Don’t Make a Tzimmes Out of It

It’s an expression: not to make a tzimmes out of something. A Tzimmes is a traditional Jewish dish that mixes disparate ingredients that somehow manage to work together well. Since the dish has so many ingredients, it’s seen as complicated and complex. Making a tzimmes out of something means to overcomplicate a situation.

When people think of tzimmes, they think of a meat dish with potatoes, sweet potatoes, and prunes, or a more simple tzimmes of carrots in honey, which sometimes has dumplings made from matzoh meal, like tiny kneidlach (matzoh balls). That latter is called in Yiddish “Mehren Tzimmes,” Mehren being the Yiddish word for carrots.

Want to make a traditional tzimmes at home without making a tzimmes of it? Make a “Bob Tzimmes,” or bean tzimmes, which is lima beans mixed with judicious amounts of schmaltz, sugar, salt, and pepper. Simple as anything and surprisingly delicious. This will turn into your new comfort food, guaranteed!