40 spices hummus


I’ve been making hummus off an on since 1998, with many techniques and recipes. For awhile I got lazy and started buying store bought – I became particularly fond of 40 spice hummus by Tribe, and then they stopped carrying it, which prompted me to start making my own again, and to try to replicate the recipe. I used to use canned chickpeas, but have decided that starting with dried chickpeas is worth the effort to produce really smooth hummus. Another trick is to add a little baking soda while cooking the chickpeas – that seems to make them break down and end up really smooth. This recipe only has about 25 spices if you count the individual spices in the garam masala, but it’s close enough in my book.

Christmas Eve services

Spencer and Meg sang with the children’s choir at a morning service. The grandparents came to watch too. We all had brunch together after. Rob accompanied the children’s choir in the morning and then played with the worship band at the afternoon service. We loved celebrating with our faith community.

Merry Christmas!

On Christmas Eve, we had dinner at the Dibble grandparents, Spencer read ‘Twas the night before Christmas, and we opened presents from the Grandparents. Then the kids struggled against sleep until they passed out. Meg woke up first and we opened stockings. Then we video chatted with the Felty grandparents and opened presents with them remotely. Then brunch with the Dibble grandparents and Grandma Grand. Then the rest of the presents. We passed the rest of the day relaxing and playing. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

Shell ornaments

Year at this time we were enjoying Florida with the Felty’s. I finally got around to turning some of our souvenir shells into Christmas ornaments so we can remember that trip for years to come. It’s amazing what a little imagination and hot glue will do.

Tin Can Robot

Spencer got his prizes from selling popcorn for Boy Scouts last night. He is so excited that he wanted to play with them right away. This is harder when there is some assembly required. So we put the tin can robot together tonight. The kids were absorbed for almost an hour, but disappointed to find that it would not clear the table for them when it was finished.

Greek lasagna

Finished baking

This dish has many of my favorite things – the tomato sauce and noodles of a traditional lasagna, spinach found in many vegetarian lasagnas, and eggplant found in Greek dishes like moussaka.

Wood rack, take two


This summer I built a new wood rack. I had tried to move the one from our old house, but the movers couldn’t get it out of our back gate, so I finally got around to building a new one this year. I followed a pretty similar plan as last time. This time I did not make the roof as steep, because it ended up reducing the space for wood quite a bit. I used 1/4″ plywood on the sides, and 1/2″ plywood for the roof. I used a number of 2x4s leftover from Dave and Ellen’s reconstruction project, and bought a couple new ones. I did make one mistake – I put plywood nearly the entire back this time, including all the way down to the horizontal 2x4s. This meant that there was no place for the logs to rest. So I ended up adding some additional 2x4s inside the vertical 2x4s. This actually had the advantage of making it possible to stack the front row of wood without sticking out too much.

Spencer, Meg, and Clare all helped stack the wood.


Putting on roll roofing

Roll roofing attached

Assembling wood rack – using a small scrap piece of wood to hold up leg horizontally

Attaching plywood back

Handy screwdriver attachment keeps screws from falling

Wood rack complete

Finished wood rack

Spencer helping stack wood

Wood rack loaded with 1 cord of black walnut, birch and white oak

Meg and Spencer looking at the toad that came with the wood

Spencer holds the toad