December 07, 2008

Another chick pea salad / meme

My family moved to a new house in a different school district on my ninth birthday. It was about a month after the start of the school year, and my brother and I had to go to a new school. Although I was unhappy to leave my old, familiar school, part of me was a little excited about starting a new one. Too bad for me I was placed in the classroom of the meanest teacher in the school. Miss Yocum was built like a bulldozer on two skinny legs, and her mouth turned permanently downward. It was rumored that she wore a wig, but if she did, she chose badly. I think she told the class they were getting "a new girl" moments before I was escorted to the classroom, and she didn't bother to introduce the class and me to each other. Instead, she made a commotion about how she didn't think she could find a small enough desk (titter titter) because I was SO SMALL. So small so small. Can't find a small enough desk. Good grief. She even sent a couple of kids to the storeroom to see if they could find a smaller one. This was not the most auspicious start to a new life. I was shy anyway, and school became a burden.

One day we were informed of an art contest involving a "clean-up fix-up paint-up" poster that we were each to do as an art project. The class would vote on the best one and that selection would go on to a school contest and the winner of that would go to the city contest. If there was one thing I loved to do it was draw and paint, and I really wanted to win this contest. I painted a poster that I really liked, but I knew my chances of winning were slim. Most contests like this were based on popularity, not skill, and if one of the popular kids had a poster that was even a little bit good, he or she would win. I was resigned, but hopeful. I was still pretty new, and there were probably some kids who didn't even know my name. Popularity was not my friend.

When the class voted, I was shocked and thrilled to have my poster overwhelmingly selected. It gave me hope, and made me feel included. And I knew they really liked the poster since it was the only reason I could have won. BUT THEN...Miss Yocum said to the class, "You picked THIS one? That ladder is as crooked as a dog's hind legs." Yes. She really said that. To a nine year old child in front of the entire class. And then Miss Yocum, may she rest in peace, called for a re-vote.

I was sick a lot that year, but so were a lot of the other kids in my class. Over the course of the year I noticed that she could bring the toughest boys to their knees. Luckily, I had other adults in my life that treated me well, and I also had a touch of rebelliousness that helped me assign the horribleness of that classroom to the teacher, not me.

I'm smiling as I write this, but also wondering what would possess a teacher to be so cruel. In any case, this is number seven. : ) (see below)

Now to the chick peas. I was watching Simply Ming (the cooking show) on Wisconsin Public Television — I guess it was a show from last season — and he was putting a mix of dijon, mayo and sambal onto all kinds of (not-vegan) stuff. When he plopped it into a bowl of crab meat, I immediately imagined a bowl of spicy-tangy chickpeas and veggies instead. I admit that I stole the condiment idea from Ming, but added a bit of agavé nectar to it to compensate for the sweetness that the crab would have added. I think I will also use some of the leftover sauce to prepare tempeh this week.

Sambal is a mix of red chillies. You can find it at Asian groceries or sometimes in the international food section of regular supermarkets.

Chickpea salad
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon sambal
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon agavé nectar
  • 2 cans chickpeas (no salt added preferred) or 2-1/2 to 3 cups home-cooked, rinsed and drained well
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
  1. To make the dressing, mix together the mustard, mayo, lime, sambal and agavé in a small bowl.
  2. Mash or pulse the chickpeas in a food processor until they are roughly broken up.
  3. Mix the chickpeas, onion, celery and carrot in a medium bowl.
  4. Add about 5 tablespoons of the dressing to the salad and mix until combined
note: Eden brand soaks and cooks their beans with kombu (dried kelp) which is supposed to make them more digestible and less likely to cause gas. If you have problems with digesting beans, try this brand, or cook them at home. Soak the beans overnight then drain and rinse them before cooking them in fresh water with a strip of kombu. A natural source of glutamic acid, kombu not only makes the beans more digestible, it also tenderizes, enhances flavor and adds invaluable vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals. Remove the seaweed before serving, if you wish. Although I like most seaweed a lot, the texture of kelp is a little creepy to me and I prefer not to eat it.


Here's a great little tool I got for $.25 at a yard sale last summer. It's so handy for getting the juice out of lemons and limes.


The meme — 7 random or weird facts about me — I was tagged by Claire.

1. You can't tell this by reading my blog, but I am only five feet and one half inch tall. You know that song "Short People" by Randy Newman? I've always liked that song.
2. I have read all of Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles as well as her Sleeping Beauty erotic novels written under the pseudonym, A. N. Roquelaure. Long time ago. I'm much more serious now.
3. I love folk dancing and contra dancing. There was a time when I danced three nights a week.
4. I used to play recorders and krummhorns and performed in two early music consorts.
5. I once took a typing test in high school and my score was minus four. I've never forgotten that and I also don't think I ever improved. I passed the class by dong extra credit.
6. I never ate or liked chocolate until a couple of years ago. This is the weirdest fact of all, right?
7. See above.

Here are the rules:
  1. Link the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself.
  3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links.
  4. Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
I followed the first two rules but ignored the second two because I don't like asking people to do things they may not want to do. However, if you don't mind if I tag you, I happily will. Just let me know it's okay, either here or by e-mail.


  1. MY GOD!!! every time I compared US prices against countries like The Netherlands I want to faint! you know how much did I pay for the same tool you got for $.25c?? I paid 7 euros
    JA JA

  2. The unmitigated cruelty of that teacher is truly mind-blowing. Nothing is worse than people in positions of greater power picking on those weaker than they--but you're absolutely right, there was definitely something wrong with HER, not you (and YOUR painting actually won!). Thanks for the meme--I always love finding out more about fellow bloggers (and sooo glad you have come over to the dark (chocolate) side!).

    I like this variation on the chickpea salad--anything with a bit of spice is good by me!

  3. Alejandra: Notice that I got the reamer second hand (though it appeared to be unused) at a yard sale, not a store. In stores I think they are about $4-$6, which is still about half what you paid.

    Ricki: Thanks for your comments! Doing the memes can be fun but passing them along is where I get bogged down.

  4. What a mean teacher!!! She must be related to Mrs. Charleson, whom I had for fifth grade. I'll be happy to tell you about her sometime, but suffice to say she is my anti-role-model as a teacher!!!

    Oh, and I remember being 65 pounds in 7th grade because this was back in the day when they weighed and measured everyone and called out the statistics so everyone could hear them. I don't know how tall I was, only that I didn't start growing until 8th grade at least.

    Thanks for the salad recipe; I will look for sambal...

  5. Claire: Sorry you had to suffer through Mrs. Charlson. And I do vaguely remember that public weight thing.

    Miss Yocum made each of the children who'd been absent a lot (and there were quite a few of us) stand up and explain why they had missed so much school. I said, "I guess this has just been a bad year for me." Was it ever.

    I would just like to point out that all my other elementary teachers were very nice.


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