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Cold weather means warm food

Sun, 21 January, 2018

Appliances usually pack in when overused, that much is common sense, but why do boilers only ever break down when the weather is super cold? My boiler is a law unto itself as it’s been mysteriously dying and coming back to life over the last month, notably a damn freezing bit of winter by English standards. A slew of plumbing engineers have gradually replaced most parts so it’s now a Boilerstein. But we still wake up on random mornings to cold radiators and now await the arrival of Leak Busters – will they have proton packs I wonder?

What to do? Well, cook a large pot of warming soup, for starters. Broccoli and Stilton is a good option, no blender necessary, but blend if you must. Or the French onion soup will do well, with cheesy croutons.

Anything with cheese, cream or both is bound to warm us up so I’ll suggest baked Camembert as a sophisticated option and tartiflette as a rustic one. Tartiflette is my personal favourite. To balance the carbs and the fat I’ll have it with the addictive raw broccoli salad.

An alternative to cauliflower cheese can be this celeriac gratin; it’s comforting and it’s vegetarian if you pick your cheese carefully. Green salad on the side is a must.

If nothing but a large chunk of meat on the bone will do, go for gammon (or ham) hock. It’s inexpensive, it’s tasty and it’s like a massive piece of bacon on the bone – what’s not to like?

And there must be something nice for breakfasts this week; cold mornings are bad but cold and hungry kill your will to live, let alone to go catch the train to work. You could make a batch of corn and bacon muffins, a little different than your usual on-the-run Starbucks supersized, and savoury too which is better for you than a morning sugar rush. But if a sweet bun is your thing first thing - and if you're sourdough-savvy - go for the sourdough honey buns. So delicious they might help me forget the cold.