Chickpea Cha Cha

Last night’s cooking adventure was a comical failure, resulting in one broken potato masher, a shattered glass, and one slightly dampened ego. The plan was to make chickpea patties and I got stuck on step 1 of the recipe for a day and a half, like a badly skipping record. Step 1, of course was to drain and mash the canned chickpeas. Sounds simple enough, right? But that’s where things started to spiral South. Because, you see, I only had dried chick peas. I thought, “No problem, I’ll just soak these suckers overnight and make the patties for dinner tomorrow.” This was a couple of days ago.

The process turned into a long laundry list of steps, reminiscent of The Little Red Hen saga- you know, the hen who single-handedly planted and harvested her own wheat and turns it to flour to make a loaf of bread. That hen could have benefited from modern technology as much as I did last night. After soaking the chickpeas, Jeremy informed me that I would need to remove their skin and that this could be done by rubbing them together in a dishtowel. I had done that many times before with roasted hazelnuts and so approached the task with confidence. I spooned some chickpeas in a dishtowel and rubbed. Very little happened. “Hmmmmm”, I thought, “Maybe I should boil them, just like almonds to remove their skin.” So I turned to my faithful resource- the internet- and found that I needed to cook them for 2 hours… and I did.

Later that night, after coming home from having seen The American (we happily found out that movies here are shown in original language) and with a burgeoning appetite, I immediately set out to continue with the formidable Step 1- mashing the chickpeas. I got out the potato masher and began to pound away at the little yellow globes- a little too vigorously perhaps, in my eagerness to get to step number 2. Suddenly there was a loud snap, followed by a louder crash. I looked at my hand, which was holding the potato masher’s handle, I looked into the bowl of chickpeas, where rest of the beheaded potato masher lay, I looked down at the floor, which was now a shining patchwork of glass shards, and my eyes began to fill with tears of frustration.

It was at this point that Jeremy flew into action to initiate Plan B- home fries and a salad. Thank goodness for that, because there’s no telling how far out of proportion I could have blown that situation (ie: “Maybe the universe is telling me I should never attempt to cook Turkish food again!!”). After filling my belly with the delicious Plan B, I got back to work on the chickpeas, wishing for a food processor. I’ll spare you the boring details and just say that a little over 2 hours later, the last chickpea was smashed, my fingers were crusted with their sticky insides, and I never wanted to see another chickpea in my life. But, the good news is that after 2 days, I’ve made it past Step 1 and maybe, just maybe I can whip through the other steps and make the patties for dinner tonight.

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