Janesville56.3°

Now is the Summer of my Discontent

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Lisa Parsley
July 22, 2012

Thursday evening, my husband and I went with a small group of friends to the American Player’s Theatre near Spring Green to see Richard III. We didn’t get home until 1 a.m. (and yes, had to get up to work the next day. Ugh. I am definitely not a night person.) Our little Shakespeare Society meets at least once a year for these outings and somehow we picked a night this summer that wasn’t ungodly hot nor blown away with a thunderstorm. The evening was overcast, but no rain—just a cool breeze.--perfect for an outdoor play.

We determined this was our ten year anniversary of our gathering and celebrated with an extra bottle of wine. APT is an outdoor venue and has picnic tables and even gas grills available to the audience members. We make it a potluck and this year had a nice mix of eats—a tossed green salad, a cheese and fruit platter and a main course of chicken tenders with marinated green tomatoes cooked on the grill. (I had never tried the latter before—very interesting—sort of piquant and smoky at the same time.) Dessert was an olive oil cake (another first for my palate) which resembled a pound cake with hints of citrus.

This year, I felt a bit under my game as I had a late Wednesday night work session and just didn’t have time to prep anything for our potluck. So instead, we stopped at Trader Joe’s in Madison on our way to the venue, and I picked up a loaf of rustic bread, a bottle of wine, some edamame hummus and a big container of spinach and kale yogurt dip. I also grabbed a couple bags of pita chips to serve with the dips. The hummus was great, tasted just like the “normal” kind, except it was faintly tinged green. (I don’t normally have edamame laying around the house, but I know that you can buy them in the freezer section so I might just play around with a hummus recipe using them.) FYI, I’ve posted a modified version of Melissa Clark’s traditional hummus recipe below. Great for a summer picnic.

So I felt like I let down the team a bit as I unpacked my purchased wares and saw everyone else pulling out this lovely hand crafted food.

But as to my discontent? No one seemed to mind, and I decided to just get over it, have another glass of wine and enjoy the company and the show.

Do you ever have that happen to you—that you just plain run out of time to prepare food for a potluck and end up running through a grocery store deli? Have you ever transferred it to your own bowl and claimed the recipe as your own? (Hey, I’m not judging here!)


Here’s what I would have made if I had the time…

Stupendous Hummus

Modified only slightly from Melissa Clark from Cook This Now

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp kosher salt

½ tsp ground pepper

½ tsp cumin

Pinch cayenne

1 fat clove garlic, minced

1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, minced

1/3 cup tahini

½ cup water

3 cups cooked chickpeas

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Combine the lemon, spices, garlic, parsley, tahini and water in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until combined.

  2. Add the chickpeas and puree until smooth and creamy, scraping down the bowl if necessary.

  3. Drizzle in the olive oil and continue to pulse the mixture until it reaches the consistency you like. I often only use half the oil to keep the calories down. (Doesn’t taste nearly as good though. Sigh.) Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.



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