Thursday, January 11, 2007

~The Winter Kitchen~

Today, I was going through my cookbooks, looking for new recipes to try out. I came across one that I had forgotten about. "Through the Kitchen Window" is written by English author, Susan Hill. She takes us through the seasons in her kitchen, creating a magical world of mouth-watering aromas and traditional dishes.



The Winter Kitchen

In winter, the kitchen is the heart of the house. It is a living place. Kettles sing, pots simmer, pans bubble.

There is a chair for quiet reading, and waiting for this or that to be put in or taken out of the oven, to be ready, to be kneaded or turned or stirred.

Beside the stove, cats purr with half-closed eyes.

In winter, the kitchen is always warm, and, always, there are smells: of roasting meat and stewing soups, frying onions and baking bread.

Outside, early dark, rain like a whip lash, gale and hail, rattling the latch, or ice, sealing it tight.

But inside all is bright, warm, savoury, companionable.



Susan also shares some pleasures of the Winter Kitchen...

~The bubble-bubble of soups and broths, the simmer of the stock-pot.

~A dish of citrus fruits, oranges, tangerines, clementines, grapefruit, dozens of lemons, skins all aglow.

~Root vegetables freshly pulled, earth still clinging to them and crumbling on to the table. Turnip and parsnip, carrot and celery.

~The rise and fall of the singing kettle as it boils for hot drinks on bitter days.

With that in mind, I will make Chicken Pot Pie, Shepherd's Pie and Vegetable Stew with Homemade Bread for our meals this coming week.

How do you make your kitchen cozy for winter? Do you like to cook or bake anything special?

23 comments:

Susie said...

What a perfectly charming cookbook (cookbooks are one of my weaknesses)
I love the comfort foods of winter, in fact my latest post I mentioned the beef stew I made in this chilly weather!
hugs!

Jodi said...

Oh Kelli - what lovely word pictures; that must be a wonderful cookbook! :o) Your post reminded me that I like to roast root veggies in the winter. Potatoes (skinned or not), Turnips, Parsnips, Carrots, and Onions all chopped in large pieces (maybe quartered), tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and sometimes a bit of garlic -- then roasted in a slow oven until fork tender. It just says wintertime to me! :o)

(Sometimes I roast a whole head of garlic while I do the veggies. Then squeeze the soft, sweet garlic out - mix with butter and spread on hot French bread to go with the veggies.) Mmmm - now I know what we're having this weekend - lol!

Jenny said...

That sounds like a lovely book. I make minestrone soup, beef stew, and chicken pot pie often in the winter.

Beck said...

That's such a dream of a book! I want my own copy!

Simply Ei said...

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Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I love books like that! It looks so charming.

Fall through Winter is when I enjoy cooking the most. I especially like to make soups, stews, casseroles and homebaked bread.

Morgan said...

Home baked bread and a nice soup or stew usually does the trick!

clarice said...

Isn't this the most beautiful cookbook. It is one of my favorite !!! Clarice

Mrs. Darling said...

That book reminds me of mine called Cooking from Quilt Country. Its been while since Ive been here and I can see I missed some lovely posts. Ive been catching up. I love my kitchen in all seasons!
It reminds me of a poem that hung on a decorative plate when I was a kid. It said:
No matter where I serve my guests it seems they like my kitchen best!

Patty said...

Sounds like a wonderful cookbook and perfect for this winter weather we are going to experience this weekend. Stay safe and hope you don't have to go out this weekend.

Naturegirl said...

My kitchen is always cozy enough for me with 3 cats coming and going from their feeding area...it looks out to the garden so I sit with a hot cup of tea and smile at my visitors feeding at the bird feeders! :)NG =^.^=

Sioux said...

What a lovely book. In winter I make lots of soup and keep water steaming on the stove to keep the house more moist.

Britt-Arnhild said...

This book looks great.
I've started foodblogging now, at:
http://thebluecafe.blogspot.com/

Milehimama said...

We have "oven food". My crockpot sits on the counter all summer, used 3-5 times a week, but in winter I make meatloaves and dinner rolls and turkeys. We eat turkey in the cold months!
I bought 5 at Thanksgiving - 19 cents a pound, so I got them for under $3 each, and will roast about 1 a month. (We don't do all the sides, pies, etc. of Thanksgiving, though, just regular everyday fare) I can get 3 dinners out of them, but usually freeze the meat for another day so my family doesn't get 'turkeyed out'.
If you ever want to make sure you make a perfect Turkey on Thanksgiving, I highly recommend you practice roasting one in Jan, Feb, Mar, and April! And soup - ham soup from the Christmas dinner, turkey soup, chicken soup.

Mama Says

kelley said...

Hmm...I posted a comment but it must have got lost in cyberspace...
What a charming cookbook Kelli!
Some of the things that are in our winter kitchen at the cottage are: soups of all kinds: parmesan potato, garden chowder, ham and cheese soup, wild rice and bacon, etc...
Also homemade breads of all sorts: sourdough, herb, plain, rolls...

Wildflower Cabin said...

Oh I love all the winter pleasures of the authors kitchen! It truly is a magical room in the house during cold weather! :o)
Flora

Lisa said...

LOVE the cookbook! I like making pots of chili when it is cold. Unfortunately, we haven't had much cold weather this winter.

Glad the kidlets are feeling better. It was the cookies wasn't it? ;o)

PEA said...

What a delightful little cookbook! I have a couple of vintage cookbooks and should get them out to post about:-) I love baking anything with apples and cinammon in the winter time...also have a candle (apple cinammon of course!) that I light every evening. Also love cooking chili, stews, etc. Hugs xox

Sharon Kay said...

Oh what could be better then a cook book with lovely pictures. I am geting ready to curl up in front of the fireplace with a good book right now......quite a chill up here in the north.

Mindy said...

The cookbook looks like a wonderful read! Such an enjoyable and inspiring post...nothing better than comfort foods in the winter...homemade Macaroni and cheese....yum!

Sioux said...

Hi, Kelli. Are you all getting any of this winter weather? We have icy roads all around. And more coming.

Pamela said...

Um, love the wonderful way she describes the Wintry kitchen.

I love to make a hearty stew mixed with the aromatic smell of homemade cinnamon rolls. lol I also love to bake in the Winter as the house is so much cooler here in Florida.

Corin said...

Any kind of soup or stew with crusty homemade french bread.

Roast with carrots, potatoes, onions and either garlic or onion soup mix.

Apple cinnamon raisin bread (I can hear my bread machine a-kneadin' now!). I'd make that just for the smell alone!


P.S. Finally found you again and added you to my favorites!