Lemony hummous

We allow Bert’s tummy to say no to more food if he’s full, but recently his tummy’s been on a power trip, losing all sense of justice and prorportion – today it’s said no to saying sorry, having a bath and switching off the TV.

Homemade hummous can be a bit sticky and heavy. Adding a bit of water gets the lighter, whippier texture that the shop-bought stuff has. But still Bert’s tummy said no. Mine said yes.

Served me

1 tin chickpeas, drained

1 clove garlic, peeled

Juice of half a lemon, finely grated zest of half a lemon 

3 tablespoons olive oil


Splash of water from the tap

Put everything except the water into a blender and blend till smooth. Then add a splash of water and blend again till smooth and whippy, adding a little more if necessary.


Chickpea and tomato macaroni


Bert breakfasted as a fireman, shopped as an astronaut and dined as a builder.

If I’d ever wondered what it was like to be famous, walking down a shopping street with a tiny astronaut would have given me a clue. Nearly everyone stared, smiled or stopped to talk. Bert was muttering to himself under his helmet ‘look me! I spaceman!’ 

Not every man can carry off a silver jump suit.

Serves 2-3

1 small onion, chopped

A little olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 sticks celery, chopped

400ml passata

1 x 380g can chickpeas

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons single cream

Macaroni to appetite

This is based on a Nigel Slater recipe but I rarely make a tomato sauce without adding extra veg. I had mine with green salad (Bert mimed being sick) and we both had grated cheese on top.

Gently sauté the onion in a little olive oil. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and cook till the onion’s transparent, then tip in the passata (or tinned tomatoes, if you prefer). Bring to a fast simmer then turn right down and cook on a gentle heat for an hour to an hour and a half.

At the end of the cooking time put the pasta on to boil. Puree the sauce and add the drained chickpeas and cream, seasoning to your taste. Heat through for five minutes then stir through the drained pasta.

If you don’t have a blender, you could finely chop the onion, crush the garlic and grate the veg.

Serve with grated cheese and green leaves (bleurgh).



Red pepper humous


No idea whether Bert will eat this since it doesn’t look like a banana or a bowl of shreddies (what will his excuse be when that final molar peeks through?), but hey, this is me and Bert and I liked it. And Bert – it’s the sort of thing that toddlers whose mothers post their meals on Instagram eat all the time, okay?

1 red pepper

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 peeled clove garlic

2 tablespoons peanut butter

3 tablespoons lemon juice

30 ml olive oil

Sea salt

Put the pepper directly on to the hob or Aga hot plate and char till the skin is black and wrinkly. Put it straight into a sealed plastic bag. When it’s cool, peel the skin off, de-seed and put everything in a blender to puree. Add a little more lemon juice and oil if it seems too thick.

Bert was naked on his hands and knees with a hand towel last night after his bath, scrubbing away at a tiny spot of wee on the carpet. He’s either ready for potty training or terrified of me and my Victorian workhouse regime.