The Charlie Browniest

Let me start by saying I hate Charlie Brown.

I don’t understand the appeal.

Everything about him is depressing.

The way he talks, the way he walks, the way he broods over America’s dwindling values.

And the rest of the peanuts cast of characters?

They’re just mean.

They’re bullies, really.

Mostly, I can’t stand Lucy and her 5 cent therapy.

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO COMPETE WITH THAT?!?!

My boss would be so mad if I charged 5 cents for therapy sessions.

My point is I’ve been feeling a little Charlie Brownish lately.

It happens every January.

I get all brooding and contemplative and want to hold demonstrations about the evils of commercialism.

I knew things were bad when I didn’t feel like cooking.

It turns out cooking was exactly the therapy I needed though.

But instead of something heavy, I needed something bright to lift me out of this post Christmas funk.

The best part is it requires very little time or preparation. If you don’t have a food processor or a blender, just give the beans a good mashing with a fork.

Lemony Artichoke White Bean Spread

1 (16 oz) can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped.

salt and pepper, to taste

Add beans, garlic and lemon juice to blender of food processor.

Process until smooth, but still has some texture.

Transfer to a medium sized bowl.

Fold in chopped artichoke.

Season to taste.

Serve with pita chips, vegetables, on top of salads or spread on a sandwich.

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