Dolma – Our first Attempt

We were lucky enough to have learned to make dolma from meme before she passed away.

But the true test?

Making dolma in our own kitchen.

Without meme’s guidance.

It was a cold and gray Sunday, so we decided to roll up our sleeves and give it a try.

Also, I was really adamant about not making it until I had meme’s rock and plate.

(Check out the posts from the day we spent with meme here and here for more on the rock and the plate and for the recipe for dolma.)

When it came time to go through meme’s house and we were talking about who was going to take what, I called the rock and the plate. Not kidding.

Below are some pictures from dolma making our itty bitty kitchen, which, as you can see, spilled over into our living room.



We didn’t make any grape leaves, since our city apartment doesn’t really allow for a grape vine in the backyard, but we made cabbage, peppers and tomatoes (which are my favorite anyway)


While the dolma simmered on the stove, the smells that filled the apartment brought us back to meme’s kitchen.



And isn’t that why we cook?

Food isn’t just about nutrition and fuel. It’s about memories and about traditions and about keeping people and good times alive.


Was our dolma perfect?

Nope. (Notes for next time, cook it for longer than meme said to and DO NOT use 90/10 beef. You need the fat of 80/20)

But it was pretty darn close.

And I bet meme was happy to see us in the kitchen.

Hummus – Meme’s Secret

Remember yesterday when I told you that I can never get food to taste quite like meme’s?

Well, that was a tiny fib. I can get one thing right.


I’ve told you before about my love of tahini. Hummus is probably the most common introduction most people have to the sesame seed paste.

Nothing compares to homemade hummus. There are some store brands that are okay in a bind, but once you make it yourself, you will never be able to dip your carrots and celery sticks into the plastic tub again.

This is a ridiculously easy recipe. For a while though we couldn’t get it to taste like meme’s.

Granted, meme’s recipe was something like garlic a lil bit of lemon, a lil bit olive oil, some tahini, some pepper and the chickpeas. And fresh lemon juice. My lil bit would always be different from her lil bit.

But no matter what we did, it wasn’t quite right. It was delicious, but not quite right.

Until the day that meme told us her secret. She had been holding out on us.

So here it is. How meme makes hummus

Into the cuisinart (meme calls it a cuisinart not a food processor.) So into the cuisinart

2 cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons tahini

olive oil (enough to make the mixture smooth. this is an add and blend and add if you need more ingredient)

juice of half a lemon

a few grinds black pepper

1 can chickpeas, rinsed, and here’s the trick. reserve the liquid the chickpeas are in. Add maybe one or two tablespoons to the mix. Trust me.


Blend it all up in the cuisinart. Serve with carrots, celery, cauliflower, warm pita, use it as a sandwich spread. This is a great healthy snack or a great way to start a meal if you’re tired of salad.


I promise you, once you make it, you’ll never buy it again. And bonus, it’s way cheaper to make it yourself, so the money you save can go into paying for the itty bitty city kitchen. You may even be able to buy a new gadget for your kitchen!

If you can find the room for it.