By Chef Selwyn Richards
Seasons seem to have their calling for specialty foods. In the summer time, we are blessed with fresh fruits and the tantalizing smell of someone barbecuing. In the winter, depending on your geography, you may have to huddle up by the fireplace with a fresh cup of whipped hot chocolate.
As much as we get to lavish in the fresh produce section in the summer, there are many foods that just seem to be too hot to endure in the summer and are more enjoyable in the winter.
The summer time also takes us outdoors to enjoy the many things we can’t do in the winter. That usually leaves us with a lot less time to prepare those meals that take a little more tender loving care to prepare.
Let’s look at some of the winter foods that seems to warm our soul from head to toe while the winter chill taps at your windows keeping you indoors.
An entire meal in one dish… Chose your meat, slice up your potatoes, onions and carrots and let it simmer all day on low heat. It would be an added treat to whip up some Yorkshire pudding to spread that delicious homemade gravy over.
Homemade Baked Pie
A fruit of choice or your favorite smooth cream pie… banana, coconut, pumpkin or chocolate. A splash of ice cream or whipped cream on a warmed up slice gives you an extra sweetness to savor, even if it is cold outside.
Homemade Kitchen Soup
Everything you can find can go into a hearty soup. A great way to use up those leftovers! Cream soups like butternut squash soup can warm you from the inside out. When it comes to homemade soup, let your imagination go wild.
Hot Apple Cider Seasoned with Fresh Cinnamon Sticks
Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are always great ways of warming the insides, but hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick is an extra little treat we sometimes forget about.
Homemade Baked Beans
Baked beans will definitely remind you of Grandma. Canned beans were unheard of back then. If you have a little bit of age behind you, then you know baked beans were a staple. Very nutritional and filling!
Chicken and Dumplings
Another favorite from the past! This meal is easy on the budget and cooked all in one pot. Add your favorite vegetables on the side.
Chicken Pot Pie
Yes an entire meal all in one. All the food groups covered. Meat, potatoes and your favorite vegetables in a little gravy sauce, covered with a tender flaky crust.
Freshly Baked Cookies
This aroma is enough to spike anybodies sweet craving. Even if you don’t normally eat cookies, you won’t be able to resist those warm soft cookies right out of the oven. Oatmeal cookies are nutritional, but those chocolate chip cookies are just plain melt in your mouth delicious.
Beef Stew and Biscuits
This is an all in one hearty dish. Covers all the food groups, warms you from the inside out and keeps you feeling full for a long time.
Chili and Toast
Homemade chili has so much good stuff in it. You can even hide extra nutritional foods in here. Puree what they don’t like and just tuck it in there. They will never know they are getting a well balanced complete nutritional meal.
Grab a great family movie, roast up some chestnuts, get the snuggies on and relax. An extra protein and calcium rich snack everyone can benefit from.
The old saying, oatmeal sticks to your ribs isn’t technically true. But, it does stay with you a long time, which keeps you fueled up.
In the winter, there is nothing better than relaxing in your warm comfies with the aroma of a roast in the oven or the smell of fresh baked cookies filling the air. The anticipation of how mouth watering juicy they are going to be when you finally get to sink your teeth into it can make for a tantalizing day.
Winter meals are generally prepared with more time available, which means more TLC goes into them. These are the type of meals that bond the whole family together. The type of meals Grandma used to make that everyone waits for all day and then sits down together to enjoy.
It isn’t just the winter food that is soothing your soul, it is the environment you have created, within your home, that is centered around a wholesome meal. That soothes more than the soul. A lot of love can deepen over a family dinner together. These are cherished moments that will live in your family for generations to come.
Selwyn Richards is an award-winning master chef. He is also the President and Executive Chef at The Art of Catering Inc. and is the author of “The Art of Cooking: Soul of The Caribbean”. Chef Selwyn can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone — (905) 619-1059.