Moroccan Chickpea and Carrot Stew

…or, Back in the Saddle Again

Zephyr is now 8 weeks old, and I’m starting to get the hang of having him around. That said, cooking still takes me a bit of planning (unless I opt for yet another “pasta night” or “takeout night”). This is why I’ve decided to start doing what busy moms and dads have been doing for generations: the one-pot meal. Yes, I feel like a failure admitting it, but the one-pot meal is kind of a Thing.

Not just for cowboy camping anymore, a humble pot of beans (chickpeas, in this case) can be elevated to something you actually want to eat with the simple addition of a few choice ingredients. Carrots, shallots, garlic, homegrown heirloom tomatoes (that I canned during my nesting frenzy last fall), ginger, cumin and cardamom all combine easily with garbanzos to make a hearty, warming stew fit for a dark January Thursday.

I started mine early in the day and let it simmer over a low flame to thoroughly soften the dried chickpeas. The softly spicy scent of ginger, cumin and cardamom floated through the house all day, stimulating my postpartum appetite and filling me with a sense of Having Done Something.

Enjoy with warm, buttered flatbread and a chewy, raisiny garnacha.

*****

Unless you take it to its hallucinatory extreme, sleep deprivation is not great for creativity. Preparing meaningful food, presenting it artfully and writing about it thoughtfully require both a rested mind and free time, for which new mothers are seldom known. Zephyr occasionally grants us a 4-hour chunk or two, but my evenings are generally broken up into 2-3 hour naps, interspersed with dozy, twighlit nursing. Being a good blogger means getting a good night’s sleep, and this rarely happens these days. At this point, it’s either slowly getting better or I’m slowly getting used to it.

As days lengthen, though, I’m finding myself more interested in thinking about things like combining ingredients instead of just filling my time with such enthralling activities as staring at the baby or waiting for Scott to get home from work. I am setting a goal for myself to update both of my blogs once a week – let’s see how I do.

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