Really, truly absurd.
In the past 2 weeks, several people have sought my advice. During the same period, I've reached out to several other people seeking their advice. I get off the phone after dissecting one friend's issues, and 10 minutes later I'm back on the horn yakking about my own tangled knots to someone else. It's a weird, twisted, and utterly inefficient triangle. I'm this advice-pod, with inputs coming in one end and outputs streaming from the other. But the inputs and outputs don't align, so as much as I'd like to, I can't just recuse myself, connect them to each other, and go out for ice cream.
Instead, I'm sticking close to home, advising and being advised, strategizing and shoring up. During this incubation period, after which travel and mayhem take flight, I find some measure of solace at the market and by the stove.
On Sunday, I took my son out for breakfast, and during the hourlong wait for a table we hit the nearby farmers' market. We scooped up spring carrots with twirly strings and frilly tufts, and admired their non-conformity before dropping them in our bag. They're super-sweet, but weird-looking. (Any resemblance to persons real or imaginary is purely coincidental.)
When we got home later, the phone rang.
I touched two carrots together. Jammed them this way and that -- stem to stem, root to root, tuft to tuft, head to toe.
Nothing happened. Not a spark. Inputs/outputs unaligned.
So I took the call. Advised, and sought advice. Spoke up, and stayed quiet. And when it was over, this advice-pod, this info-portal, this giver and receiver, needer and provider, listener and listenee, we all sat down and ate.
Recipe for Spring Carrot Sauté with olives, garlic, and millet
The golden hue of this millet caught my eye, and with some advice from Maria Speck's wonderful cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, I learned how easy it is to cook. (Look for millet in the bulk bins at natural foods stores.) I used it here as a bed for garlicky sauteed carrots. The next day, I splashed broth over the leftovers, simmered it anew, and added a few shrimp for a speedy second meal.
Makes 4 servings
1 cup (dry) millet
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
1 pound slender spring carrots, scrubbed, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup pitted calamata olives, slivered
1/2 cup (packed) flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional add-ins/stir-throughs: cooked shrimp, cooked beans or lentils, peas, any leftover vegetables
First, cook the millet. Combine the millet with 1-3/4 cups cold water in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Keep covered.
Meanwhile, combine the 3 tablespoons olive oil with the garlic in a large skillet. Set over medium-low heat and allow to warm slowly, becoming fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the carrots and olives, crank the heat a bit, and saute until the carrots are tender but not mushy, 8 to 10 minutes, tossing frequently. (Cook time will vary based on the carrots' freshness and thickness.)
Scrape the cooked millet into the carrots and give everything a good toss. Sprinkle with the parsley, drizzle generously with additional olive oil, and adjust the seasonings to taste. (Add optional stir-throughs, if desired.)