Some things are just sacred. The lullaby you sang to each of your babies that you hope they will one day pass down to their own children. A cherished family heirloom that sits proudly atop your holiday table year after year. The way, no matter what, everyone puts their schedules and smartphones aside and sits down to Sunday dinner together. The brand of hummus your family likes.
Oh, you heard me: in the case of my family, the brand and specific flavor profile of the hummus that my children are willing to consume, that is the most sacred thing of all. Because, as I recently learned, any attempt to subvert their accepted version of hummus will be met with extreme resistance, hostility even.
What’s this you say? But hummus is just a bunch of mushed up chickpeas with a little tahini and olive oil, some garlic, and a splash of lemon. Ha ha! You are naive. Boy, did you ever just fall off the garbanzo truck.
NO. Hummus is PRECIOUS. A PERSON’S CHOSEN HUMMUS ROUTINE MUST NEVER BE TAMPERED WITH.
Here’s the thing: my children seem to prefer a mostly protein-free existence, floating by on a cloud of carbs and fruit. They eat the way people in “cults” do, according to a lifetime of cult-related warnings from my Catholic grandmother (“The Hare Krishnas will rob you of protein! You’ll be weak and unable to escape their tambourine playing ways!”)
But hummus, hummus I could always rely on; sometimes I think (rather, know for sure) it’s the only thing keeping my children upright. So what to do when one’s chosen brand runs out of stock in their flavor of choice?
Obviously, I scoured the city for Traditional, and when I came up empty handed, the solution was clear: make the subtle shift to Red Pepper.
Things went smoothly at first. I partially concealed the Red Pepper hummus under some carefully placed pita triangles. I put on distracting music. I attempted to engage the children in lighthearted conversation. And yes, I dimmed the lights at the dining room table. I dimmed them as much as I could dim them without having us eat in complete darkness, like a family of moles.
Plates down, wheels up.
At first, things went well. I slunk back into the kitchen, and without looking, felt the motion of pita triangles dipping into condiment.
(The scrape of a chair moving back from the table.)
4 year old: (alarmed) WAIT. What is this red stuff in the hummus?
6 year old: (looking closely at her plate) EWWW!
4 year old: What is it?! (in a tone suggestive of extreme betrayal) What. Is. It. Mommy.
6 year old: Is it barf?
4 year old: IS IT? IS IT BARF?
Me: (suppressing World’s Biggest Eye-roll) It’s not barf. I would never serve you human barf for lunch.
(pause as the children to whom I gave life stare coldly into my soul)
Me: I promise. No barf for lunch.
(continued pause as my children, the children I would lay down my life for, accuse me with their eyes, of trying to poison them via a differently flavored hummus)
Me: (unconvincingly) It’s just the same only hummus, but with decorations! Look at it, isn’t it pretty? It’s got red flecks!
4 year old: (starting to cry) It’s SPICY!
Me: (scooping up a big mouthful) It’s not spicy! It’s the opposite of spicy! It’s spice-less!
6 year old: OW! IT’S BURNING MY MOUTH!
Here’s what I learned: Children don’t like change. I think I read somewhere that you have to introduce a new food to children 25 times before they will embrace it. Oh yeah, I have time for that. Also, DON’T F@%K WITH PEOPLE’S HUMMUS.*
Thank you for your time.
*Sam, I couldn’t agree more with your sentiment in regard to DFWPH. Just days ago I came off a cleanse that permitted the consumption of Hummus as an accepted protein. I appreciate the instant gratification that Hummus provides and by day 9 of my cleanse could be found curled up in the corner of my kitchen shaking and licking it directly out of the container. I was starving, malnourished and every few hours hallucinated that I was seeing fairies – but my liver was super clean! On day ten I opened my fridge only to discover that my husband had apparently had a craving for my only source of protein. Hahahahahahahahaha! I had no choice but to immediately come off my cleanse and drink a bottle of wine – my only antidote for an empty hummus container. Seriously, don’t f@%k with your kids hummus. Your friend in chickpeas, Allana
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