Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Celebrate Emily Dickinson's Birthday with a Hummus Appetizer

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was a reclusive American poet. Unrecognized in her own time, Dickinson is known posthumously for her unusual use of form and syntax.
She was born December 10, 1830 in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties. She lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. After she studied at the Amherst Academy for seven years in her youth, she spent a short time at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her family's house in Amherst. Thought of as an eccentric by the locals, she became known for her penchant for white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests or, later in life, even leave her room. Most of her friendships were therefore carried out by correspondence. There, she filled notebooks with poetry and wrote hundreds of letters. 
After her death,May 15, 1886, her younger sister was tasked with organizing and destroying Emily’s letters. She carried out this task and in doing so discovered seventeen hundred of Emily’s poems, which were subsequently organized and published with the help of Emily’s longtime friend Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Dickinson is now considered one of the towering figures of American literature.

Despite the somber tone of this lyrical poem there is great imagery. The poem personifies Death as a gentleman caller who takes a leisurely carriage ride with the poet to her grave. She also personifies immortality.
Because I Could Not Stop For Death 
by Emily Dickinson
Because I could not stop for Death –

He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed Us –
The Dews drew quivering and Chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – 'tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses' Heads
Were toward Eternity –

Hummus Cups

Cook's notes: A quick holiday appetizer to put together.  Puff pastry sheets can be substituted for Crescent Dough Sheets.  Cook puff pastry appetizers at 400 degrees rather than 375 degrees using crescent dough sheets.
recipe from
  • 1 package (8 oz.) Crescent Seamless Dough Sheet (Pillsbury)
  • 1 container (10 oz.) hummus (try roasted red pepper hummus)
  • 1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 11 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Roll out the seamless dough sheet on a lightly floured surface. Using a 2″ round cookie cutter, cut out 20-21 circles of dough.
  • Line each ungreased mini-muffin cups pan with a circle of dough. Press the dough against the sides and bottoms of the cups. 

  • Using a fork, prick dough on the bottom and sides of each cup.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and remove from oven. The crescents will probably be puffy, so while the dough is still hot, press a spoon against the sides of the crescents to flatten them into a mini bowl.
  • Once cooled, remove cups from the tins and add a heaping teaspoon of hummus into each cup and top with cucumber slices and a tomato half. Sprinkle with salt.

Hummus or houmous is a Levantine food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic.
Huffington Post ran an article on 10 Top Reasons Why We Should All Be Eating More Hummus. Check out the article  at

1 comment:

  1. I printed off that Emily Dickinson quote to hang by my desk. Thank you for sharing this.

    Hummus is something I only discovered within the past year and I love it. Are those small muffin tins or regular-sized?


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