This month I have been thinking about simple hearty winter food. I am thinking about cheap, easy to make and that which cheers you up on the inside even on a £50 a month food budget (yes it’s gone down from last year).
This week I made Tattie Scones from the Orkney News website. I didn’t have plain flour, but brown seemed to do the job (improvise if you must!). With a couple of fried eggs on the side I was soon enjoying a little bit of food heaven curled up in my blanket as Storm Dennis raged outside.
If I was on a croft (my dream) I would indulge in soda bread (the easiest of all the breads), Tattie Scones, Oxtail Casserole with whatever I happened to have, Falafels from the Bookstrap Cook and I’d be just about heralding the start of the new growing season by planting my first seeds in toilet rolls!
I’ve already planted Kale, Spinach, Chard and Spring Onions on my window sill, and I’m glad that spring will soon be here. I’ve logged dates in my calendar for when I can get growing with my remaining seeds and everything will be started indoors, only planting out once it’s strong enough to brave the English North West weather. There is something incredibly satisfying about growing your own crops.
The nights are drawing out. Already we’ve gained about an hour and a half of light in the evening and I can feel my creativity increasing as I start to come out of semi-hibernation. Even so it can still be 4 degrees in the morning and rarely gets above 10 degrees during the day. I power through and I know I have toughened up over the last year or so. I wear many layers until the heating finally goes on at 5pm. I can do this. I really can.
The weather has so far been kinder than this time last year. No snow and very few minus temperatures. My gas and electricity bills give it away. They seem to have gone down. I feel like I’ve nailed this winter survival lark thanks to bedsocks and hot water bottles which I didn’t have last year. And I am very glad of them.