Recipe: moroccan butternut squash chickpea stew
I feel like it’s late in the game even though we’ve just finished the first week of December. I get that way when it comes to time. I like to plan things out so that I’m not doing stuff at the last minute, not rushing around – because it stresses me out and I’m supposed to reduce my stress in general. I was super happy this week when I woke up and was able to get out of bed without much pain. I thought to myself, “Now I can work on all of those things that need to get done!” And then I looked at the calendar and had a little freak out moment because I lost a week somewhere. Better get crackin’… There is a long list of homemade goodies scrawled out on my notebook because I like to give a sampling of treats. I don’t plan orangettes every year because they are an enormous pain in the ass to make, but I know how much Jeremy loves them and that makes it worth the effort. Plus, he’s so sweet – he washes all of the dishes!
the first phase of making orangettes
The only two people in the world who specifically get Christmas presents from me are my niece and nephew, because they’re kids and because my sister celebrated Christmas when she was alive. I used to make something for them every year, but quickly exhausted my paltry sewing and knitting skills and got tired of thoroughly sucking at it, feeling like a bad auntie, and feeling like I let the kids down… let my sister down. These days Jeremy and I try to select thoughtful and/or educational toys as my parents have the fun (and expensive) stuff covered. Well, we try to include fun stuff too! I probably overthink it. I’m sure I do. December does it to me every time.
kaweah is especially attentive when i’m shooting food on the floor
We were sitting in the single digits (Fahrenheit) for a few days straight, but have since bounced back to the balmy 20s, which I love. When we dip into single digits and below, we have to watch Kaweah when we let her out. She wanders into the yard, does her business, stands around sniffing the snow, and then suddenly discovers that her paws are freezing cold and gets stuck. Luckily for her, Jeremy is standing by ready to run out into the snow, pick her up, and bring her back into the warm house. So yeah, we’re glad it has warmed up a little. 20s are my perfect temperature for backcountry and resort skiing. 20s are also tolerable for standing around outside waiting for things like sunset, sunrise, or total lunar eclipses. You’re gonna catch the lunar eclipse this Saturday, aren’t you?
snow dunes on the frozen reservoir
they could easily be sand dunes
So there’s this Moroccan stew that I wanted so badly to love, but wasn’t sure I would. I like to incorporate squashes into our menu come autumn because they’re local, good for you, and beautiful. [Spaghetti squash scares the hell out of me, though. I fear for my fingers trying to cut those in half.] It’s a good thing butternut squash doesn’t spoil quickly because it took me forever to get a final ingredient: preserved lemons. My local Whole Foods used to have them at the olive bar and the day I bought the butternut squash THEY WERE OUT. I checked back the following week. Nope. I tried Cured. No dice. I finally tried Peppercorn and paid an arm and a leg for a jar (then I found out that Savory Spice Shop carries them too – doh!). But at long last, I could make this recipe.
butternut squash, potatoes, onion, tomatoes, olives, garlic, chickpeas, preserved lemons
minced garlic, diced onions, spices, butter, olive oil
sauté the onions, garlic, and spices in the oil and butter
**Jump for more butter**