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Baby, it's cold outside

It's a particularly Irish thing to talk about the weather, but in this instance, it's 100% on topic.

Spring has sprung and we're meant to be unfolding from our long hibernations. Stretching and reaching for a watery, cool sun. Shaking off our winter insulation and kick starting our metabolism with tentative jogging on bright, brisk days. 

However, I just can't think about spring loading my metabolism while there's a howling wind outside, rain that can't decide between freezing and simply just wet, and near zero temperatures.

It's just not right.

Instead, I've been preparing for Spring, waiting for those bright new buds, by preparing and eating really nourishing, wholesome food. Making lovely pots of butternut squash, carrot and ginger soup, using homemade chicken stock. Experimenting with a recipe for a hot and spicy bombay chicken curry. Discovering a method for a really easy beetroot soup, laced instinctively with lots of black pepper. Warming, nourishing and the perfect antidote to long forgotten Christmas indulgences and winter weather that has overstayed it's welcome.

One recipe that I've made about 4 times since the New Year is a Fruity Stewed Apple. It's a very appley compote, with soothing tones of vanilla, orange and cinnamon, mixed with earthy prunes and juicy dried apricots.

Maybe when Spring really arrives, it'll stay scribbled in my recipe folder for another 10 months, until the chill air reminds me of it's scent and comfort. Until then, I'll enjoy this sweet and sour treat and be satisfied that it's just what I need. 

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