My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ABC Wednesday: Petite Pupils & Pumpkin Hummus

Before launching into the lighthearted part of this post, composed last week, I'd like to begin by saying our thoughts, prayers, sympathy and concern are with everyone who endured and is now dealing with the daunting aftermath of Sandy. The scenes of loss and devastation on television and the internet are painful and incomprehensible, not just in the US but in the Caribbean as well; I can't begin to imagine experiencing it in person. May everyone affected, human and non-human, find comfort, strength, support and healing in the weeks to come.

Here are some ways to help the people and critters suffering in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. And here are some ways to help heal the earth and reduce global warming.

However much concerned I was
at the problem of misery in the world,
I never let myself get lost in broodings over it.
I always held firmly to the thought that each one of us
can do a little to bring some portion of it to an end.
Dr. Albert Schweitzer



And happy ABC Wednesday! How perfect that it falls during P week, as I predict a probable plethora of pumpkin posts from participants, and mine is no peculiar exception. Although perhaps the pumpkins here are particularly petite ~ in keeping with the pint-sized pupils and surroundings... 

A pupil, possibly named Paul, passes up playing with his pals 
to carve a perky jack o'lantern for the Halloween party :-)

~Click on any photo to enlarge~

... because my pumpkins are placed in a miniature one-room schoolhouse, produced more than 30 years ago by my mom and presented to me last year because I always preferred it (and periodically pestered her for it!)...

The perceptive will perceive that the publications to the left
are eerie, predictably including the petrifying prose of Poe!

Note the barrel of apples in preparation for bobbing,
and the black cat posing by the pot-bellied stove.
(Mom and I made the peewee paper chains!)

Let's peer in for a closer peek...

Mom often placed a girl in her miniature scenes to portray me.
I'm puzzled why this plastic girl has red paint on her face, 
but it makes her look like she's got a bloody nose ~ 
pertinent since I suffered from them persistently as a child, 
plus it does add a pinch of creepy ambiance!

I particularly love the wee plaid thermos on the desk, 
and the Autumn scene behind the window panes.
I presume the plump lad in the pumpkin costume
is pleading with his professor for a postponement 
of that upcoming book report due date!
(Perhaps he's planning to pen his report on Poe's 

If you'd like to see more of my mom's miniature collection,
please visit these posts from the past:

Last week I came upon this recipe for pumpkin hummus and prepared it with a change or two. It was such a popular palate pleaser that by Saturday I'd made my third batch of it, so others could partake of it at a neighbor's Halloween party...

Pumpkin hummus plated with organic blue corn chips

Pumpkin Hummus
This is great with pita triangles or fresh veggies for dipping. For a pretty Halloween palette, serve with baby carrots or organic blue corn chips.

- 15 ounce can of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), drained
- 2 cloves of raw garlic
- 1/2 cup of pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- juice of one lemon (3-4 TBSP)
- 2 TBSP tahini (I use salt-free organic tahini made with dry roasted sesame seeds)
- 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- water (if needed) for consistency
- 1/2 -1 teaspoon salt (to taste, if desired)


1. Put all of your ingredients except the pumpkin seeds into a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
2. Transfer to a glass bowl with a lid and chill until you’re ready to serve. Top with the pumpkin seeds just before serving, if desired.
Notes: When using salt-free garbanzo beans and salt-free tahini, I add between 1/2 and 1 tsp of sea salt to the mixture. I drain the garbanzo beans first but don't rinse them (if you use a salt-added variety I'd drain and rinse them), and I usually add about 1 TBSP of water to the mixture as I process it for a smoother consistency.

(I buy whole cumin seeds (as well as other spices) and grind them in a coffee grinder as needed. The cumin is fresher, smells wonderful, and is less expensive that way!) 

I also found this yummy-looking recipe for Dreena Burton's cleverly named Pumpkincredible Hummus yesterday, and plan to try it next!

UPDATE: I made this pumpkin hummus version yesterday, and it's delicious!

If you'd like the pleasure of partaking of more posts 
paying homage to the prestigious letter P,
(and quite probably to plenty of pumpkins),
please pay a visit to this week's

And enjoy a pleasantly spooky and very...


  1. What a marvelous post ~ Pumpkin hummus sounds delish ~ I copied the recipe ~ Hope that is okay ~ Happy Halloween ~ (A Creative Harbor)

  2. ArtMuseDog & Carol ~ Absolutely, that's what it's there for! :-) Enjoy! (And I'm glad you enjoyed the post!) Happy Halloween!

  3. What a delightful ABC Wed. post!! Your mineature house is so cute and all the little halloween decorations wonderful. The graphics are so cute too. Thanks for your visit.

