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Open Flavor Friday: Hummus and Gyros

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Fantasy maps are hard to create, but there are now a plethora of resources for the writer, DM or creator.

VH1 Save The Music Foundation Musically Mastered Menu Series During Lolla With Chef Stephanie Izard And Zella Day Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for VH1 Save The Music Foundation

The Super Bowl is coming up and you already have guacamole, but you know not everyone enjoys those flavors. I strongly recommend making hummus as an alternative. As another spread-dip you can use the same delivery devices you do for your guac (chips, pita, etc).

Plus, it is incredibly simple. You merely need garbanzo beans, garlic, olive oil, tahini, salt and lemon juice. Yes, I’m serious. Get some acid into your hummus. It creates a more vibrant flavor. You could probably use some of the limes you have left from your guac endeavors.

Alton Brown’s recipe is a fine start.

Use it, play with it. Definitely add some cumin to it.

When I think back to making hummus the first time, reading instructions in Arabic and using a hand-blender in my barracks, I think about the simplicity of the base ingredients and process. You could use a masher rather than a blender with canned beans. The hardest thing to find is tahini, but most grocers in the Seattle area will have that over in an ethnic foods corner with the kosher items. Many bodegas carry halal and kosher foods too, so give your local a try.

That first vat of hummus, made to help learn Arabic, was my first exposure to traditional foods of the Near and Middle East.

It led to the discovery of the gyro. Locally I love the place over at The Landing in Renton; nothing too complicated. Since most of the gyro meat in the US comes from the same place, the primary differentiation comes from the sauces that they create and the freshness of the non-meat ingredients.

My favorite gyro experiences were a little cart on the boardwalk in Santa Cruz and this hole in the wall in Kuwait. That spot in Kuwait was like the dive bar version of gyros. They used hot dog buns instead of pita, the veggies where sprinkled on like a condiment and I fed an entire SF team for less than $10.


There are writers that are also great painters, drawers, etc. I am not one of those. This leads to my maps being awful. But now, through things like Patreon (soft plug for myself as I release more fiction into the world), writers can find people creating maps and sharing them with the world.

I’m a big fan of Dyson Logos and Two-Minute Tabletop.

I could use that Dolem’s Spire map for the city of Qin. It would work quite well.

Two-minute Table Top hasn’t released the full version of that market map yet, but when they do it may pop up when I need to think about a chase scene.

If you follow me on Twitter you will find other map and art sources as well.


What flavors intrigue you? What do you use to inspire your own creations?

This is your weekend off-topic open thread.