One thing that can be said about the Greek-Orthodox Chanukah party is that there was plenty of food, Greek and otherwise. And there were some leftovers, but really, not that much, unless you count an extra gallon of green beans, 10 stuffed potatoes, 12 stuffed peppers and a 9x9 pan of spanikopita. And homemade hummus and vegetables. And peanut butter-cayenne cookies (aka ‘kickies’). Okay, there weren’t really that many cookies left. And given how many olives we started with, there are really not so many of those left either. I did learn that six pounds of green beans is about 3.5 pounds too many to make for 25 people.
The hummus alone was an adventure and actually, quite delicious. It was, shall we say, rustic. My friend Dennis told me to use a ricer. Basically, they are gigantic garlic presses, and I don’t actually have one of those, either. And even if I did, it would have taken too long to go through four cans of garbanzo beans. But I figured I could look for a ricer in the store, just to check them out. I quickly decided that it’s crazy to spend $20 on something I don’t actually need for anything else. (The Alton Brown rule that the only unitasker in the kitchen should be the fire extinguisher.) My Cuisinart mini-prep was too small. The blender didn’t like the combination of beans and tahini. And the immersion blender worked, but had to be unclogged too often. So whatever was mushed up by the time that I got tired of dealing with it all was mushed. And whatever wasn’t, wasn’t. Hence the ‘rustic’.
No, we did not light a chanukiah, much to my dismay. I was prepared to do so on the original date of the party (the 11th night of Chanuka) but by the 19th, I thought it might be considered a bit excessive.