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
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.