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Mistake after mistake

January 29, 2010

You know how the secret to a happy life is hummus? πŸ˜‰ Some people mentioned in the comment section making their own hummus. While this should be an easy task, I unfortunately had a disastrous hummus-making experience.

Mistake #1: Living in Seoul at the time, where chickpeas cost 2,500 won ($2.15) a can and hummus doesn’t exist.

A month before moving back to the US, we found a Lebanese restaurant that served decent hummus.

Mistake #2: Following Alton Brown’s recipe for Turbo Hummus, which substitutes PB for tahini.

Mistake #3: Not owning a blender or food processor and instead mashing everything together with a fork.

Mistake #4: Buying garlic in a plastic baggie at the market and keeping it in the fridge for a week where it quickly rotted, leaving the fridge’s contents and all the Tupperware permanently smelling and tasting like putrefied garlic.

I actually ate the “hummus” while cringing on the first day, let it sit in the fridge untouched for a few more days and then tossed the entire thing. It was that gross. Chickpeas = delicious. PB = delicious. Together = not so much. 😦

Anyone have a fool-proof hummus recipe?


Oh, health insurance. Why don’t I have you?

Long story short: Had health insurance in college, natch. Moved to Korea, where national health insurance covered me and a doctor’s visit (including prescriptions) cost less than $6. Moved back to the US and…

Mistake #1: Deciding not to get health insurance since I’m only home a few months

Was that a mistake? I think the insurance industry and/or doctors should take some of the mistake blame since…

Mistake #1: Arriving for a 9:00 appointment, being led back to an exam room at 9:30, spending 3 minutes with the assistant, waiting another 10 minutes for the doctor, who appeared for less than 5 minutes, asked a couple questions and left. Grand total? $75.00.

Mistake #2: Being given three prescriptions and taking them to be filled (at Costco, thinking that would be the cheapest) for a grand total of $1000. Oh yes, ONE. THOUSAND. AMERICAN. DOLLARS.

Not a mistake?: Walking away without filling the prescription (not a serious medical issue) and coming up with my own action plan, to be discussed in the blog later.

Do you have health insurance? Do you like your current plan? Call me a lefty socialist (it’s okay) but I’m all for nationalized healthcare. Having lived in two countries with a national healthcare system — and receiving fantastic, free treatment — it’s completely proved itself to me. This weekend in Washington (January 29-31)

17 Comments leave one →
  1. January 29, 2010 11:14 am

    ugh pb and chickpeas does sound GROSS – thank goodness you found a resturant there with decent hummus!

  2. January 29, 2010 12:33 pm

    HOT DAMN!!!!! $1000 for prescriptions! Eeeeps. My health insurance blows on everything except the cost of my prescriptions.

  3. January 29, 2010 1:03 pm

    I am completely for nationalized heathcare as well.

    I’ve made the Barefoot Contessa Hummus before and it was pretty good, but I can never get my hummus to taste as good as store or restaurant bought.

  4. January 29, 2010 1:06 pm

    Here’s a hummus recipe I enjoy — it comes from an extended family member:

    1 tsp cumin seeds
    3/4 cup olive oil
    2 (15-oz) cans chickpeas
    3 large garlic cloves, or however much you want
    juice of 1 lemon
    salt to taste
    2 tbsp cilantro, optional

    Toast seeds in pan, add olive oil and cook on low heat for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove seeds from oil. Pulse chickpeas, garlic gloves and lemon in food processor. Add oil and cilantro and pulse. Taste for saltiness. add however much you want. Put in bowl and add cumin seeds. (You can skip the seeds and use ground cumin instead but I’d still toast it to bring out the flavor.)

    I have a PPO through my husband’s place of business that is OK, but not as good as some plans I’ve had at previous jobs. However, I’ll take what I can get at this point since the thought of not having health insurance makes me really, really nervous. Hopefully the government will figure out a good way of bringing nationalized health care to the States sooner rather than later.

    • January 29, 2010 5:02 pm

      Thanks for this recipe — I’ll try it out! πŸ™‚

  5. January 29, 2010 1:13 pm

    Hey girl! I use this recipe sometimes for hummus:

    I loooove the roasted red peppers in it and just buy them in the jar.

