By Debby Mayne, author of the Bucklin Family Reunion series
There is nothing like a southern family reunion—especially if you’re related to the Bucklins. Salads, casseroles, desserts, breads, and more adorn the tables, while the guys stand around the grill or barbecue pit telling stories until the meat is well done. And of course there’s always a choice of sweet tea or ice-cold lemonade.
Some of the casseroles they serve may be super easy to prepare, others might be complex, and many of them are old family secrets. You might even find some of the recipes on the back of a jar or can of soup. But one thing you can count on is seeing the food displayed on pretty dishes and with plenty of garnish to make it beautiful.
Shay Henke, one of the characters from the Bucklin Family Reunion series, taught her twin cousins Sally and Sara how to make some of the best hummus ever. And they garnish it with plenty of green leafy lettuce and sliced tomatoes for color.
Bucklin Family Hummus Recipe
This is some of the best hummus you’ll ever lay your tongue on. Just make sure you have plenty of celery, carrots, and crackers to scoop it up. I’ve been known to eat it with a spoon, but shhh, don’t tell anyone. This is one of the easiest appetizers to make and only takes about 5 minutes from start to finish. But if you spend a little extra time on the garnish, it’ll look sophisticated and fancy.
- 2 15-oz. cans chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), drained
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- Juice from 1 medium lemon
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and diced
- 2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil (more if you like a thinner consistency)
- 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste (optional)
- 2 or 3 tablespoons water (optional)
- Hot sauce to taste (optional)
- Dash of paprika
- If you like super smooth hummus, you may peel the skin off the chickpeas, but it’s not necessary. I prefer the skin on.
- Combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper, and half of the chickpeas.
- Blend until smooth and scrape the inside of the food processor bowl.
- Add the remainder of the chickpeas and blend again.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl again. If you want a creamier consistency, add water until you get it just right.
- Scoop the mixture into a pretty serving bowl and sprinkle the paprika on top. If you like hot sauce, make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in as much as you like. Place the bowl on a platter and garnish with greens and tomatoes for color.
Debby Mayne is the author of more than 70 books and novellas, including High Cotton, Fit to Be Tied, and Out of Pocket from the Bucklin Family Reunion series. She grew up in a military family with southern parents who insisted on keeping her tied to her roots. If you’ve read Debby’s books, you’ve probably figured out that she loves home-cooked southern cuisine. Debby and her husband Wally have chased their adult young’uns all the way from Florida to North Carolina, where they currently reside.
Each book in the Family Reunion series is centered on preparation, attending, and cleaning up after a reunion that the Bucklins would never miss. The people in this family love God, each other, their country, their food, and of course the drama that you can count on at any of their gatherings. When you meet the Bucklins, you’ll find out that they love and laugh as much as they spit and feud, and they won’t let anyone outside the family come between them.