Category Archives: winter
The frost and snow of the past few weeks tries to persuade us to keep indoors, warm and cosy by the open fire. But it’s worth refusing – and braving the icy weather, all bundled up – for a traipse through the lovely countryside as Mother Nature’s winter coat is beautiful to see. I particularly love getting out early, on a bright, clear day to admire the pinky golden glow over the icy fields. Look at the way this husk of a weed gently captures and holds the snow in little snowy balls…and the way the frost makes patterns on the windows of my workshop…
May I suggest the warmest of home-welcome with a delicious, bubbling hot bowl of rich onion soup laden with golden, molten cheese? It tastes extra wonderful after a long walk in the cold. I found these giant, sweet onions at the shop and thought they would be perfect for my soup – and they were!
Everyone’s tired – home time it is. Back to our garden, the trees laced with frost.
Time to start cooking. Sometimes those old classic dishes are just the thing, don’t you think? So comforting. In this soup I used a drop of Calvados as I didn’t have any brandy. The slightly sweet and aromatic hint of apple really enhanced the savoury broth. As for the cheese, I love the nutty flavour of a good, aged Gruyere. But you could use another rich melting cheese, perhaps a Comte? Any good rustic bread makes a lovely toasted bed for the cheese. I used a marvellous wholegrain and walnut bread. Magnificent with the cheese. Sadly, the soup is all gone as I write this – I must prepare it again soon!
Before I say goodbye, I’ll leave you with a couple of images from my walks around the frosty village. I stopped in the church and spotted this beautiful earthenware jug – so I quickly made its portrait. And the trees, my friends along the path, wearing their bleak winter wardrobe.
More soon. It will be Spring before we know it – and with this being our first year in our new home and garden, each season brings a bit of surprise. I’m getting some hints of spring bulbs with the emergence of some tiny shoots amidst the snow. This garden needs so much work, and the prospect of some inherited spring flowers makes me very happy. I’ll keep you posted.
Happy New Year Everyone! January has a lot going for it, I feel. When better to shake off a few dusty routines and habits than after a few weeks of glorious indulgence. I have always liked a fresh start – bring on the resolutions. Never mind if they fizzle or fade, a positive intention is still a wonderful thing. So much as I delight in the fairy lights and tinsel, I always feel happy to pack them away, dust off the cobwebs of the old year and move forward. And a delicious healthy regime is a great way to start – here are some of my favourite vitamin rich foods to celebrate the New Year.
I like to add a few sprigs of mint to my green tea. And a beautiful mug makes it even nicer – this one is a hand made Christmas gift by our talented (eldest) girl! And to go with the tea, how about a few nuts and seeds, dried berries and some squares of inky dark chocolate?
Hmm, what else? A dish of simply steamed Scottish salmon, with a little lemon and pepper. But surely this is still indulgence isn’t it? Especially with a drizzle of this magnificent, jewel green pistachio oil. I bought this bottle in France a few weeks ago. Such a rich, deep roasted nutty flavour.
A few slices of beetroot – more colour, more vibrancy, more flavour…
So that’s the view from my kitchen worktop this week.
As for other new plans and projects this year, well I have been busy and have made a good start. My new studio in the garden – a lovely Scandinavian log cabin – is all built and ready. I’m still working on the finishing touches, a bit of painting and organising all my props and stuff. Of those there are lots – it’s quite a task! I’ll make some photos of the studio in a week or so and post them soon.
What plans do you have for the New year? Drop me a comment if you like – I’d love to hear!
Oh – I forgot the avocado! x
Sometimes it’s only the old favourites that will do. Those wonderful, comforting dishes that nourish the body and make you feel happy. For me, leeks and potatoes are one of those glorious long standing marriages of pure comfort and deliciousness. Together in a simple soup they are real harmony. Recently, I’ve really been craving those nourishing foods so I’ve been enjoying lots of this lovely soup. I like to add other richly nutritious greens like watercress or spinach for an extra boost of goodness.
Do you remember last time I mentioned that my lovely husband has been doing a little more of the cooking lately? I’ve been been trying to teach him a bit as he goes along. Some people are not natural cooks are they? (It’s that good old diplomatic side of me speaking here!) I firmly believe that everyone can cook, it’s a matter of common sense and if nothing else you can always follow a decent recipe. But that real magic, that blend of art and chemistry that makes for the yummiest food, well it’s an instinctive thing isn’t it? I wouldn’t say that D is a natural cook. But given the chance – and he doesn’t get much chance with me in the way all the time – he does really well. In fact, he is now a master of this lovely soup. It’s actually even nicer because he’s made it for me, and that makes me feel very happy.
It has been a proper old winter, this one. Bitterly cold on many days, dull and gloomy at times too. It’s got a quiet beauty about it though, doesn’t it? I still love to go out walking even though I don’t really like being cold. There is always something interesting to see in the stark winter landscape and I love to see the horses, cows and piggies in the fields around our village. And then come home to a big warm bowl of nourishing, homemade soup.
If you feel like sharing any thoughts or ideas or sending me a link to your website/blog, please do leave a comment. It’s always wonderful to hear your thoughts.
Otherwise, until next time. With some more vibrant colours I think. P.