Long ago I was a weird middle school kid who shunned chicken rings and ate hummus. Flash forward over a decade- 14 years, in fact- and I am the same kid I was in 1998, still wondering what chicken rings are and still making my own hummus. Only this time, I don’t have to get my mom to take me to the 14 Carrot for “tahini” and I have a shiny new Cuisinart food processor (thanks mom- see, she still contributes to my hummus in one way or another even though she nor my dad will try it!) and tahini doesn’t need quotation marks as though it’s not real. Plus, I can drive my married, home-owning, adult self to the store to buy it with my hard-earned adult money these days.

My first hummus recipe was courtesy of my dad’s friends from high school who inspired me to stop eating meat and who we still go visit at least once a year. It was a scrap of paper I had with me at least until I moved out of my parent’s house in 2006 that stayed on the fridge with a magnet. And I had my very own little two cup food processor that Santa brought me for Christmas one year to make it in. Though I now loosely base my hummus recipe on the one that Angela at Oh She Glows calls the Hummus That Changed Everything and I have a much more powerful motor pulverizing my chickpeas into a spreadable delight my main source of daily protein.

Nowaways most everyone has tried hummus, it’s widely available in stores and restaurants, and even at Starbucks. It comes in a wide array of varieties, from pizza hummus to edamame hummus. If I was in high school these days people wouldn’t wonder what I was eating, though people in my office like to ask what kind I am dipping my carrots, broccoli and Triscuits into.

Why am I going on and on for at current count, 328 words about hummus? Because I can. And because I was going to make some hummus last night, but instead I will tonight. And because I like recounting how glad I am that “exotic” foods and a focus on healthier lifestyles are mainstream enough to be found in the Piggly Wiggly on the corner. And because I am even more glad I’m not in middle school anymore. I surely didn’t make that experience any easier on myself just by being who I was, but here I am now, a proud escapee of the public school system, who is still rooted in that same weirdness that was just a little seedling from 14 years ago who still makes her own hummus.