Chicken Tagine with Carrots, Apricots & Preserved Lemon

January 12, 2012 in Chicken & Poultry, Recipe

Chicken Tagine with Carrots, Apricots & Preserved Lemon

“Be of love (a little) more careful than of anything.” -e.e cummings

Like you, I planned to start the year with poise and in perfect control of my diary, my diet, my conversations, my life.

How are you doing with all that?

This side, I can report, has started in much the same way that the work year ended last year. Jelle and I are scrambling around. He’s decided to trade futures recently, so in effect his day starts at 7 30 am and ends with the last bell of the American market at 11 pm our time. To some extent, it suits me – my better hours begin in the late afternoon and evening. But 11 pm (unless you’re living in Spain or Portugal) isn’t the ideal time to catch a dinner together.

In fact I had to really convince Jelle to pop a sumptuous chocolate filled raspberry into his mouth tonight, as he slouched up the stairs, the lids of his small blue eyes drooping thickly. I may have fed it to him as he gave me a smooch on his way up.

The year has just began and post a wonderful holiday of good food and plenty of sleep, we’re tired. Bodies have slipped back into the old pattern. Emptied by the end of our respective days, but fueled by new plans and hopes for the future and a love for what we do.

I was thinking about love (A Valentine’s day piece I’m working on may have something or nothing to do with this). It carries with it a huge risk, doesn’t it?

Does he love? Does he love me still? It demands care and tender hands. It needs your time and patience. While it is a pleasure to give yourself unto it and its demands, anyone who is managing a house/family/career/studies (insert your challenge here) will agree that this isn’t always the easiest thing.

Elaborate dinner dates that end in long conversations over drinks, and steamy kisses on the couch on never-ending nights slip further away, the deeper one gets into a relationship and the more demanding the goals you’ve set become. Not for want of trying, dinner dates out are often combined with “catch up sessions” with couple or single friends who also seem to be juggling similar sets of obligations and diaries.

A breakfast in bed together on a Sunday, which often led to giggly wonder at still being in the same position come the afternoon is now followed by a mad dash to get all the groceries you may need for the week, while you have his able hands to help you lug the bags around horrid, crowd infested shopping malls. Oh, wait…perhaps I’m just speaking about myself now. Oh, bother. Don’t leave me hanging, will you?

Love needs care. I think that’s what Mr Cummings meant. Without doubt, one needs to be weary of its fickle nature, its ruses, its potential wickedness.  One must be careful. But even more so of preserving it. I know this, it gnaws at me. Not because of the seven steps I took around the fire that fine day in May in the Natal Midlands. But because I know my husband deserves that sort of care. And more dinner dates on never-ending nights that involve two.

If you read this, Jelle, this tagine, which I know you love, is really especially for you. We honeymooned in Morocco and have sought Moroccan cuisine for as many celebratory dinners on travels, that we could and can find.

In fact, eating food cooked and flavored in the style of North African cuisine, has become a source of great comfort and joy in our home. For large parties and dinners for two.

Jelle, I hope you don’t mind too terribly, I’ve shared a few of our special moments here. Well, you really have no choice eh?

(Oh, and honey…commenting here would be weird. Rules according to blog owner. xx)

Note: you can use a tagine (mine wasn’t deep enough) or a tightly sealed pot for the same effect for this dish.

Row by row, L-R: Chez Ali, Marrakech; WC2010, Cape Town;Central Park Zoo, NYC;Ring of Kerry, Ireland;Movies in 3D; Our wedding, Ourika valley, Morocco; Brother’s wedding, Durban; Medina, Marrakech;Queen’s Plate 2010; kiss in our kitchen;MCQP2010;Cape Town stadium;Yankee Stadium,NYC;Statue of Liberty;Lunch in city, Marrakech

Recipe: Food and the Fabulous

8 responses to Chicken Tagine with Carrots, Apricots & Preserved Lemon

  1. Great quote, and so true, a sense of humour also helps, each year on our anniversary we clink glasses and say “another year down the drain!” (we’ve been married 31 years) That tagine looks marvelous.

    • Sue…haven’t said hi in ages! You know, whenever someone gets married we say…another one bites the dust and hum along to queen. Top tip that humor thing…anything but kill each other he he x

  2. I doubt anybody could not love you when you make such delicious looking food. Thank you for sharing the pictures…so beautiful.

    • Awww, that’s really sweet. Thank you! Life is challenging but we keep trying, that counts I hope.

  3. The tagine looks so decadently spiced – what a beautiful thought provoking post.

  4. Thanks Caro gal x

  5. Hats Off to you Ishay. What an amazing post and the pics, you guys make a handsome couple and keep up the good work on your marriage.

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