More should be more

I am a slow learner (to my detriment). And while some people live by the credo that less is more, my personal internal monologue runs in the “if some is good, more would be MORE AWESOMER” direction.

Even though it’s not true. Even though the OPPOSITE is usually true.

Like… take food, for example. A normal person enjoys, say, buffalo chicken wings, and eats some and says, “Yum, that was delicious.” Me, I’m like a puppy. If I like a food, I will eat until it’s GONE regardless of whether I’m still hungry or any sort of other common sense. So I am not allowed to partake of things like buffalo wings (which, in my old age, will indeed make me sick if I overindulge) unless the available food matches a reasonable portion size. And that’s not even getting into the Murphy’s Law corollary that applies to family food.

What, you don’t know what I mean? C’mon, anyone with kids knows this great truth of cooking:

The more time you spend preparing a dish, the less likely that anyone in the house will eat it.

[Special Casa Mir addendum: Any special vegetarian dish I make specifically for my daughter will cause her to turn her nose up. Every. Freaking. Time.]

This is on my mind today because I am currently smitten with a new food blog written by my pals Chris and Karen—have you been to visit them yet? It’s called The Pêche and the things they cook make me want to be a fatter person. What? I said— really? Whoops! I meant they make me want to be a BETTER person. Of course. Ahem. ANYWAY, tonight I’m making their falafel burgers which is terribly exciting because I haven’t had falafel since I gave up wheat, and for some reason I’d always assumed it was a complicated thing to make. So not only am I going to get to have a food I miss, but it’s vegetarian and made from Chickadee’s favorite food in the world (Chickadee is currently 70% chickpeas, by my last estimate), so SHE should eat it, and it’s fried, so Monkey should eat it, and it has garlic and onions, so Otto should eat it.

Instant hit! Right?

Well, maybe not. For one thing, I’m putting some time into it, so already I know that someone’s going to complain bitterly. Obviously. For another thing, the recipe calls for 1.5 cups of chickpeas and at my grocery store, they come in 2-cup bags, so I figured NO PROBLEM, I totally love falafel, I’ll just increase the recipe and do the whole bag. Great idea!

And of course, I was feeling all fancy and stuff. Because I plucked the mint and basil from my own garden, and I soaked my own chickpeas (not hard, I know, but it makes me feel superior to cook without cans!), and LOOK AT ME, MAKING FALAFEL FROM SCRATCH!

It turns out that my food processor can hold 2 cups of chickpeas and the other ingredients needed, but only just barely. Which means that I had to run it for quite a while to get the stuff I added on the top to be sucked down to the blade at the bottom.

Which means that my fridge is currently holding a giant container of falafel paste. I mean, it SMELLS awesome, and I tasted a little and it TASTES fine, but it is not falafel. It is… falafel for people with no teeth, maybe. I could scoop the mixture into a pastry bag and pipe it into the oil later and make falafel funnel cakes!

All because I thought more would be awesome.

[Edited to add: No no no no, I did not make hummus, sadly. I made… something else. But without oil (and with all the other extra stuff, like a sizable amount of onion) it is most definitely not hummus. I HAVE CREATED A NEW FOOD. Or at least a new food-like substance.]

I still would argue that the laws of physics prevent less from being more, but perhaps more is more messy in a case like this, making less more… tidy? Doesn’t quite have the same ring.

I’ll have to let you know how the falafel turns out. If no one eats it I guess I can use the uncooked paste as caulk, or something.


  1. Leandra

    Okay, that next to last paragraph makes my brain hurt.

    I don’t know falafel from fennel, but it sounds to me like you made hummus. Either way it sounds delish! If your family won’t eat it, I totally will.

  2. Carla Hinkle

    Oh my. Falafel funnel cakes. Yuuuuuuumy!!!

  3. Megan

    Well I know what I’m making for dinner tonight!

    Only mine will go: hmmmm, only tinned chickpeas but that’s practically the same, right? And who wants to measure so a tin is probably, oh a cup or so, right? And DAMN we’re out of onions but I do have spring onions… at which point I will realize that I HAVE BECOME MY MOTHER and we’ll all go to the corner gyros place that has absolutely fabulous falafel that is already made.

    Hey, it’s the end of the semester, this is about as good as it gets at the moment!

  4. Ani

    Totally with Megan. The gyro place sounds good

  5. Holly

    I, too am a eat until its gone even if it does make me sick kinda gal. I just CANNOT turn away from delicious food. It’s a problem, it really is!

