How your falafels should NOT look

Have you ever heard people complain about how the news is always so negative? Or perhaps you yourself have lamented the depressing nature of the news? One of the things that I think all of my fellow post-grad journo students knew before being taught it in our course is that bad news sells. Death, destruction, despair, grief, loss. Stories with these elements create strong reactions in people; much stronger, I believe, than reading about someone else’s triumphs.

On Monday night us lucky magazine journalism students had the pleasure of hearing a talk by Kirsten Matthew, editor of Urbis magazine and blogger at Kiwi. Apple. Kiwi. In her talk she mentioned that going by her blog stats, she found that people liked hearing more about her disasters than successes. I found this highly unsurprising.

I’m still undecided about whether that would be the same case with my blog or not, even though I do see the entertainment value for my followers and readers in displaying my cooking failures. Everyone has flaws and I can imagine it getting a bit boring after a while just reading about the good stuff all the time.

But, I also think people follow food blogs because they want to learn from others and to, whether secretly or not, indulge in some food porn now and then. I have to admit that I don’t read every single post that I see from those blogs that I do follow and many times I “like” posts purely because of the photos. I also think that’s the case with many other bloggers.

As you would know if you read one of my previous posts I love falafels and will choose it over any meat dish if I know the place I’m at does them really well. So, I thought, why not make my own? I didn’t actually save the recipe I followed (oops)  but this one looks pretty good and close to the ingredients I used.

Everything went really well up until the frying part. For whatever the reason (oil too hot, fried for too long), the poor falafels turned out like, well, mini cow patties:

Photo: Tao Lin

Photo: Tao Lin

You can’t tell me that those aren’t some super hideous, smirk-inducing falafels.

The outsides were bordering on rock-hard but the insides were still slightly underdone. The taste was, however, very pleasant, although that wasn’t quite enough to detract from the fact that they looked ugly as hell.

Does the concept of bad news sells apply to food blogging too? We shall see after this!

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Hummus, hummous, humos, hommus, hoummos

Whichever way you spell it, hummus tastes damn good and I can’t believe how simple it is to make. You’ll probably either laugh or roll your eyes when I say that the main reason I hadn’t made my own hummus until now is because I wasn’t sure whether the food processor at home worked or not. I remember trying it out once a while ago but it didn’t turn on so I thought it was broken. I probably didn’t turn it on properly because it worked like a noisy wonder yesterday.

There are so many different hummus recipes out there on the interwebs but I chose this one mainly because of the pictures and also the dedication they’ve put into getting the hummus nice and smooth. I’ve never really had “fancy” hummus (spinach-garlic-edamame hummus!) so I guess I wanted to stick with something more simple, too.

There isn’t really anything else I can think of to comment about making hummus except that it’s dead easy. I guess the hardest part is cleaning the food processor afterwards but I managed to weasel my way out of that one with the help of my boyfriend 😛

Blend tahini and lemon juice first. Photo: Tao Lin

Blend tahini and lemon juice first. Photo: Tao Lin

Add cumin, kosher salt, garlic. Photo: Tao Lin

Add cumin, kosher salt, garlic. Photo: Tao Lin

Chickpeas in and blend it all up. Photo: Tao Lin

Chickpeas in and blend it all up. Photo: Tao Lin

My not-very-pretty attempt serving up of hummus drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika. Photo: Tao Lin

My not-very-pretty attempt serving up of hummus drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with paprika. Photo: Tao Lin

Also, this:

Photo: Tao Lin

Photo: Tao Lin

…is delicious!!! I know it’s very high in sugar and probably not that good for you but it’s really one of the tastiest drinks I’ve had. Just need a Turkish tea set now 😀