I planned ahead, as I am known to do (obsessive-compulsiveness is a virtue in a foodie). A week ahead of time I announced my recipes. On Thursday I made my grocery list. On Friday morning, I woke Fat Baby up early so I could make sure that if my usual grocery store didn't have all the necessary ingredients, that I would have time to beat the streets and hit some of the specialty stores. I found everything except the sesame tahini, so I made plans to hit a more upscale grocery store after Fat Baby's nap. Thats when the plan started to unravel.
Big Momma said she was going to the fancy grocery store early Friday evening, so I delegated the sesame tahini to her. After countless cell phone calls it was determined that there was no sesame tahini to be had. The Carnivore promised he would get up early Saturday morning and go to another grocery store, one with a large health food section, which was SURE to have it.
Alas, the tahini was not to be had at this third store. Our last option (and I was completely unwilling at this point to change my plan on which dishes I would be making) was for The Carnivore to go to The Upscale Hippie Store. We generally try to avoid this, because The Upscale Hippie Store plays reggae music, something that curdles The Carnivore's blood. The last time we were there together The Carnivore stood really close behind me while I was picking out pastas. I told him he was invading my personal space and pushed him away just a little. He looked warily around him at People That Looked Like They Might Vote For Democrats and he sidled back up to me. I can only assume he was hoping to use me as a buffer.
Regardless, The Carnivore persevered, proved his love to me, and came home triumphant, bearing the ever-elusive can of sesame tahini. He went outside to painstakingly paint porch spindles, I tried, unsuccessfully for a while, to convince Fat Baby that he should take a nap, even when he knew doggone well that I was running the food processor, which meant Really Good Things Were About To Happen.
Finally, only a few hours before the potluck was to begin, I settled in to work. I decided to make the Black Bean Dip first, and I assembled my ingredients, only to discover that I was one sweet onion short of ready. Called mom, procured a Vidalia onion, and enlisted a runner to bring it to me. This particular recipe, which I pulled from a recent AJC Food Section, was fabulous. It had a very refreshing taste and was best served cold with sturdy tortilla chips (Mission chips held up much better than store brand).
Black Bean Dip
- 2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 sweet onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped (I'm pretty sure I doubled this and used 6 cloves)
- 2 Tbs red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Put everything, except for the salt and pepper, into a blender or food processor and pulse until beans are coarsely mashed.
- Season with salt & pepper.
Next I tackled the hummus, which I wasn't all that pleased with. It was another AJC Food Section recipe, but the sesame tahini seemed too overpowering to me. One of my sisters, the one I consider a fellow foodie, said she likes the hummus recipe from The Grit Cookbook, a local offering from our regionally-known vegetarian restaurant here in Athens. I have that cookbook and I intend to try that recipe next. Interestingly though, I shared some of the hummus for a Sunday afternoon snack with The Carnivore and Fat Baby (it did taste better on the second day) and within a few hours the three of us had some Extremely Potent Poots. With nothing else to blame, I tend to think it was the sesame tahini and I have renamed the stuff Poot Sauce (note to self: buy some for mom).
Last, I reached in the fridge to make the Cilantro Bread Dipping Sauce, a recipe I clipped from a magazine a few months ago. I can't remember which magazine it was, so I have no idea what the original source was, which is a crying shame since its such a crowd-pleaser. I was doubling the recipe and was shocked and dismayed when I dug around in the produce bin and found I had bought eight friggin ounces of parsley (!!) instead of cilantro. Cursing a blue streak, I slunk outside and coerced The Carnivore into putting down his paintbrush and going to the store (5 and counting now) to get cilantro.
What kind of moron grabs two fistfuls of parsely instead of cilantro, especially when I grow parsley out in the front yard? Clearly, we will be eating Italian for the next week. Or so.