As I write this, there is bread rising on my countertop. A red stoneware dish full of apples is in the oven, bubbling under a crust of buttery cinnamon clove crumble. On the stovetop, a pan of carrots, mushrooms, bacon, and pearl onions sizzles and caramelizes deeply, the topping for the red wine and beef stew simmering and thickening in the oven beside the apples.
Monday, it was chicken soup. Have you ever had proper chicken soup, the kind made from real stock and not those sad, vaguely metallic broths from cans? There is simply no comparison. I had a chicken carcass in my fridge from dinner that weekend, and I boiled it on the stove for hours, finally straining the meat and bones out. I added carrots, potatoes, butternut squash, spinach, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves to the stock while the carcass cooled, then picked off the meat and added it back into the pot. Even my mother, who is a great cook and makes a good chicken soup herself, tasted mine and said, “Holy shit.”
On the side was a quickbread, mixed in about 10 minutes: savory scones with scallions and cheddar. The scent when I opened the oven is not to be believed; it was the epitome of mouthwatering. After the meal we had the spiced pumpkin bread I had baked the day before, lightly toasted and dripping with butter.
You simply can’t go wrong with traditional cold-weather recipes. Summertime can be tricky, because recipes for that season rely on top-of-the-line produce and that can be very hard to find, but fall and winter dishes are far more forgiving. Vegetable are glazed in sauces, or browned in the drippings of roasting meats, or baked in creamy casseroles with rice and potatoes and pastas. Cheaper, tougher cuts of meat take a front seat in slow-cooker roasts and stews, and even fruit is spiced and tucked between layers of flaky pastry or submerged in rich cake batters.
I’m going to be sharing more of my cooking exploits over the coming months, and I hope that you all will comment with some of your favorite fall and winter recipes for me to try! Thanks for reading, see you soon!