Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lima bean hummus? It's Southern fresh

“Southern Made Fresh”
Oh my goodness but Daddy loved lima beans. I never did, in the traditional way. I love what Tasia Malakasis has done with them in “Southern Made Fresh: Vibrant Dishes Rooted in Homegrown Flavor.” It’s a Southern Living cookbook, so you know it’s high-quality with beautiful photos. The author also loves the tradition of Southern nibbles and also thinks Brussels sprouts were created as a form of wretched punishment for children. Her traditional and progressive attitudes allow her to keep playing, until she tried the sprouts in a slaw, with honey and mustard. She makes little switches like adding avocado to the already-classic BLT sandwich, and goes ahead and turns bacon into candy. I like her.
This book will help you plan a supper for one or a summer party for the block. I’m pretty sure my dad would have liked what she did to limas, but he’d have had to have also had a little bowl full flavored in the way to which he was accustomed. See, the South is big enough for all of us to get along.

Lima Bean Hummus
1 16-ounce package frozen Fordhook lima beans
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
one half teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
one half teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about one lemon)
Pita bread rounds, cut into wedges
1.   Cook lima beans in boiling water to cover 12 minutes or until very tender, drain
2.   2. With processor running, drop garlic through food chute, process until minced. Add lima beans, salt and next two ingredients. Process until smooth.
With processor running, slowly add oil and lemon juice through food chute, process until blended. Serve with pita wedges.

Angel food
I don’t even know how the angel food cake mix showed up in my pantry. But someone gave me the lemon pudding mix. So I combined the two to make a birthday treat for a friend. I didn’t care for angel food cake as a child, going instead for something more rich. Now I appreciate the subtlety of the sweetness, but it’s easy to kid yourself that it is more healthy and you can have an extra piece or two. So I topped it with the lemon pudding/pie filling I cooked up and enhanced with vanilla and whiskey.
It went well, but here’s another observation. At our ages, I tend to top birthday cakes with one symbolic candle. It’s kind of difficult to decide where to put one candle in a bundt cake. There’s no middle.
Oh well, it worked. There were no leftovers.

Do you blame the sulfites?
I certainly have. Used as antimicrobial and preservatives for bottling and storing wine, sulfites cause a sensitivity in some people. I think I’m one of them. Jean Ishihara used to feel very sick after wine and came up with a Just the Wine, which comes in eye-drop sized bottles so you can squirt a few drops into your glass or bottle. That’s all there is to it, but the story is interesting. Go to for the background. I tried it over the holidays and offer a good report.

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