Carrots w/ Orange, Currants & Hazelnuts

At what point did "friend dates" start happening?  Is it something that people begin having at a certain phase in their life or is it a relatively new internet-age thing?

Carrots w/ Orange, Currants & Hazelnuts

Oh you don't know what a friend date is?  Yes you do.  It's when a third party -anything from a friend to say, twitter- works to bring (usually) two people of the same gender together to be potential friends.  This isn't in the normal, unconscious, organic glide of a friendship.  These are more of an abrupt, fumbled, no-leader waltz.

They range in variety too.  I have a friend, an American living in London, who gets set-up to meet friends of friends of friends also in London- as she calls it, "other mom friends."  Or it can be as simple as meeting (say fellow food bloggers) through social media.

I can only speak of my own gender when I think it's something that's more common with the ladies.  But, maybe dudes do it too?

Carrots w/ Orange, Currants & Hazelnuts

I've been on a couple.  They're a little strange.  Not because there's any pressure- so not the case! These are dates where the person who ultimately asks isn't "the person who asked,"  and if you don't hear from them for awhile there aren't any hard feelings or buzzed texts.

The strange part is that because you are all of the sudden presented with a person, these usually begin as interviews.  So you sit there, ask questions, answer questions and try to assess whether or not it's pleasant enough to do it again.  Strange.

I think the more you go on the less weird they become.  Unless the other person is just weird.

Carrots w/ Orange, Currants & Hazelnuts
Carrots w/ Orange, Currants & Hazelnuts
Carrots w/ Orange, Currants & Hazelnuts
Carrots w/ Orange, Currants & Hazelnuts

If you ever get to the point of a friend date dinner party/potluck encounter, I'd recommend this as a side.  Unless they don't like carrots, which would make them weird.

I must'nt (new word) be alone with this!  Who out there knows what I'm talking about????

Carrots w/ Orange, Currants & Hazelnuts

INGREDIENTS: (makes 6 sides)

  • 2 oranges, juiced (1/2 cup)
  • 1/5 cup currants
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • ½ cup hazelnuts
  • 1½# carrots (about 7 large), peeled and cut into 3” sticks
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • cracked black pepper, to taste

-In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the orange juice.  When simmering, turn heat down to medium-low and reduce 25%.
-Turn off heat and mix in currants and thyme; reserve.

-Preheat oven to 325˚ F.
-Toast hazelnuts for 10 minutes until light golden brown.
-While still warm, place hazelnuts in a towel and roll back and forth between towel to remove skins.
-Chop into small pieces and reserve.

-Turn oven up to 425˚ F.
-Coat peeled and cut carrots in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
-Roast for 25-30 minutes or until edges are brown and carrots are fork tender.

-Top carrots with orange-currant sauce and hazelnuts.
-Serve warm.