Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Annie & Hummus

March is Women’s History Month, so I am celebrating by featuring each of my great-grandmothers throughout the four Wednesdays of this month.  And, I invite you to do some family research too.  How many of us even know all of our great-grandparents’ names?  When you get to know them, you learn a little about yourself. 

The Grandma: Annie
My maternal grandfather’s mother

Grandma Annie looking at the camera.  I'm not sure which of her granddaughters is in the reflection. 

With my mom at an event in downtown Baton Rouge, 2010.  I think my mom looks a bit like Annie. 

-       Annie Amuny was born in ~1900 America to Lebanese parents. She had five children: John, Esma, Ellis, Ruby Lee and Juliette.
-       She loved Ingrid Bergman.  When she was elderly, and my mother was a little girl, the grandchildren hung a star shaped sign on her bedroom door with Ingrid written across it — like a sign you would see on a Hollywood dressing room door.  I saw her star every summer when we would gather for a reunion at the families’ home since ~1940.  The “Old House” where my grandfather was born was just across the street.

-       Annie was very kind. "I never saw the woman sit down to eat once," my mother said when describing her grandmother's shy, gentle nature.  
-       Annie was an artist. She wanted to study in Italy, but was married off very young.  She stayed in Sulphur, Louisiana and art became a hobby.  She drew Abraham Lincoln often, which is kind of strange for a southern lady.  To her, he represented liberty and equality.  Annie also created sets for plays at area schools. Many of her works are saved and cherished by her descendants. I know her best for the little pictures she drew of popular retro cartoons in the cement outside of the family home. Her husband, my great-grandfather, Joseph wrote “Welcome” in Arabic along side her doodles. In 2008, when the home was sold, my mother did etchings of these dear drawings and photographed them. See below ... 

Her Dish: Hummus

I got this hummus recipe from our family cookbook.  For some reason my Oma submitted the recipe — she made it for my Lebanese-American grandpa. Just like mom used to make. But remember, Oma is German, and she wrote a Lebanese recipe in English … She spelled hummus like this: H-O-M-O-S. I giggled. I know I’m a child.  But it’s like a game of language telephone, something was going to get lost in translation. 

My Kitchen Experience: I added a teaspoon of greek yogurt and a ton of cumin. I noticed that tahini had been left out of the above recipe so I added three tablespoons. I'm also not a fan of sesame oil, so I only added a half cup. With hummus it's all about flavor to taste. Add salt, garlic, pepper, red pepper, whatever, throughout the process. 

* Too make it skinny toss the pita and pair hummus with veggies. Also, a lot of hummus recipes out there call for yogurt, use Greek yogurt instead. 

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