Can we talk? Shakshuka

Come on Bridg, you know you want to dance around the breakfast table to this Manhattan Transfer song.

Long before cellphones radiated our brains and FaceTime showed us intimate details of our friend’s faces, analog phones were central characters in our lives. I grew up with Ma Bell as the protectorate of our family finances, employer to my dad, and rival for his time and attention.

Our family shared one phone–a beige, plastic box anchored to the kitchen wall. Privacy depended on the receiver’s long, twisted chord that could be stretched into the hall bathroom. In our house, however, long conversations on the phone were frowned upon. No sooner would I settled in on the toilet (lid down), ready for a good long talk, when my Dad’s inevitable tap on the door and “Time’s up” brought down the hammer and the receiver.

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Telephone receivers were comfortable to hold, good sound quality was taken for granted, calls were seldom dropped, no one ever said, “Can you hear me now?”, and butt-calls were not a problem. The lack of a speaker option made conversation personal, replicating an intimate face-to-face visit. And, as revolutionary as our smart devices are, you have to admit they don’t make very good phones. It’s like trying to carry on a conversation holding a hot sardine can to your ear, not to mention those stutter-inducing pauses as you both talk at once. And remember that satisfying, last resort, slam of the phone after a truly unpleasant conversation? Now all we get is a hmmm.

But, I am certainly not willing to give up Google Maps, texting, having a camera in my pocket, finding a recipe for Shakshuka in two seconds, seeing what countries border Ukraine (Poland, Russia, Slovakia, etc.), knowing what Richard Sherman and his girlfriend named their new baby (Rayden).

Shakshuka

3 tablespoons olive oil
28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes
9-10 garlic cloves, chopped small
1 1/2 tablespoons Pilpelchuma
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
4-6 eggs
1/4 cup feta cheese
4-6 warm pitas or grilled crusty bread

Pilpelchuma
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1/2 tablespoon hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 pinch cumin
1 pinch salt
Mix ingredients together to form a paste.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or pan with lid over low heat. Add the chopped garlic, paprika, cumin, & pilpelchuma to the pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Mix in the canned tomatoes & salt. Cover the with lid and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the cilantro leaving a bit out of the pan to garnish with later.

Make pockets in the sauce with a wooden spoon or spatula and crack the eggs into them.

Cover the pan, turn the heat up a bit to medium and cook without lifting the lid for 5-8 minutes.

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One Response to Can we talk? Shakshuka

  1. Ginny Nichols says:

    Although, there is some satisfaction in snapping shut a flip phone. (To those of us not advanced enough to figure out a smart phone). Was Rayden named after the detective in “Justified”?

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