Winter cooking

One of the things I love about winter cooking is making the most of the produce that we grew last year and then froze. There aren’t huge quantities of it – we certainly don’t grow enough to be anywhere near self-sufficient through the winter. Last year’s total of rhubarb harvested was 6.1 kg, most of which was eaten the same weekend it was picked. I froze four bags of it, which is enough for four puddings spread through the winter. So, about once a month! We only harvested 600g of blackcurrants, although almost all of those were frozen (as it was too warm at the time to feel like a hot pudding), so I eke those out through the winter with some bought cooking apples (we don’t have a cooking apple tree). The gooseberries are usually the last to be used up.

It’s a nice reminder of the warmer weather to come when it’s cold and blustery outside.

I’ve made some really manky looking soup with leftover vegetables. It was actually quite nice, but did look rather slime-like! This gets frozen in these containers (the smallest size from Lakeland is enough for one one-person portion for my packed lunches and are OK to go in the freezer).

Thanks to a recommendation from Greensideknits, I’ve been trying out recipes from Jack Monroe‘s Tin Can Cook, which is exactly my style of cooking (easy, uses basic ingredients, tasty) and which I’ve initially been trialling to use up some out-of-date tins from the back of the cupboard. This is Pasta e ceci (pasta and chickpeas) which was very nice indeed. I will definitely be trying some more recipes from this book. I was already a fan of her earlier book, A girl called Jack, which I’ve used to make many meals.

Finally, a dish I make quite often as this time of year, generally whenever leeks show up in the veg box. It’s leek and Quorn [chunks] pasta bake. Simple, reasonably quick and very filling. This is heavily adapted from a supermarket recipe card for chicken and leek pasta bake.

What recipes have you been enjoying making this winter?

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