On the road we traveled from a burgeoning summer where trees are laden with newborn and glossy leaves into a trailing winter of stale grey skies that are beautiful only in the fresh dew of morning when the ceiling is pearlescent with dawn. As the pavement grows steep along highways blasted into the sides of slumbering mountains, the wind becomes frigid and tossed with snow only to still suddenly on the other side Rockies where the trees thin and the Prairies unroll before us. It is like driving through a snow globe, the sky is a massive dome of the palest blue and no hills or urban heights scar the horizon.
The mission was to pick up my best friend’s brother from university in Edmonton but who could pass up the opportunity to turn it into a best friend’s road trip? Especially when road trips have always held a mystical, gypsy-like enchantment for me. Long before reading, On The Road or seeing the advertisements for Free people or watched Stephen Fry in America, I have dreamed of rambling across countries in a gently heaving car that I prefer to think of as vintage rather than just plain old. You stop at roadside fruit stands and gorge yourself on fresh, pulpy stone fruits at local orchards. Time means something different on the road and you stop at odd times to indulge at a popular BBQ shack or throw on your only serviceable dress to dine at that restaurant you’ve read about, lusted over, for years ( *cough cough* French Laundry).
My week long road trip involved some of those things, but mostly it was just a lot of driving, some terrible grocery store bought sandwiches and not a lot of sleep. Doesn’t matter. There were country bars and fields of gracefully complacent cows, oddly moving tableau’s of rusted farm equipment in overgrown fields and hump backed mountains furred with all kinds of green. There was my best friend and her amazing hipster younger brother. It was one of the happiest weeks I have ever spent in my life and we had enough homemade snacks to temper the effect of the infrequent bad food.
These sumac roasted chickpeas were a lifesaver when we were suddenly peckish at strange hours or in the middle of a four hour stretch of nothingness and I’ve already made another batch to have on hand now that I am at home. They are crunchy, salty goodness that replace the traditional chips (which you inevitably lust over at every gas station you stop in) and they are ridiculously easy to make. We also had chocolate cashew milk to wash them down, and I’ll post that recipe in a few days for you guys to try!
- 1 large can chickpeas (or two small cans; approx. 3 cups)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sumac
- 1 teaspoon za'atar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Drain the canned chickpeas in a strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and add to a dry bowl with the remaining ingredients. Toss or stir gently until well coated and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until crispy and golden.