On eating alone, or a case for orange food

I've pulled some impressive magic tricks in my day. If you place an open container of hummus in front of me, I will make it disappear.

I've eaten my weight in hummus this week, having made it my dinner -- with seed crackers and broccoli -- the past two nights. This is what happens to single people. I am perfectly capable of tying my own apron strings, brining and roasting chickens, braising cabbage rolls, boiling lentils, and baking potatoes, but with no one to cook for, sometimes -- happily (!) -- dinner is hummus. Which, in my defense, is better than a half pint of ice cream. I leave that sort of indulgent behaviour to humid summer days when even glancing at my oven makes me want to throw myself at my freezer. My oven and I have a bit of an open relationship from June until September; it seems to work for us.

There was that one New Year's Eve when I ate flourless chocolate cake for dinner accompanied by a French 75. This is not a good combination. I'm not advising you mix the two. But I wanted one of each and so one of each appeared. Or that time last winter when I split a slice of chocolate cake with a friend over an espresso. That also became dinner.

I highly recommend ice cream for dinner, by the way.

Eventually I find my way back to civilization. It helps that I'm fond of vegetables in that must-hit-the-market-weekly kind of way. I cooked up a pot of vegetarian chili last night while throwing myself an impromptu dance party. And this morning I woke up sans alarm to the sun, bright and cheery. I made myself some oatmeal with some old carrots I had on hand as the coffee brewed. I put on Billie Holliday. I finished a book. It was a remarkably productive morning.

I was almost late to my 9 o'clock meeting.

You didn't need to know that.

But my shirt was ironed and buttoned correctly. I slapped on a pair of polished black pumps. I wore lipstick, people. I tried my hand at that whole be charming business.

And the oatmeal was delicious. You don't need charm when you've got the chops, folks. Or a terrible case of cocky.

You toss some grated carrot in with some milk. (I don't know about you, but I usually end up with a surplus of carrots this time of year. I always think I'm down to my last two. This never happens and I never learn.) As for the milk, I use Silk light vanilla soy milk because I appreciate their (seemingly) transparent practices and traceability. You can use whatever you have on hand -- cow's milk, almond, whatever. You heat it until the carrots cook a little -- the timing will depend on how old your carrots are -- and then you add your rolled oats. You cook that. You throw in some warm spices -- ginger, cinnamon --and a splash of vanilla. You mix it around. You could add some nuts or seeds here if you like, but I just salt it well, and then I sit down to eat. It takes a bit of time, but it's worth it. Especially if it means you can sit around a little while longer listening to good music and enjoying your java.

And the hummus? We're on a bit of a hiatus. Until next time.

Carrot Cake Oatmeal

Adapted from Angela at Oh She Glows

Serves 1

1 carrot, finely grated (about 1 cup)
1 cup milk, or as needed
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 tsp ground ginger
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
Real maple syrup, to taste
Salt, to taste

Toss your grated carrot and milk in a pot and heat over medium-low. Cook for about 3 minutes, until the carrot has a chance to heat up. Add your oats and stir thoroughly. Continue stirring until the oats are almost fully cooked, about 4 minutes, adding additional milk if and as required. Add spices and vanilla. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup. Salt until the flavours come through clearly.


Kathleen Quiring said...

Ooh, your blog is so pretty! I haven't seen it since you changed it.

I never would have thought to grate carrots into my oatmeal, but it sounds great. Must try!

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