Hummus, the Perfect Partner for a Handful of Sweet Beans

Lemony, garlicky hummus...

I look out at the square boxes full of bare dirt. Good dirt. Actually compost-boosted-dirt but still…bare dirt.

Not a lick of green…um, except for the occasional weed that chooses to land in there.

Yes, it’s true, last year those boxes had been overflowing with tomato plants, some lettuce, carrots but this year…nothing. Nada. Rien.

Blame it on the “wettest, coldest spring in 117 years”, blame it on the kids keeping me so busy it’s a wonder I even know my name, blame it on the fact that sometimes, no matter how much you might want to, sometimes, “ya just can’t do it all.”

(Can I just interject here how unfair it seems that we’ve had more rain than we know what to do with – won’t even let the kids use the slip-n-slide because we can’t take any extra water – while other parts of our country are dying, literally, because of excess sun? Don’t ya wish we could somehow share a bit of our abundance with each other?)

And so I’ve resigned myself to simply visiting the Farmers Market more often this summer. Leaving the growing of vegetables to the experts.

I tell myself that maybe this fall I can get some cool weather plants going in those raised boxes.

Probably won’t happen.

I even suggested to my neighbor that maybe we could do tandem vegetable plots of cool weather produce. I’ll grow the lettuce. She can grow the, um, the turnips and the rutabagas.

She gave me a polite little laugh.

Definitely won’t happen.

But despite the fact that I never got around to planting the quintessential summer vegetable garden, I still have my boxes of herbs.

And, I have a couple little vines that have been giving me unexpected pleasure.

A simple snow pea vine.

You see, I have this deck. So, so hot in the summertime and absolutely cold and wind-blasted in the winter.

Not many plants can go the distance out there on the deck but still I persevere.

I look out on that deck every day of my life and darn-it-all if I’m not going to have something green out there.

So, when I explained to the oh-so-helpful gal at my local gardening store my dilemma, she suggested I plant a pot of beans.

“Eh?” was my first thought.

“You’ll have a pot of green all spring, summer and fall long. It won’t last through the winter but the bonus is you’ll not only have the flowers but you’ll be able to snack on the beans.”

And snack on the beans, I do.

I love it.

Even my sister-in-law who was recently in town for a visit (which wasn’t long enough…we miss her and her merry band so much again already) commented on how she’d been out on the deck snacking on the beans while chatting on the phone.

I’ve even gone so far as to whip up some hummus in which to dip those sweet beans.

Pot of Vines

And so, those little vines of beans surrounded by oregano, marjoram and some pansies have made it perfectly clear to me that sometimes when you just can’t do it all, doing a little tiny bit is just as pleasurable.

And the bonus is, I’m not watering, weeding, fighting pests, pinching back, digging up or any number of other tasks that go along with growing a vegetable garden.

Instead, I’m out on the deck, napping (I tell ya those kids are runnin’ me ragged. When does school start?) and having myself a little snack from time to time.

More galicky, lemony goodness...


Lemony Hummus
Course: Appetizer
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 cups
I eat gobs of hummus. So much so that I get tired of buying it and wish for a homemade version. But I'm picky about my hummus. I don't like it to be too chunky or too oily but somewhere in-between. I finally mixed up this smooth version. So easy, so good!
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice (1-2 large lemons)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • ⅔ c tahini paste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp salt
  • 2 15-oz cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  1. In a small bowl, stir together your minced garlic cloves and lemon juice and let stand for about 5 minutes. This tames the raw garlic a bit, which I like, but if you are a raw garlic lover you may want to skip this step.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, cream your tahini paste and garlic-lemon juice for about a minute. Add in your olive oil and salt. Process another minute. Finally, add your garbanzo beans and process until smooth, about a minute or so. Scrape down the sides from time to time throughout the processing.
  3. Add water through the feed tube a tablespoon a little at a time until you've reached your desired smoothness. Dip your finger in the bowl and check to see if the hummus has enough salt for you. If not, add a bit more.
That's it folks. Dip your beans, your carrots, your zucchini, your pita chips or whatever you have! Can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Enjoy!


PS: Yes, it’s true. The handy-dandy “Print Recipe” function is not currently working…darn it all. The powers that be have assured us that it will be fixed with the next update…in the next week or so. We’ll see. In the meantime, copy and paste??


Organizing Project: Not much organizing going on around here lately. Just trying to keep the chickens occupied so they don’t tear down the coop with their gobs of energy.


  1. I agree, I wish we could share our weather patterns. I’m down in southwest Louisiana and we have been dry, dry, dry. We’ve gotten a little more rain in the past week but all in all we’re still in a drought. I’m coming home to the Puget Sound in September and I’m just hoping and praying tor some nice weather to get out and hike and enjoy the “summer” with family. But summer has been so absent this year in the northwest that I’m starting to worry. 🙂

    • Oh, Jessica, I so hope you have sun here in September…that it will be one of our gorgeous falls….and I hope In Louisiana you’ll have rain…but not too much…not so much that there is flooding. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  2. I want something on my deck to snack on. I guess that would mean I’d actually have to plant something . . . Can’t wait to try the hummus recipe!

    • Oh, but sister, you have gorgeous weed-free flower beds so you’ve got that going for you!

  3. Napping on the deck sounds awesome. And so does that hummus. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great meeting you at the Willamette Writers Conference, Carrie! We make a lot of hummus in this house too, I could eat the stuff all the time. A friend gave me a great tip a while back, that I use all the time: add 1 Tbsp. yogurt. Great for the texture.

    Fun hummus mods: fresh basil. Olives. Rosemary. Dried tomatoes (one of my faves).

    • Ooo, Anthony…I love the tip. I’m big on texture and the texture of this hummus was good but it still wasn’t perfect so I can’t wait to try the yogurt trick. Great meeting you at WWC as well. My head is still spinning from all of the fabulous materials and inspiration I brought home.