When Life Hands You Lemons

Lately, my lemon tree has been full. I have plenty of lemons. Life has given me lots of lemons.

I mean this both literally and figuratively.

Figuratively, and I have talked about this before, the job situation is getting a little out of hand. Usually, my job is temporary, and I am used to that. Like I said, I am similar to a freelancer. I work several months of of the year, and during that time, I have to save up for the dry months. However, generally there is a good mix of "wet" and "dry" months, and so I can not only make ends meet pretty easily, but I also keep from going completely crazy with boredom or a lack of productivity.

Right now, I am in a drought. I am California;  I need rain or my crops are going to die.

Luckily, this means I have free time to do what I have always wanted to do. I can learn French; I can knit a sweater; I can go see the Grand Canyon. However, this also means I need to keep saving up, because who knows when that rainy day will come. So I am improvising. The local library has a Spanish conversation class once a month in the evenings. I signed up. I have a long list of books on my To Read list. I am getting to know my neighborhood and the surrounding running trails. I am cooking. I love to cook and often don't make time for it. I am spending time with friends and family. It's good, in a way.

I ALSO actually have a lemon tree. And it has a boatload of lemons. I could make lemonade, but instead, I make hummus!! Have you ever made your own hummus? It's so easy!

1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/4 - 1/2 cup bean water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 - 4 lemons, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp tahini
salt to taste

In food processor, mix all ingredients and blend until smooth. You want the hummus to be a little bit on the thinner side, as it will thicken a little in the fridge once everything melds together. Start off with the oil and lemon juice, then add 1/4 cup water and see how it looks/tastes before adding the other 1/4 cup of water. When I say bean water, I mean the juice in the can, or if you cook your beans from dry, whatever water is in the cook pot.

Note, if you don't have tahini, it will still taste good, but I do like it better with the tahini. You should be able to find it at Trader Joes, or Whole Foods, although I bought mine at Safeway.

So, I am off to use my lemons of life! Any suggestions, literally or figuratively?

Have you ever made your own hummus? Have you ever been in a life drought and not known when the rains would come?


  1. Hope the rains come soon for you! My husband is self employed and it is a little dry here too :(

    I have never made hummus, but I bought some garbanzo beans a couple months ago with that intention!

  2. I hope you find a job soon! I can imagine how stressful that is. :/ I think the only drought I've experienced is a dating drought! Which I am in the midst of now as I have not been on a date in like 6 months. Which is fine because w/ the CFA, I have zero interest in dating... And even after the CFA, I don't know if I will even care then because I am basically just tired of the dating scene!

    I am envious of your lemon tree. I love lemons in my water! Maybe you could find a lemon sorbet type of recipe? I think that would be good and refreshing? And I love homemade lemonade! My friend in AZ has a lemon tree and her husband makes the best lemonade!

  3. I hope the rain starts for you soon!!! My Dad was self employed and we have certainly had those times of drought. We pulled closer as a family and made it through. You will too!!

    I've never made hummus but it looks so yummy!!

  4. I have made my own hummos, and it's delish! And I've been in your drought before too. It will all work out in the long run.

    Right now, my drought is in Real Estate. I need to dump some of these houses. Actually, all of these houses. I've got to get rid of the rental properties first, but we can't afford the house we live in without the rental properties income. So the rains need to come cause a flood wave.

  5. Wow this hummus looks amazing! The way we go through it in my house, I should definitely try to make it rather than buy it. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. My sister actually just sent me a lemon recipe. I haven't tried it yet but she said it was amazing so I thought I'd pass it along. http://rita-may-recipes.blogspot.com/2011/08/lemon-brownies.html

    I've love hummus but never tried to make it myself. I just got a food processor so this is on my list of things to try.

    Maybe this drought is exactly what you need. Like you said, it allows you to have time to do things you really want to and some rain will come along soon for sure.

  7. So sorry for the drought. I will respond to your email later today. I'm sure one of the 'down south' programs you mentioned is the one I'm in... come join me :-)

    I did make hummus for the first time last week. It was awesome. I want to make some with artichokes next.

  8. I have never made hummus....I have often been in life drought - I just tell myself sometimes you have to fake it until you get out of the drought.

  9. Sounds like you are staying optimistic and making the best of your situation, hope you get rained on soon! I love humus it is a staple in my house and I like making different versions of it, like adding green chile or chipotle powder or cilantro...

  10. I love making hummus. I usually double the garlic, though, so the vampires will stay away. :)

    It sounds like you are making good use of your time of drought to focus on and do other things. The Spanish conversation class sounds like a lot of fun, and I wish I had more time for cooking. That said, I hope you get some rain here before too long!

  11. It sounds like you are staying pretty positive! I hope you get some "rain" soon though, that would be hard!

    I LOVE hummus and making my own hummus but I often get lazy and just buy it. Haha

  12. I would love to have a lemon tree in my yard! And hummus is a great way to use them.

    I'm glad you can see that it's only a temporary dry spell--surely the rains will come soon!

  13. I think it takes a lot of discipline to be able to work for a bunch of works, not work for months, work again and so on. I'm far to Type A for that to really work for me, but give you a lot of credit for taking advantage of the free time you do have without totally freaking out.

    I have a number of friends who make hummus, so I've eaten homemade hummus before. Does that count? =)

  14. I love the amount of lemon juice you use in your hummus... I'll have to try adding more. Yum! Sorry to hear that you're in a dry spell. It's tough to be waiting for the next thing. It definitely sounds like you're making the best of it, and getting involved with lots of things, rather than moping around (like I could see myself doing!) Hang in there!

  15. I always make my own hummus, the prices for it in the market are ridiculously high.
    You have the right idea about saving for a rainy day and using your free time wisely.

  16. I love hummus and just recently found a great recipe that with a little tweaking is quite tasty. I'll have to try adding more lemon juice next time.

  17. My grandmother's parents were from Syria. We joke that we were eating hummus before hummus was cool :-) I've made it from the family recipe. She also had a lemon tree ... I wish that we had the right climate to have one as well. I would almost move back to Arizona just to have one!

  18. I love hummus. It's one of my favorite things.

    I hope the rainy season comes soon. I am sure that not knowing must be so frustrating.


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!