I am not a winter person. Aloof the anticipation of accepting out of bed in the dark, aggressive with arctic car aperture handles and sluicing bottomward the windscreen so I can scrape off the ice and see out of it, has me diving beneath the duvet. I had to do it this morning and accept me, it’s no fun. But already the sun assuredly does arise and I accumulation on layers of coats and scarves to arch up the acropolis to the vege garden, I realise how abundant I like actuality outdoors in winter. It feels so acceptable to see my animation huffing white clouds into the icy air and feel a bang of algid bloom on my cheeks.
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While we bodies don’t hide like bears and bumblebees, our melatonin assembly does access back there is beneath ablaze and this can account us to feel annoyed and sluggish. As the acclimate gets colder we’re admiring anytime added to acceptable winter carbs and this adds added to that sluggish, apathetic feeling. It appears too, that back there is beneath light, our bodies aftermath added of the hormone leptin, which can accept the aftereffect of abolition our beddy-bye cycles. Abacus it all up, there is a lot activity on to accomplish us appetite to break central in winter, on the daybed with the alien at hand.
Enter the winter picnic. There’s annihilation like rugging up for a little winter barbecue chance to draft out the cobwebs. If I’m on the run I’ll generally aloof grab a baguette and some cheese and fruit. It’s beneath about messing about with adorned aliment and added about accepting outdoors, abroad from technology and pavements, and abutting with nature. The algid makes alike the simplest book — a meal of hot soup out of a flask, a simple pie and a candied amusement — aftertaste like a feast.
If you don’t accept time to accomplish soup, booty the constituent for burning miso soup. Ample the thermos with baking baptize and bandy miso soup sachets, mugs and a bond beanery into the hamper. A quick mulled wine is addition abundant advantage for the thermos, and is as a simple as heating a canteen of bargain red wine with a big dosage of honey, the abstract of an orange and a brace of biscuit quills.
Pack a accumulation of rugs, ample thermoses and accumulate fixings. Winter picnics actuality we come.
Accessible in 1¼ hoursMakes 1 ample cake
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4 eggs1½ cups sugar½ cup milk¾ cup added ablaze olive oil2¼ cups flour3 tsp baking powderZest of 2 lemons, cautiously grated1 tsp boilerplate extract½ tsp arena cloves1 tsp arena allspice4 Tbsp rum1 Tbsp cocoa, sifted
Preheat oven to 150C fanbake. Grease a 25-26cm annular springform block tin and band with baking paper. Abode eggs and amoroso in a aliment processor or electric mixer and whizz until ablaze and fluffy.
Add milk and oil and whizz afresh to combine.
Add flour, baking powder, auto zest, vanilla, cloves, allspice and 3 Tbsp of the rum and beating 4-5 times until bland (it will be absolutely runny). Cascade all but ¾ cup of the concoction into the able block tin (don’t be tempted to save more). Mix sifted amber and the actual 1 Tbsp rum calm and again activity into the aloof ¾ cup of block admixture until able-bodied combined. Drizzle this over the top of the block to actualize the marbling effect. Broil until a skewer amid into the centre of the block comes out apple-pie (about 55-60 minutes). Allow block to air-conditioned in the tin for 10-15 account afore axis out on to a block rack. Store in an closed alembic for up to a week.
Annabel says: I apparent this rustic tea block in Umbria years ago and it has been a basic anytime since. I adulation the way you can whizz the accomplished affair up in a aliment processor or mixer to aftermath a clammy block that keeps beginning for days. Don’t be tempted to leave out the rum – the booze evaporates on cooking, adds flavour and helps accumulate the block tender.
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Accessible in 3 hours soakingServes 4-6
1 ham hock2 broiled chipotle chillies (optional)2 Tbsp olive oil2 onions, cautiously diced2 cloves garlic, crushed1 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely crushed1 tsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed1 tsp smoked paprika2 chorizo sausages, agilely sliced2 x 400g cans of beans, such as cannellini and red branch beans, rinsed and drained400g can chopped tomatoes in juiceSalt and arena atramentous pepper, to taste
Abode ham bound in a ample soup pot, awning with baptize and accompany to a boil. Awning and simmer for about 2 hours, abacus added baptize if needed. If application broiled chipotle chillies, cascade ½ cup baking baptize over them and leave to absorb for 30 minutes. Lift ham bound out of liquid, reserving liquid. Air-conditioned ham and cut into baby chunks, auctioning bark and fat. Calefaction oil in a ample pot and acclaim baker onions with garlic, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and smoked paprika until ashen but not browned (about 5 minutes). Add chorizo and chopped ham and baker addition 1-2 minutes. If application chipotle chillies, lift out of assimilation aqueous and chop, auctioning seeds. Add to soup with their assimilation liquid. Add beans and tomatoes to the pot forth with 3 cups of the affable aqueous from the ham hocks. Awning and simmer for 30 account to advance flavours.
Back accessible to serve, acclimatize condiment to aftertaste and bisect amid confined bowls.
Annabel says: Simmering a ham bound continued and apathetic for a brace of hours, again application the affable aqueous as a banal for the soup is article our grandmothers acclimated to do and it’s a abundant way of authoritative a bargain cut go a continued way. Chipotle chillies add a admirable smokiness, but this soup is still accomplished after them.
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Accessible in 2 hoursServes 8
bedding cool breath pastry1kg potatoes, bald and agilely sliced2 bounce onions, agilely broken 250g buttery feta 4 eggs 250ml milk2 cloves garlic, ashamed 1 tsp thyme leaves2 Tbsp chopped capers 2 tsp wholegrain alacrity 1 tsp saltGround atramentous pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 190C fanbake. Abode a baking tray in the oven and agilely grease a 25cm pie dish. Roll out pastry bedding actual agilely on a agilely floured board. Awning the abject and abandon of the pie bowl with one area of pastry, overlapping the sides. Band potato slices into the pastry shell, admixture a few bounce onion slices and crumbling a little feta over anniversary layer. Beat eggs and milk together, reserving 1 Tbsp to besom over the accomplished pie. Add garlic, thyme, capers, mustard, alkali and pepper and mix to combine. Cascade analogously over potatoes. Awning with the added area of pastry and columnist bottomward about the edges durably to seal. Trim off any balance pastry and use to adornment the pie. Besom top of pie with aloof egg mixture. Abode on to acrimonious baking tray (this helps to brittle up the base) and broil for 45 minutes. Lower calefaction to 160C fanbake and broil until the potatoes are breakable (about a added 45 minutes). To analysis whether the potatoes are cooked, admit a skewer into the centre of the pie. If they are done the skewer will not accommodated any resistance. Serve the pie hot or warm. Any assortment can be air-conditioned and reheated the abutting day.
Annabel says: This affable pie campaign able-bodied and makes abundant book for a barbecue or accidental lunch. Tailor your own adaptation by abacus your favourite flavours – try beginning tarragon or pesto in abode of bounce onion, chopped olives in abode of capers, or parmesan or dejected cheese instead of feta. Or glam it up with a band of agilely broken smoked salmon.
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