There are few things more delicious and satisfying to eat in the summer than a slice of warm homemade quiche with a crunchy side salad – and maybe a buttery new potato or two!
The ultimate savoury taste of a steak and ale pie I difficult to beat, I love it best when freshly baked: puff pastry layers crackle under the knife, and dark, sticky gravy oozes out onto the edges of the pastry. I love chunky steak, sweet carrots and earthy mushrooms. I love rich saucy gravy edging slowly across my plate, muddling with muddling with creamy, buttery mashed potato. Drooling yet? I am.
Now that Halloween is over, the anticipation of Christmas festivities has moved to centre stage, with shops already sparkling with decorations and gifts. It’s clichéd, I know, but I really do love autumn and winter, especially now, in this little post-Halloween, pre-Christmas limbo. Crunchy leaves in vibrant red, copper and bright gold litter the ground outside, waiting to be walked in, kicked about, enjoyed, and jumpers and boots have made a convincing comeback in my wardrobe. There aren’t daily frosts just yet, but I can’t wait to see the beautiful silver spray of delicate, glittering lace over leaves and spiders’ webs in the morning sun. I don’t think I have long to wait. This morning I had to de-mist the car windows with the heating on max for a good 5 minutes before I left for work.
Before holly, trees, presents and cards, my first whiff of Christmas in the air is always signalled by the reappearance of mince pies in my life. Usually in early November, hopefully sooner. The garish boxes appear in the supermarkets far earlier, but, call me fussy, these can never match up to a home baked mince pie. I’m talking dreamy wafts of Christmas seeping through the house, leading to bites of crumbly, buttery pastry melting away in my mouth to reveal tangy fruits, rich spices and a hint of alcohol, all rounded off with the sweet drizzle of glace icing over the top. The pie in my hand almost falls apart in surrender: ‘eat me!’, and the filling is jewelled with glace cherries so red it’s almost offensive. But it’s Christmas: red goes.
Meat-Free Monday recipes which still feel hearty and filling - you won’t miss the meat! Mushroom & Ricotta Tart, Stuffed Peppers & Veggie & Lentil Bolognese.
With leaves changing from lush green to burnished gold and silky conkers litter the ground, I can’t help but look forward to cosy nights in with hearty, comforting recipes to fill my belly as I countdown to Christmas. When the weather turns cold, my birthday month (September) is over and the mornings and evenings get darker, all I want to eat in the evening is a bowl or plate of something comforting.