My Unwanted Hannukah Gift or How I Lost My Bid for “Mom of the Year”

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I was a terrible mother last night. (Yeah — I know what you all just thought – “only last night?”)

It was the last night of Hannukah and it was the kids’ turn to exchange gifts with each other and my son gave me a gift as well. Dad will have to wait for Christmas. Sorry Dormant Chef.

Anyhow, I was not the picture of gratitude. My son walked into the kitchen and plopped a Cuisinart 4-cup Chopper on the counter and instead of jumping up and down and thanking him, I was in shock. I have to blame this in part on my husband who once took my young daughter shopping and let her buy me a HUGE (did I say HUGE) moose cookie jar. Just because she collects stuffed moose, moose earrings, moose shirts, and moose books does not mean that I want to decorate the kitchen with one HUGE moose. So when my husband takes the kids shopping to cooking stores and diverges from the list, I get nervous.

I couldn’t remember asking for a Cuisinart Chopper/Grinder. I still remembered having a full size Cuisinart in the appliance cabinet. Wasn’t this kind of like having two of the same thing? So I wasn’t very appreciative, at first, which was so un-mommy like and just plain rude. And then my husband reminded me of my carpal tunnel flare up in my right hand and how this would minimize my chopping which often creates the flare-ups. Good argument. I needed more. My son eagerly told me how easy it would be to make hummus, guacamole, pesto, vinaigrette and I started coming around until I realized I would still have to wash a cutting board and knife and now the damn chopper/grinder as well. Dormant Chef quickly adds – “and it’s so easy to clean”. And since I have no mute button, I reply “Well yeah it is for you since I’m the one who always does the dishes.” Why don’t I just shove my foot all the way down my throat. There’s just no stopping my gratitude now.

So I was determined to use it today and report the results. I did end up giving my son a big hug and thanking him but I need to really mean it. (that’s what a good mother would tell their kid, right?) Of course, I’m not a good mother so maybe I don’t have to play by those rules. But I digress. Here’s what I just made:

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Jalapeno Hummus

Recipe adapted from Cuisinart instruction booklet.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 138 kcal


  • 1/4 cup loosely packed Italian parsley
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1/4 - 1/2 a fresh jalapeno
  • 1/2 19 oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon tahini I used sesame oil because I was out of tahini - a stretch but it worked
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Chop the parsley for 5 seconds; remove and reserve (seemed a little unnecessary). Add garlic and finely chop for about 5 seconds. Add chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, water, cumin, jalapeno, and reserved parsley to work bowl; process until smooth for about 1.5 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape work bowl as needed once or twice. With the machine running, add the olive oil in a steady stream and process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  2. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

The recipe didn’t call for jalapeno but it really adds some zip to the hummus.

So really, do I think I’ll use my chopper/grinder alot and am I actually super grateful that my son (and dormant chef) picked it out for me? I think I am. My carpal tunnel right hand doesn’t hurt, there is fresh hummus on the counter, and actually, the unit was really easy to clean when I washed it before I used it. (I am not getting paid by Cuisinart to write this post.)

I suppose taking the time to write this post and make the hummus makes me a slightly better mom than I was last night but I am still throwing out that application on my desk that was due tomorrow for “mom of the year”. Cuz I really don’t deserve it.

May you not get any unwanted gifts and if you do, just be glad you were lucky enough to get a gift at all.

Happy holidays and merry cooking.

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7 Responses to My Unwanted Hannukah Gift or How I Lost My Bid for “Mom of the Year”

  1. Date Girl December 21, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    I can understand your reaction. Maybe if it were wrapped it might have been accepted a little better? When someone plops down a gift it can be kind of a shock. I got a griddle last year from my husband and I remember thinking, Sooo now I have to make pancakes for you? 😉 But in all honesty that’s a pretty great chopper and you will probably get a lot of use out of it. I’m glad you were able to use it already on the hummus (which looks delicious by the way).

  2. Donna December 15, 2010 at 9:57 am #

    LOL. That brought back memories of when my father gave my mother a meat slicer for Valentine’s Day.

    Great sounding recipe, BTW.

    Stopping by and visiting from SITS.

  3. saminacooks December 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    This was a truly great post.

  4. Stephanie M at Together In Food December 10, 2010 at 9:20 am #

    This made me laugh! I’m glad that you persevered in discovering gratitude for this gift. 🙂 Your jalapeno hummus looks YUM; I don’t like store-bought hummus but there’s nothing like fresh-made. Another thing your new chopper would be good for, if you like favas, is fava pesto next spring: blanched favas, garlic, parmesan, and oil — make it chunky to spread on crostini or smooth as a dip. Delish.

  5. Serene December 9, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Aww. Nobody’s perfect. This’ll be a good life lesson of the whole moms-are-human variety.

  6. sandy corman December 9, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    you Beth were “upset” because you got a new appliance gizmo? Cannot believe that.
    Glad you realized that it was bought by your son with all good intentions hoping it would make life easier for you. And apparently it did. If I hadn’t eaten so much hummus on our recent mid-east trip I would have taken a bite out of your posted picture.

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