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The Quest for the Perfect Homemade Hummus

I'm in the process of making hummus, and boy, are my thumbs tired.

That's because I've been peeling each little chickpea by hand.  All that twiddling hurts.

Before you call me crazy -- and I wouldn't take offense if you did -- let me explain. Or, rather, I should let Melissa Clark explain.

Clark, a New York Times food writer, is coming out with a new cookbook this October called Cook This Now. I have an advance copy and I'm tackling her "Stupendous Hummus" recipe. 

Any recipe with a title like that grabs my attention. Especially when it comes to hummus, which I have tried to make before, unsuccessfully. It ended up chunky and dry and bland.

Clark, who adapted the recipe from Kitchen Sense by Mitchell Davis, says the thing that gives this hummus its stupendousity is fresh, peeled chickpeas.

In her cookbook, Clark says she tried out the recipe with peeled chickpeas and with unpeeled chickpeas, and that the peel-free hummus was better. However, she adds, "I doubt I'll ever do it again." 

It took her and a kitchen helper 30 minutes to peel three cups of cooked chickpeas. It's taking me, all by myself (my husband took one look at my labors and said, "You've got to be kidding"), far longer. 

I'm halfway through. I'll finish up tonight and will let you know how it turned out.

That is, if I have any strength left in my hands to type.

Fresh Chickpeas are Key.  Melissa Clark says you can use canned chickpeas, but the hummus won't be stupendous.
Fresh Chickpeas are Key. Melissa Clark says you can use canned chickpeas, but the hummus won't be stupendous. ( Amy Eddings )
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