Why I’m Thankful for Benigna

November 16, 2012

1. I’m thankful for Benigna because Benigna is an artist.

2. Because Benigna has known my husband since he was a little boy.

Tommy, Benigna and Sue in Benigna’s studio.

3. Because the train runs so close to Benigna’s house you can feel the whole place rumble like a kettledrum.

4. Because her beauty is timeless.

5. Because Benigna pronounces her name in a way that makes pronouncing it easier for everyone else.

6. Because Benigna’s grand old Hudson Valley home is filled with mysteries and delights around every corner.

Because Benigna’s cat, like everything in her house, has an old soul.

7. Because Benigna wears sweaters on her legs and calls them pants.

8. Because she once invited all of her dentists over for dinner so they could get to know each other.

9. Because Benigna makes the best hummus ever and always brings a batch wherever she goes.

10. Because when Benigna offers you tea, she opens an entire cupboard full of choices.

Because when your walls are bare, she brings you a painting.

If you ask for tea, she will offer you an entire cupboard.

The epicenter of Benigna’s enormous house is her old cast iron stove and trusty wok.

11. I’m thankful for Benigna because despite barely heating it, her house is always a warm place.

The Crudités wait patiently for Benigna’s hummus.


1. Soak a big bag of chickpeas overnight.

2. Drain, rinse.

3. Cook with plenty of water until soft.

4. Put chickpeas into blender

5. Add garlic (2 to 3 cloves), cold press virgin olive oil, lemon juice – about 2 tablespoons

6. Add 1 spoon of Tahini (What kind of spoon? Not sure. She never said…channel you’re inner-Benigna!)

7. Blend, keep adding olive oil slowly. Bring to The Muddy Kitchen.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

jennifer ziegler

I want to be Benigna! What an absolutely wonderful person! I can feel her influence on you from across the internet! Jen you are lucky to have such an example! I remember my first grown up friend when I was a very young mother…Her name was Carol. She raised 3 roping, cowboy-in, footbally playin’ boys boys! She knitted beautiful sweaters, cooked amazing things from scratch, and let some grey show through in her hair. We would sit in her living room, in front of a wood-burning stove and have wine. Her home was a constant source of inspiration to me, and I wanted to look in every nook and cranny when she wasn’t looking! I think I patterned my life off what Carol is! I think Carol and Benigna are ROCKSTARS! Omgaaaah! Thanks for sharing!



now i love her too


Jennifer Solow

Your comments make it through, KJ. You get my replies? Still figuring out this new blog-thang. xx


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