Thursday, April 07, 2016
Autumn is rolling slowly in. There has been a decided chill about the mornings and evenings of late. When the harshness of summer leaves us my whole body breaths a sigh of relief. The entire day can once again be used, instead of trying to cram farm chores into the first few hours of the day. It becomes a joy once again to be in the kitchen, indeed on cooler nights I relish the heat of the oven.
As much as I love these cooler months however, I've always keenly felt the cold and am as prone to suffering the winter sniffles as the next person. Prevention is better than a cure, especially for a cold. I'm starting early this year in my preparation for warding off the winter chills. Along with ensuring that my feet are warm at all times (I've a bad habit of letting them remain cold on Autumn mornings, knowing that it will be warm in a few hours. Silly, I know), I'm also adding extra nourishment to my diet through the use of homemade stocks and bone broths.
Bone broths are such a useful food to have on hand. They form the base for soups, and a few ladles added to curries, stews and casseroles adds a wonderful depth of flavour and extra goodness.
Making stocks on the stove is easy, and for a long 24 hour stock the slow cooker is just the ticket. I use a whole bulb of garlic and large bunches of herbs in vegetable stock, and you can do the same with meat stock too if you like.You can make chicken stock with the left over carcass of a roast, which adds extra flavour and is a good way to stretch ingredients.
I'm planning on having soup for dinner several times a week this season. Sometimes something as simple as a bowl of hot broth with fresh grated ginger and garlic added is just what is needed (especially if I feel a cold coming on), other times I like to roast up the vegetables with garlic and herbs and blend them into simmering stock, whilst other times a vegetable medley, chicken soup or minestrone is in order. There are so many variables, and with a slice of sourdough or some spelt scones on the side, the meal is complete.
I'd love to know how your cooking changes with the seasons!