out the good.

legwear: if i had a uniform, it would be black tights and black shoes, like today

inspiration: the youth of today--cooking, writing, and kicking ass

looking forward:  dinner at pizzeria 712 with some fun and interesting friends

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