Our Life Now and The Best Hummus Recipe

My husband has renal cell carcinoma.

There. I said it.

It’s in his right kidney, a tumor that has grown out of the kidney and invaded about 20% of his liver, and 3 lymph nodes nearby.

Our whole life has changed.

We found out on March 31st, a pouring down rain, extremely dark and dreary Friday afternoon. He told me on the phone as I was out and about all day at client meetings. I was heading home and had stopped in the Vitamin Shoppe, and literally sobbed on this poor sales associate’s shoulder. 

For several days, I couldn’t even tell anyone other than immediate family.

He had started on two chemo drugs and after just 5 days we were back in the emergency room as it was all too strong for his body. We are back home now.

He does not like anything to eat. So totally new, so unlike him. Everything seems to make him gag. We all are reading, researching and trying everything.

Does anyone have any ideas?

I won’t bore you with all the details as we start this new chapter in our lives. I will say that this is a nasty, nasty disease.

But we are determined to beat this thing. Our youngest son is getting married in Poland in July. We need to be there. And we will be. They are getting married in a palace in the southwest countryside and I keep telling Steve we will be there, dancing under the stars.

For a while, in between the two hospital stays, on Easter Sunday, he liked this hummus. My nephew Adam said this was the best hummus he had ever tasted.

I hope you’ll like it too.

Your health is precious and LOVE is an important component of it. Make this with LOVE and enjoy!!

Hummus in a blue trimmed bowl on a green napkin.THE BEST HUMMUS

1 lb. dried chickpeas
2 tsp. baking soda, divided
I head of garlic, cut in half, roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper
1 small clove of fresh garlic, finely minced and smashed with a bit of salt – OPTIONAL
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice, or more to taste 
11/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini, plus 2 Tbs. (I used Soom – delicious!!)
2 tsp. ground cumin, plus more for serving
Fresh ground pepper
11/2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for serving and roasting garlic
3 Tbs. ice water 

Rinse and drain chickpeas and check for any foreign debris and remove. In a large pot or Le Creuset Dutch oven, cover chickpeas with 3” of cold water and stir in 1 tsp. baking soda, cover and let soak overnight. The chickpeas should double in size.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the whole head of garlic and slice in half, parallel to the root end. Place on aluminum foil, drizzle the cut sides with a teaspoon of olive oil, some salt and fresh ground pepper. Close up the foil tight and place in an ovenproof dish and roast for about 25 minutes, until garlic is very soft and tender. Open up foil to cool when done.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas twice. Combine the soaked chickpeas and remaining 1 tsp. baking soda back in the large Dutch oven and add cold water to cover by at least 2″. Bring to a boil, skimming surface as needed. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and simmer until chickpeas are very, very tender, 45–65 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and let the chickpeas sit in the water for at least 30 minutes or even longer. Drain out 3 ½ cups of chickpeas and set aside to cool. You will have extra left over. Save the extra chickpeas in their juices in the refrigerator and use on a salad or toss with other vegetables. You can also freeze them in their juices at this point too and make more hummus at another time.

In a food processor, place drained chickpeas, all of the roasted garlic, (squeeze it out of the skins), lemon juice, salt, cumin, some fresh pepper and olive oil, and process until puréed. Only add the fresh garlic if you really, really love garlic.

Add tahini and pulse to combine. With motor running, add 3 Tbs. ice water and process until the mixture is very smooth, pale, and thick. Taste and season with salt and/or more lemon juice as desired.

Hummus overhead shot in a blue trimmed bowl on a green napkin.Spoon hummus into a shallow bowl and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Top with more ground cumin. Serve with pita chips and raw vegetables. I like celery and fennel sticks.