    You seem to be such a fabulous cook that I’m sure everything will be delicious. I commend you for feeding your family so healthfully. I really do. :)

  6. Amanda

    That’s two cups of cooked chickpeas, right? Perhaps this is a silly question, but you didn’t cook a 16 oz bag of chickpeas and then use all of them to make that, did you? That really *would* be a lot, but possibly pasty if you didn’t increase the other ingredients sufficiently. Just a thought…

  7. Lia

    Make your falafel paste into hummus. Almost the same ingredients but pastier.

  8. Chris

    Aww, you’re the best, Mir. I’m not sure what went wrong, but we use about the same amount of chickpeas you did. Fingers crossed that the chickpea funnel cakes are delicious. How could they not be good?

  9. Sheila

    Maybe if the family complains you can use the leftover falafel paste to glue their mouths shut.

  10. meghann

    I agree with others above. You made hummus. Time to bust out the pita chips!

  11. Tracy

    Ok, I live in the land of “normal” food. What the heck is falfel or hummus? Either one doesn’t sound that great to me. Hummus sounds like homney in which case, YUCK! Going to google now.

  12. Scottsdale Girl

    Falafel, yuck. Hummus yum. No clue why.

  13. Kristina in SD

    I don’t know what falfel or hummus is but it sure made me laugh. I was making lemon bars last night and I added too much water. Pretty soon I had a quadruppled batch and my son was laughing at me. Runny lemon bars, why not!

  14. Beth R

    They’re not runny lemon bars: it’s lemonade with an edible cup!

    And I personally think that the chickpea funnel cake sounds like a fantastic idea – I want to try it :)

  15. dad

    I hope your cooking does not become caulking. Albeit a truly imaginary new “green building” product.

    You could also consider founding a Georgia Garbonzo Festival.
    Leave no stone unthrown.

  16. ramblin red

    Your dad cracks me up.

    I am familiar with this unfair law of diminishing returns with respect to time and amount of like for the food in question

  17. Kati

    Falafel croquettes? Falafel spread? Falafel dip or pate? The choices are mind-boggling…

  18. JennyM

    I now have an incredible yearning for fala-funnel cakes.

  19. Jenn

    Make enough falafel for tonight. Then make more if it’s a success. Because the Murphy’s law in our family goes that if I winged it and couldn’t possibly repeat it, they’ll totally love it.

    If it flops, take the remaining and make hummus. Then send it to work with Otto. College students will eat anything.

  20. Jenn

    You can also make what we call chickie fries. Mold the mix into a bread pan and chill. Then cut into fry shape and either bake or fry. They’re a favorite at our house. How can Chickadee not love them?

  21. Kat

    For those who don’t know what falafels are, my family calls them the hushpuppies of the Middle East. Yum. If you don’t know what hushpuppies are? Well…I can’t help you there.

  22. Priscilla

    I love falafels, and they are quick and easy to make! I use canned chickpeas, which with the other ingredients fits nicely in the food processor! They are one of my fav summer entrees along with a nice salad or other fresh veggies. I am a vegetarian and am so proud that you are supporting Chickie’s choice!

  23. EmmaC

    What a co-INK-y-DINK! I made THIS tonight:

    With homemade pitas! Yum!

    I’m trying to think of what you could do with all that not-hummus…but I’m afraid I’m drawing a blank. If your new food is delicious, please share!

  24. Dawn

    I’m so confused now. I falafel.

  25. Cele

    Someday I will have to break down and try Falafel. I think I will try it in a restaurant first so I know what I am screwing up.

  26. bethany

    Your last few posts have left me giggling aloud so that my children come in the room and want to see what’s funny on my computer. Thanks!

  27. mom, again

    I was making hummos once, & the page in the book flipped over while I wasn’t looking, to the falafel recipe. too late I realized I’d made something intended as a raw dip, but now containing uncooked egg. too pureed & watery to fry, & inedible raw. I added more chickpeas (luckily we had extra cans) but then needed to add more seasoning. I ended up with so much falafel like stuff in the freezer, I eventually tossed them in the garbage.

    sigh. bookmarks are good.

  28. Karate Mom

    OK, I just have to say that I think that “falafel” is quite possibly the funniest word in the English language. Although, to be technical, I guess maybe it isn’t English? It’s…ummm…another language?
    Regardless, it’s a funny word.

  29. Brigitte

    Wow, I thought I was sheltered, but I’ve been falafel-ing and hummus-ing since the 70s. Then again, that’s only because my mom was part of a bellydancing craze that was around then, so we got to enjoy all kinds of Greek and Middle-eastern food at the fairs, yum!

  30. Debra

    Okay. The suspense is killing me! What did you do with the chickpea paste?

  31. Katie in MA

    Mmmmm….funnel cakes. (Huh? What? Was there more?)

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