Pushing The Right Buttons
I may have mentioned this once or twice but I hate snow. Yes, there's the initial joy, the involuntary "aww, isn't it all pretty" reaction, but then there's the reality of trying to negotiate your way through it. While I'm an advocate of "there's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes" trying to walk up the slight incline between our place and the Tube when neighbours paranoid about being sued haven't even attempted to clear the Olympic quality ice rinks outside their properties is still a pain in the arse.
It is though a good excuse to break out the favourite winter warmer dishes, those bits of comfort eating that just make you feel content and soft and fuzzy. Chez Lambshank, that meant things like jacket spuds - a true taste of childhood - hearty carb-fest risottos and lots of things on toast from slabs of Montgomery's Cheddar (with homemade green tomato chutney) to baked beans, which I tweak with a scattering of dried chilli flakes and a big spoonful of good peanut butter. No, really. It melts through to glorious effect, thickens the sauce and gives it a lovely depth of flavour.
Best of all though - and also a good way of getting through some odd bits of cooking cheese and other savoury leftovers - is that king of winter snackage, Mushrooms on Toast. Take this bad boy, for example.
A fiver's worth of mixed mushrooms from Borough Market. Several cloves of garlic. A couple of shallots. A spoonful of creme fraiche. The finely chopped remains of a lump of ham that had been lurking in the fridge. A generous grating from the knackered lump of Keen's cheddar I'd been saving as cooking cheese. A thick slice of sourdough, more creme fraiche and a scattering of flat leaf parsley. That all added up to two hearty weekend lunches and enough leftovers to keep me happy today. Bliss.