GINNA PARSONS: Hummus a hit at ‘Happening’


Back before Christmas, my 18-year-old daughter, Mary, asked me if I’d attend a four-day church-related event in Jackson with her the first weekend in March. I can’t even begin here to explain what “Happening” is, but the short version would be that it is a spiritual awakening for some and a renewal of faith for others.
Mary invited me to Happening, not as a Happener, but as a Kitchen Mom. She explained that there would be parish parents at St. James Episcopal Church providing the three main meals every day for the 80 or so campers and staffers. I, along, with two other Kitchen Moms, would merely be providing a few snacks along the way.
At this point, I should have asked Mary to define “a few.”
I was up and in the kitchen every morning by 8 a.m. and only one night did my head hit the pillow before 2 a.m. I have never been so tired in my entire life. The only time I can ever remember my legs hurting that badly was when I was walking the floor in labor with Mary.
I think I prefer the labor.
One of the other Kitchen Moms, Carpenter, a 19-year-old who isn’t even a mother at all, planned most of the snacks because she’d been a Happener herself once and knew what the kids liked to eat. She’s also quite the gourmet for a freshman at Millsaps.
The “few” snacks we prepared and served over the three-day period included hummus with homemade pita crisps, Paula Deen’s sausage balls, cream cheese topped with fresh pesto, tortilla pinwheels, fruit kebabs, pretzels dipped in dark chocolate and drizzled with white, Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies, gourmet popcorn and lemonade laced with fresh-squeezed orange juice. (The pinwheels, kebabs and lemonade were my ideas.)
We sort of overshot the runway when shopping for hummus ingredients and instead of making enough for 80, we made enough for 180. Fortunately, it was delicious, and we had no trouble getting rid of it all by the time we headed back to Tupelo on Sunday evening.
Here’s Carpenter’s recipe for hummus. For the pita crisps, we simply cut pita pockets into triangles, drizzled them with olive oil and baked them at 325 degrees until crisp.

2 cloves garlic, divided
1 can garbanzo beans
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons tahini paste
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Paprika and cayenne pepper
In a blender or food processor, chop 1 clove garlic. Drain can of garbanzo beans, reserving the juice. Pour garbanzo beans into blender along with lemon juice, tahini, remaining clove of garlic, chopped, and salt in blender. Add some of the reserved bean juice, starting with 2 tablespoons, and blend until creamy and well mixed.
Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl. Pour olive oil over the top and sprinkle with paprika and a bit of cayenne pepper. Serve with pita crisps.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

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