I’ve got snow envy again. It seems to be the same old story every January these days; I’m always the happy recipient of other people’s snowmen pictures, but there’s never a flake to be seen in London. Whilst I’m not a fan of the cold, I do love that magical ability snow has to imbue a sense of calm and serenity, acting as a massive blanket that muffles any noise and makes everything still under its weight.
The delicate flavour and thick texture of this soup has a similar calming influence to that elusive heavy snowfall which I never open my curtains to find. White food seems to have a gentle quality which can be just what you need after a daily battle through the cold. The nutty sweet flavour of almonds blends well with the earthiness of the cauliflower. I decided to top it off with even more earthy flavour from some fried mushrooms and truffle oil, although it’s not essential. Read more
So it’s nearly time to say goodbye to 2015. I’m not big on new year; I don’t make resolutions or feel the need to reinvent myself because the date is changing, although having a few quiet days at home over the Christmas holidays has given me chance to reflect a little as I mooch about the house. It’s nice to have a change of pace once in a while, to feel you have the time to do things properly and to enjoy the process, rather than rattling along getting things done, ticking off the list and dashing on to the next thing. It’s a feeling I’d like to have more often, so perhaps I’ll see if I can dedicate more of 2016 to taking my time over things.
This recipe is perhaps the definition of taking your time. There aren’t many recipes I’d recommend you start a day before you want to eat, but some things can’t be hurried. The inspiration for this came from a beef bun recipe I found online, but I was feeding non-beef eaters the day I made these and so the pork made a very successful substitute. It strikes me as I write this, that maybe these would have been an ideal new years party recipe, but they would certainly be a welcome addition to any weekend with friends or family. Read more
Autumn roasted vegetables, hazelnut dukkah, tahini yogurt
Sunday night dinners are always some of my favourites. It’s the one night I try very hard to be at home, to have a relaxed night in, as a last bit of indulgence before the weekend is over. Sunday night is a recuperative night, to restore and soothe you for the week ahead. Good food is integral to this and I absolutely believe that a slow cooked supper is the best foundation for a languorous night on the sofa. If you can dedicate your mind to it, chopping and stirring can be almost meditative, having a gentle rhythm to help escape from that endless to-do list whirring around your mind. Not to mention that slow cooking naturally lends itself to comfort foods – succulent slow cooked meats, casseroles and puddings, such a luxury compared to weekday grab and go meals.
The rain felt endless this weekend. A deluge from the sky. The sort of weather where the most tempting activities are all sofa based. I’d eaten a lot of meat and rich food over the weekend, a big plate of roast veggies was just the thing I needed. Having spent the summer months without consuming anything resembling a root vegetable, roasted roots have regained their appeal, so I set about chopping with zeal. Without any accompaniment, this is probably enough for 3 or 4 portions, so providing a few leftovers for the two of us. Read more
There have been definite signs of autumn this week: 1. I’ve had the heating on in the last couple of evenings. 2. My opaque tights have been on a couple of outings. 3. There is a crumble in the oven.
Maybe its time to let go of summer after all. Baking a crumble seems like a definitive acknowledgement of autumn.Whilst I am still trying to deny it, to stretch out the last of the long warm days, my food preferences do change perceptibly with the change of seasons, so my stomach is in autumn even if my head isn’t. Although I do enjoy the rhythm of changing cooking with the seasons. The allure of a crisp cool salad slowly wanes in September, to be replaced with a longing for warm spices, squashes roasting in the oven, mushrooms and chestnuts, thick soups and crumbles, all soothing as the nights draw in. Read more