Anyone that used to live in the Middle East or Africa who isn’t in Northern Virginia right now couldn’t possibly understand the misery and delight I am experiencing with this weather. In the UK, at least in London, we rarely saw snow and temperatures would rarely dip beneath 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C. In Northern Virginia, or NOVA, I can confirm we are on big snow number five or six and while the snow doesn’t sit on the ground longer than a week, we have had three snows around a foot with actual and real DRIFTS.
It’s incredible, and incredibly cold… and today, we’re supposed to hit 3 degrees F, or -15 degrees C. And that is miserably cold, especially when you live in the teeny tiny house which you can’t get warm because it has heat leaks in every crevice… Cue being surgically attached to two hot water bottles ALL of the time (including at work) and being called an old granny by Handsome (I can’t deny he’s right…).
So what happens in a British Kitchen in this most inclement of weather? Stews. Soups. Mashed potatoes. Roasted meats. Mustard. Winter vegetables. Anything hot. Anything comforting. And all those bloody foods I couldn’t get away with in the desert or rainforest. Brilliant!
Unfortunately, these foods tend to be fattening too, especially when your body is storing fat like you’re starving yourself (actually it’s just trying to add yet another layer for warmth).
But if you are making it yourself, you can control the amount of fat and carbs that go into your body. You can trim the meat back to no fat. You can use the tiniest drop of olive oil to fry off the vegetables and you can use other interesting flavours to bring in the taste, like red wine, stout, parsnips, lots of celery and carrots and onion. And instead of the usual rice, I’m using wild and brown rice, and adding things like garlic broiled green beans or roasted vegetables with my caprese dressing, which is adding a whole new dimension of flavour and joy.
And as usual, I am all about the lunches that we can reheat during the week and all of the above goes brilliantly from freezer to microwave.
So I would like to apologise right now for the winteryness of my recipes, but I am experiencing a serious anti-equator backlash, and I’m so delighted to be able to bring warmth to our home through food. Give me a few more months and I will be all about bringing a chill to the bones through my summer menus, and then I will be able to bring some of the old refreshing favourites back to the front, but in the meantime, it’s all about heating from within and neither I nor Handsome are complaining yet… and while I can still fit in and out of the front door of the house, I’m not panicking…