Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.
Bugs Bunny episodes provide many of the punch lines for the dialogue of my family’s domestic life.
If someone is telling a story and we get confused as to whom said person is talking about, they have "pronoun trouble." Good and bad hair days cause us to conjure the monster beauty shop -- “My stars, if an interesting monster can’t have an interesting hairdo then I don’t know what things are coning to!” General failures to follow through with commitments might be met with, “I paid my four bits to see the high’s divin’ act, and I’m a-gonna see the high diving act -- and that high divin’ acts gonna be you.” (Yes, we seem to have condensed the line along life’s highway, as happens to so many of Hollywood’s best lines.)
But our favorite, which we trot out at will conjures carrots: “Could you direct me to the shortest route to the Coachella valley and the big carrot festival therein?” Maybe it’s the California reference, maybe we love it because it’s simply funny or maybe it’s because my husband can’t get enough of carrots.
I hope the carrots are looking good wherever you live this year; in Washington it has been hit or miss so far, but I know at some point I will be making "It's Maaaaa-gic!" Moroccan Carrots which is also inspired by the Bugs. This recipe is so delicious and simple, even worthy of a casual dinner party, that I can’t believe I haven’t written about it before. (However, I greet each day with reoccurring amazement that I am the only person in this house apparently blessed with capability to do a load of laundry, so I guess shock is relative.)
What you are doing is cutting, simmering, adding some more stuff and simmering some more. You can’t really overcook this if you keep your heat low and it is great for making a bit ahead as it is lovely at room temperature. I have doubled this often for guests.
You will see that wssmom wants you to use “skinny carrots” but the real key is to use nice delicious carrots of any size, cut into uniform pieces. Please watch your spices and garlic carefully as you heat them -- burning will ruin the dish. When you combine said spices, slightly cooked carrots and tomatoes and chickpeas all together, you will need a bit of water (or if you prefer, stock) to keep it all together, but not much. Be sure to keep that heat low so if you leave it on a bit too long, no harm, no foul. If someone gets underfoot while you’re finishing this dish, just channel Bugs:
“Stop steaming up my tail!”
1 pound skinny carrots, scraped and cut into little cubes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon each: cinnamon, nutmeg, cumin, paprika (or aleppo pepper, thanks for the introduction, Sagegreen!), and caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
couple cloves of garlic, smashed
1 14.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained well
1 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes, juice and all
1 tablespoon honey or other sweetener
water, if needed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Photo by James Ransom