  4. Agreed, a wonderfully fun POST! Appropriate, too!
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  5. Ordinary Words....Lots of Ps, your recipe looks yummy♫♪

  6. Wow I've never seen so many P's and tiny pumpkins! Thanks for sharing your hummus pumpkin dip:)

  7. What a neat tableau, perfect seasonal post. Glad to hear you still have pester power.
    Joy - ABC Team

  8. Your PumPkin Hummus looks fantastic! Mayhaps I will stir some up ;-). The miniature schoolhouse is Perfect...almost lifelike.

  9. So many pumpkins. The red nose makes the doll attractive!I am planning to try your recipe.

  10. Mmmmm PumPkin Hummus. I love PumPkin and hummus too, so this is a reciPe I will have to try.
    We don't celebrate Halloween, but looking at all these Perfect Pumpkins and the incredible miniature, I begin to see what we missed out. Not that you need me to tell you - but congratulations on a Perfect Post.

  11. I'm a big fan of homemade hummus so will have to try this recipe!

  12. I'm NOT Perplexed that the comment count is high on the Post! It's fantastic.

    First I appreciate your kind thoughts and suggestions about those suffering because of Sandy. It helps all of us keep things in Perspective.

    Of course I had to look at an enlargement of the photo - there's so much to see. I would never have noticed the cat had you not mentioned it. One of my favorite things is that teeny pencil sharpener on the desk. And I'm so glad you pointed out the paper chain - I can't believe you made that. It seems impossible to have been done by hand!

    I love the little ghosts hanging from the ceiling and the skeleton hanging on the blackboard is so much fun! The details down to the decorated bulletin board is amazing. I'm so Pleased for you that you have this miniature from your mom given that this is your FAVORITE season.

    The scale and detail is so good that in your closeup photos, it's easy to forget that it's a miniature!

    Great Post!!!!

  13. Very funny and beautiful pictures of miniatures Haloween

  14. Thanks for the humorous Post!

    P is for Project
    Rose, ABC Wednesday Team

  15. thank you for the recipe. I already have all the ingredients on hand!
    your mom's tiny town is so precious!

  16. I saw that same recipe too, and wanted to try it! I must get my act together and buy a pumpkin...the other recipe looks yummy too! It sounds perfect for Halloween and autumn.

    I love your mom's mini scenes; I can't imagine how she could find so many tiny things to put in them, and with such detail

    Pumpkin carving Paul kind of looks like Frankenstein.

  17. I find it amazing that you and you rmother made such intricate Halloween chains for the school room. Your mother had a real talent in putting this and the other themes together. And you are lucky that you get to benefit now from her work. -- barbara

  18. Fabulous P post - you've outdone yourself! Your Mum is a genius for creating those great miniatures - although like you I do find the bloodied girl rather terrifing. Shame you don't have a tiny black and white cat in there holding a knife in his paw :O)

    I have made a note of the recipe for the houmous and plan on making it asap. When you say half a cup of pumpkin do you mean ready cooked pumpkin? We don't have exotic ingredients like tinned pumpkin over here, so I'm presuming I'll have to make the effort and roast it first :O) Did you know when I was a child we didn't have pumpkins in this country? We used to hollow out turnips or swedes at Halloween, pumpkins were just unheard of. I sound like an aged crone don't I? I blame the cats...

  19. Everyone ~ Thanks, as always, for your visits and comments! I passed along to my mom how much everyone enjoyed her mini school room (it's so appropriate that our study, where the school room is, faces an elementary school!) and she was very pleased! And I was tickled to find so many fellow hummus fans among you - hope you enjoyed the pumpkin hummus, and do try the Pumpkincredible Hummus by Dreena Burton as well ~ it's got more and different ingredients, makes a bigger batch, and is wonderful!

    Jo and Barbara ~ The mini paper chain is made of quilling paper, wrapped around toothpicks and then glued. We made many of these, as we also made them for various miniature Christmas trees! It was fun. And Jo, nice work using some great P words in your comment! :-) (You'll get to see this room in person when you come visit, maybe you'll notice even more details then!)

    Barbara (UK) ~ Good grief, are some people never satisfied? There is an all-black cat, at least, and if I enter the room suddenly, I sometimes catch him playing with the pumpkin-carving knife! ;-)

    What do you mean, you don't have "exotic" ingredients like canned pumpkin over there? You do so! But, you may also use freshly-cooked pumpkin, and in fact that's what was recommended in the original recipe. I hope you enjoy it! Both versions are becoming staple food items around Chez Laloofah! :-)

  20. But I'd have to ORDER it and WAIT for it as well as paying postage on it, what am I meant to eat in the mean time? I want to be able to walk into Tesco or Sainsburys and just chuck it into my basket! I think you lot are very mean withholding it from the UK, sniff sniff...

  21. Barbara (in pumpkin deprived UK) ~ Apparently you're not alone! I'd send you a canned pumpkin Care Package if I could, honest!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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