Chickpeas, Asparagus and a Splash of Lemon Salad So Good You Might Weep

Chickpea, Asparagus...

Yes, it’s true. “I’m a weeper. I weep.”

(To borrow a line from one of my favorite movies, The Holiday, which does indeed make me weep.)

Just this morning I started weeping while making the kids’ lunches. One may have thought it was because if I have to make one more school lunch I may start weeping and never stop.

But no, that wasn’t it. Could have been but no.

(And yes, I could have my children make their own lunches but I have control issues.)

Out of the blue, I started thinking about how I’ll have a daughter in high school next year. (!?!) And I teared up, right there, on the spot. Only 4 years left…

My daughter gave me a little hug, sighed and said, “Oh, Mom….” And then, went back to primping.

The 11-year old just shook his head and the 6-year old reminded me how he’ll still be here.

And so it’s been with all of this “cleaning out” and organizing, I’ve been a little weepy.

As I backed my car up to the donation center, I found a lump in my throat as I handed over the plastic, muti-colored alphabet mat (that I never liked). I blinked back tears as the Princess Party Tent was handed over even though I cursed that thing every time I had to set it up. A wave of nostalgia hit me as I pulled out the bag of pixel blocks that no one ever played with but I’d been holding onto for years and years because someone might.

I’m starting to think that the reason organizing and cleaning out can feel so overwhelming isn’t the actual organizing and cleaning out but the letting go. Darn those kids…growing up and all.

Once I returned home, however, I felt a little lighter. Like a little weight had been lifted and I haven’t missed the mat, tent and blocks once…until now as I’m typing this. Now, I’m blinking back tears.

A Sliver of Light

And sometimes this is the way I feel when I face my fridge and try to figure out what to make for lunch or dinner…again. And sometimes just the thought of cooking again can make me weep. (Where’s my personal chef when I need him?) I stand back from the fridge, observing, knowing that with all the little bits here and there, I should be able to pull something together.

And then, out of the blue, I’ll remember that I have an entire case of garbanzo beans in the garage for all that hummus I was planning on making…but never did. And I’ll remember a recipe I recently read that sounded intriguing and I’ll start pulling out my version of that recipe.

Before I know it I’m sitting down to a lunch composed entirely of bits and pieces from my kitchen (and the garage) that needed to be cleaned out and used up. And as I sit there eating my scrumptious little lunch, I’ll feel a little lighter. I’ll feel that a little weight has been lifted.

And I won’t be weeping, but simply enjoying, unless of course you remind me that my daughter is going to high school next year which I just reminded myself by typing it and then, well, then I might start weeping…again.

PS: You see, it never ends. I mentioned to the 6-year old how beautiful all of the cherry blossoms scattered all over the ground are. A bit like snowflakes. Grabbing a single petal, he runs inside and makes me this. Tears…

Chickpeas, Asparagus and a Splash of Lemon Salad
Inspired by Molly Wizenberg’s recipe in Bon Appetit April 2011

So Ms. Molly, who’s delightful blog, Orangette, I can’t get enough of, had a chickpea salad recipe published in the April issue of Bon Appetit. It caught my fancy especially considering the case of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) I have in the garage that needs to be used up. Of course, I had to give it my own twist such as adding asparagus to it and setting it on a bed of lettuce. Simply delightful. A welcome change from all the winter food we’ve been having for so so long.

1 sm/med garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice – 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
palmful of Italian parsley, coarsely chopped (approx 1 tbsp)
1 15 oz can garbanzo/chickpeas, drained and rinsed
roasted asparagus spears, cut into 1-inch segments, about 6 or whatever you have in the fridge
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
couple handfuls of baby greens

Whisk together your garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and parsley. If you have time, I would set this mixture aside and let the flavors “meld” for at least 10 minutes or up to an hour but if there is no extra time to be had you can continue on with delicious results.

Gently stir in your chickpeas, asparagus and Parmesan.

Spoon onto a bed of baby greens or whatever greens you love.

Munch away. Enjoy…

PS: A dear friend of mine told me that her sister mixed together garbanzo/chickpeas, sliced cherry tomatoes, olive oil and kosher salt this past weekend and served it alongside grilled steaks.

PPS: The above mentioned daughter who is headed to high school next year is 14 today. (sniff, sniff) While I try to keep dinners quick and simple on the weeknights, when it’s a Birthday night, I do a little more. I’m planning on serving this salad tonight along with grilled chicken sausages, asparagus/pea risotto, strawberries and Birthday cake. It’s making my stomach rumble just thinking about all that Birthday dinner goodness.

Here’s my sweet girl back when she played in the Princess Party Tent….sigh.


Organizing Project:
I got nothin’… although, as I said above, I did actually make it to the donation center.


AM Northwest
I realized I never posted this on La Pomme last week. So, in case you’re interested, here’s a live version of yours truly along with lovely Helen making Apple and Rhubarb Baked in a Pie on AM Northwest. Cheers…

If you are unable to view a video screen above this line, click here to be taken directly to the link.

All original text and photographs copyright: Carrie Minns 2009-2011


  1. I'm a weeper as well. Lots of those moments around here lately as my oldest goes through all her "lasts" of grade school… last talent show, last tap class, last week of safety patrol, etc. I can only imagine how weepy I'll be in 3 years as we look toward high school. Eek.

  2. Carrie says:

    Part of me wonders if the weeping is a bit of an affliction on my part. My sister has it. My Dad is known to tear up. But my Mom…she's a rock. Either way my kids are always saying, "Are you crying again? Really, Mom?"

  3. Strawberry CAKE says:

    My mouth is weeping all over the place. This looks scrumptious. Making me drool. I am with you on the weeping…my oldest will also be entering High School, lump in throat…..

  4. Sue VanNice says:

    I am also am a weeper. More often than not your postings make me weep Carrie. Your ability to express the everyday beauty of life is such a gift. This spring has been filled with weeping. First the loss of my best friend who happened to be my mom, and now my youngest graduating from high school in a few short weeks. My mom was also a rock, I can just imagine her smiling at me now and asking the same question as your kids; "Are you crying again? Really Susan?"

  5. Carrie says:

    Oh, Sheila, I didn't realize our eldest were the same age. Next get-together we can commiserate. 🙂

    Sue, I'm so sorry about your Mom but isn't it funny how you can "hear" her voice? You know exactly what she would be saying as if she were right next to you which makes it like she is right next to you. 🙂 My Mom would be saying the same thing. And, I cannot believe your daughter is graduating from HS. No way….

  6. Anonymous says:

    Carrie, while my oldest is only 8.5, I've been
    Purging similar household & kids items for the last
    Few weeks as I watch & listen to my girls grow
    Right before my eyes. I'm moved to tears
    Constantly! Your writing talent is as beautiful
    As your flair for creating love-filled dishes and obviously
    A love-filled home. Lots of love, Lisa (fb: Lulu Bella)

  7. Courtney Cook Hopp says:

    You're making me weep! I was sitting at the dinner table last night in disbelieve at how old your sweet girl is! I was there. From the beginning. It's not possible.

  8. @Lisa – So comforting to know I'm not the only one constantly moved to tears. xo

    @Sistah – Wasn't it just yesterday I was sending you out for film??