Winter Food Cravings
We’re not going to make the (horribly) obvious joke with an obligatory Game of Thrones reference, but the colder weather has reached us, and it’s time to put away those flimsy clothes and stop having half-hearted barbeques in the park.
However, with this cold weather comes some mighty fine eating. The following drinks, snacks, main courses and desserts have crept into our thoughts all summer, but we just haven’t had the appetite for them. Now, however, things are changing, and our taste buds are seeking out flavours beyond chicken salads and white wine. Here are ten culinary niceties we’re getting ready to reintroduce ourselves to.
The thought made us gag in June, but right now, we’re down with the idea of chocolate, cream and marshmallows all mixed together in a glorious, sugar coma-inducing mess. You can normally find us ordering one of these bad boys at 11am when two pieces of toast just doesn’t cut it.
It’s like Ribena – but hot – and after five glasses you suddenly feel unmistakably merry and you can’t work out why. All those nuts, herbs and spices; it should make us hanker after chai tea lattes, but without the alcohol kick, what’s the point?
With honey. With banana. With cinnamon and blueberries. Initially considered too stodgy as summer joined us, porridge is now making a comeback. Top tip: Don’t buy the economy porridge from the supermarket; the oats don’t quite lend themselves to breakfast, just flapjacks. Get the mid-range bag. Don’t waste your time with the sachets; they’re never enough.
Suddenly, the local is the only place to be on a Sunday, and we’re fine with that. Yes, we will pay extra for extra meat. And we’ll have some extra potatoes, too.
Sausages and Mash:
If you’ve ever been offered this option on a flight, you’ll know the feeling of utter sadness when you realise that sausages and mash cannot be beaten except for when you make it at home. The mash needs lots of butter, the sausages must be from your local butcher, and there must be a squabble over whether the dish is eaten with gravy or beans.
There is no ill that this dish cannot cure; we’re even big fans of the veggie version. People tend to be split on the matter of putting grated cheese on top. We say, when in doubt, add the grated cheese. Why wouldn’t you?
Although small doses of this ambrosia will keep you going for the next week or so (it’s horrifically rich), a small serving, when you’re in the mood, will warm your cockles like nothing else. Lovely, sweet, and laced with just the right amount of booze, it’s the ultimate hangover drink for when things aren’t looking up at 3pm.
This dish can be filed under the same heading as Shepherd’s Pie – it’s one of the ultimate comfort foods – but the lovely thing about lasagne is you can have a salad with it, thereby upping your vegetable intake during the time of year when most of your vitamins may be coming from Black Forest Gateaux.
This chunky soup is best enjoyed with heaps of black pepper and buttered bread. It’s up to you whether you add a few slices of cheese to the mix but some prefer to keep their pleasures simple. Be careful when attempting homemade minestrone for the first time; the results can be less than aesthetically-pleasing.
Apple and Blackberry Crumble:
The humble crumble returns to our kitchen year after year when the nights draw in and there’s nothing good on TV. We’ve been thinking about a buttery topping mixed with rich fruit juices for a while now; must have been all those summery cocktails which initially set us off. More custard, please.
Written by: Victoria Clarke. Victoria is a MA graduate in Victorian Literature from the University of Leeds. She is a lover and scholar of the English language, and stellar amateur cook. She is currently a Freelance Copywriter.