    I’m lazy usually and just buy the Sabra roasted red pepper!

    • January 29, 2010 5:05 pm

      Sabra is definitely the best packaged hummus.

  6. January 29, 2010 3:32 pm

    I do have health insurance. It’s national. I’m Canadian.

    I think our national health care is phenomenal and most Canadians feel the same way. Yes, some people abuse the system and visit the doctor for unnecessary reasons. And yes, we pay high taxes.
    But I’m not afraid to get sick or injured. I won’t try to treat myself if I do to avoid having to pay to see my doctor. And I am willing to pay those extra taxes so I know everyone else in the country has this same comfort level.

    • January 29, 2010 5:06 pm

      That’s a very un-American view — I agree with you BTW — but many Americans don’t want to pay more to make sure that everyone is covered. The mindset here is “take care of yourself first, every man for himself” without a thought to the common good. I love your mindset about knowing that everyone has the same comfort level.

  7. January 29, 2010 3:42 pm

    When I was in college living in the dorm, I’d buy the cans of hummus from the major grocery store and doctor them up with jarred garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. My soon to be MIL makes fun of me every time I talk about making hummus, but in college, that was the best I could do.

    I don’t have health insurance either. I’ve taken advantage of the $5 prescriptions from Target/Walmart … pretty much everywhere. They’re not bad, but as for the medicine that wasn’t covered on those, I weaned myself off from it (it wasn’t that important anyways) and I’ve been doing fine.

    I also make sure that the doctor knows I don’t have health insurance and they always seem to knock down the price at least a little bit.

    • January 29, 2010 5:08 pm

      The doc kind of gave me a strange look when I mentioned now having insurance, then asked, “Well, when WILL you get insured?”

      If I knew that…!

      Good call on doctoring store-bought hummus. πŸ™‚

  8. January 29, 2010 5:01 pm

    I’ve never tried to make my own hummus because I live in the middle of nowhere and none of the grocery stores around here sell tahini. I *really* should make a trip to the big city just to find some.

    I’m a stay-at-home mom so I have insurance through my husband’s employer. We’re really fortunate to have great coverage. I went for almost a year without insurance after I graduated from college and it was terrible. Of course, in that time I got really sick which meant lots of doctor visits and tons of RXs. Luckily, my parents were able to help me out. There’s no way I would have been able to afford everything on my temp job wages.

    • January 29, 2010 5:08 pm

      It’s always when you’re uninsured that you get sick. Once you have insurance, your health somehow is perfect.

  9. January 29, 2010 8:24 pm

    ew! i can’t believe alton did a PB substitution for tahini. so wrong! so disappointing. my love for him remains unshaken. πŸ˜‰

    thanks for stopping by the blog. love yours.

  10. ruth permalink
    February 1, 2010 10:47 pm

    hehe. i’ve tried the no-food-processor-method. it didn’t all. and i know what you mean about the bagged garlic. i am dying to find/buy non-peeled garlic.

  11. Erin permalink
    February 2, 2010 11:55 am

    I do have health insurance now through my employer. Spent some post college years without insurance, then pinched pennies to get an emergency only policy, then got a ‘normal’ (super expensive policy), and am now grateful for the employer plan.

    I can’t agree with you on the nationalized health care. Having been an uninsured, someone without adequate coverage, etc., I fully believe its something you work for. You make choices. I went without cable and didn’t travel and saved to buy a policy. I’d probably give a right arm to see Europe. You made different choices. There’s also a reason we lead the world in health care innovation and I’d like it to stay that way. Granted, there are definite areas that need reform, but a free market can fix that. Creating a nanny state will not.

    On to hummus. I love it! Have never been brave enough to try to make it, but saw two really good recipies. One at and the other at Good luck! Am shocked that Alton Brown would use peanut butter. Love him, but that sounds gross!

    • February 4, 2010 5:15 pm

      Let’s agree to agree that healthcare reform is needed! πŸ˜€

      Thanks for the hummus recipes. I keep hearing how easy it is but Alton Brown… shame, shame.

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