A New Year

Happy New Year everyone! May 2013 be filled with love, friendships, happy moments, and great food!

December was a crazy month, and while I am relieved it is all over now, I kind of miss its frenzy... Though not quite enough to want to relive it just right now! January is a quiet month in several ways: the weather tends to settle into a cold lull; fields lie, for the most part, dormant; and with everyone recovering from the holiday indulgence, the pace at work drops a few notches...

On my way home from work last night, I gazed up to the sky in the hopes of getting a glimpse of a star. Wishful thinking really, as London gives off too much light for many stars to be visible. However, the sky glowed eerily, as if it were foreshadowing a snowstorm. Again, wishful thinking, since London rarely sees a proper snowfall, and this winter has been somewhat warmer than the last. The cherry blossoms above were photographed on my Sunday walk to the market, a sign of just how mild the weather has been.

Nevertheless, whether you are in London, England, or London, Ontario, January is the month for warmth and comfort, and what little there is by way of seasonal produce is just perfectly suited for dishes that warm your cockles:

Root Vegetables are the basis of the heartiest of soups, the most scrumptious purées and mashes, and nothing cosies up a house like the luscious aromas of something roasting in the oven. For those of you entertaining the idea of 'detoxing' after the holidays, root vegetables are highly nutritious yet relatively low in calories.

Cabbage and Kale are winter-hardy vegetables that just shout 'hearty': think of cabbage rolls, sauerkraut, and soups. But they are also delicious in less traditional settings like in a nutty and spicy kimpira, or braised in cider.

Onions, and their extended family, are a good source of vitamin B6 and have anti-viral/antibacterial properties, both of which are very important to keep you energized and healthy at this time of the year. Although onion, leeks and garlic are often used as a backdrop in cookery, it is high time that these vegetables get their time in the sun: they are full of flavour, and are are very versatile. Try them in soups (with onions or garlic as the star), or salads.

And if you are looking for a hit of sugar, blood oranges are back in season...

Bon app'!


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