I come from a talkative and political family, a family who discussed lots of different stuff at the table over dinner. I was the youngest child, but was still included, encouraged to have my say.
I remember that we yakked about all sorts of things from what happened at school to when we were going shopping for new socks to why we had to take polio vaccinations to whether the government should put fluoride in the drinking water.
On the drive back from college one year my parents, brother and I discussed the merits of Medicare.
On that same trip — during the 1960s — we drove through Tennessee to visit my father’s sister and we were all aghast at the signs in the restaurants saying “we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” We knew what that meant and found it horrifying.
It prompted a family discussion about civil rights.
We were a lively bunch and, thinking back, a thinking bunch too. We actually cared about issues and people and what kind of country we were living in.
My parents and brothers always talked about the importance of voting. Not just because we were people who were passionate about issues, but because it is so important to exercise a right that so many people don’t have. And to voice your opinion.
Every vote counts. My one vote among the millions makes a difference. To the total tally and also to me, because if my candidates win I can feel proud to be part of the victory. And if they lose, well, it won’t be because of me.
Please vote everyone. You are too important not to.
I will be hosting an election night get-together, something I do every four years. My guests are friends and family who feel the commitment to vote as strongly as I do (including one of my brothers).
We’ll be having sandwiches (smoked fish, cream cheese, bagels) for dinner so we can eat in the family room and watch TV for hours.
But we’ll start with a few hors d’oeuvre. Including hummus.
I like zatar, the Middle Eastern spice blend, so I’ll make this easy hummus recipe and sprinkle the seasoning on top.
There will be popcorn for sure and leftover Halloween candy.
Plus a pie.
It’s always a comfort to share this evening with other people. I recommend it highly.
HUMMUS WITH ZATAR
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 15-ounce can chickpeas
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Toast the pine nuts until lightly browned. Set aside. Drain the chickpeas but reserve the liquid. Place the chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin, parsley and pine nuts in a food processor. Add 4 tablespoons to 2/3 cup reserved bean liquid, depending on desired texture (start with the minimum). Process until blended to the desired texture. Place the hummus in a serving dish. Sprinkle with zatar. Serve with cut up pita wedges or pita chips.
Makes 1-1/2 cups