I’m not going to start lying to you, I’m not the biggest fan of Autumn, especially living in England. You see so many photo’s of ‘fall’ (as you American’s call it) and I’m honestly so jealous. Perfect pretty coloured leaves that crunch when you step on them, not the soggy wet mushed up leaves you have to avoid walking on, just in case you slip and end up landing in a puddle or covered in mud.
No Picturesque photo’s of the sun shining with the trees blowing a lovely soft breeze and a pretty rainbow peaking through, nope, instead, there’s no sight of the sun, well apart from when you’re driving and it’s directly in eye level. Rainbows are a rarity to actually be able to see, hence why EVERY British person EVER takes a photo of a rainbow whenever we see one (and if you even try and say you haven’t tried to find the end of the rainbow, you’re 100% lying).
We only have about a week to wear open toe boots and fir coats, because the rest of the time it’s absolutely pouring with rain and we all know fur coats + rain = a matted disaster.
I’m not a complete Negative Nelly about Autumn though…promise.
There are some things I absolutely love about this time of year (and I guess it carries on into winter as well, we just have more chance of pretty (for at least one day before it’s just sludge) snow in the winter!!!
There’s nothing I love more than coming home, my nose as red as Rudolph and my lips blue (please tell me other people have to deal with this??), getting my pyjamas and dressing gown on and sitting down in front of the TV and fire with a nice warm soup and crusty buttered bread.
So, I thought what better for this time of year, than a post all about my favourite meals, or as I call them ‘soul warming food’, and a little story about each one, with a method so you can make it for yourself.
If there’s a meal that you love at this time of year that I don’t mention, please let me know in the comments, I’d blooming LOVEEEE to try them (obviously…it’s food).
(None of the photo’s belong to me in this post, if you notice a photo that is yours, feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org, to either have the photo removed, or credit to be given on the post!! xo)
1. Momma P’s Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup.
When Momma P started a cooking club at the primary school she works at, the head chef of the Hilton Hotel, Manchester, came to open the club. He gave each of the children a recipe book and Momma P brought one home for me!! I love cooking but this is something I would never even dreamed of trying in the past (I was always very, VERY fussy, never willing to try anything new).
So Momma P made this and made me try it without telling me what is was before hand, and boy am I glad that she did!! It tastes amazing. The texture may not be to everybody’s taste but it’s bloody lovely! Not to mention just how easy it is to make…
- Boil chopped carrots and sweet potato in water with a vegetable stock (around 35 minutes).
- Once soft, season to taste.
- Using a hand blender, blend until all big pieces of veg has gone.
- Serve and enjoy with crusty bread.
2. Nanna Pats ‘Tater Ash’
So it may not look that appealing, but, much like a Roast Dinner, they don’t photograph very well! I’ve always called this hot pot, but when I made it for my flatmates in uni, they all moaned at me because apparently it’s not a hotpot without layered potatoes on top (literally… my eyes couldn’t roll enough, IT TASTES THE EXACT SAME!!!!).
My Nanna has always called this ‘tater ash’, and she definitely makes the best I’ve ever had!!! Whenever my mum used to go away on residential weekends with work, (my dad wasn’t the best cook back then, he’s learnt some great dishes now though) we used to go next door to my Nanna’s house and she would make us this on one of the nights.
- Chop up all of the veg you want and chunks of beef and add to a slow cooker.
- Add in some water and beef stock and season.
- Stir occasionally throughout the day, leave to cook for 5-8 hours (or whenever you’re ready to eat it, after 4 hours minimum).
- Enjoy with crusty bread.
3. Minestrone Soup
I don’t actually know what goes into this or in what way you make it, but I do remember making it in Food Tech in my first year of high school (I’ve had a few sleeps since then though). I remember loving it but I didn’t have it again, until I went for a meal at an Italian restaurant and had it as a starter. It’s such a lush dish and definitely one you should try.
If you want to try it, then who better than Gino D’acampo to give you a traditional Italian recipe. Click here for ingredients and method, I’ll definitely be making this at some point soon.
4. My Beef in red wine pie with puff pastry.
I had this for the first time at The March Hare, a local restaurant just down the road from my house. I’m not usually a fan of pie, especially shortcrust pastry. But I love puff pastry so I wasn’t going to turn this down.
I then decided to make it myself and everyone seemed to love it, so now I make it as often as I can. It’s definitely a dish I’m proud of when I do make.
- Sear your beef, a bit at a time, making sure that each side is slightly brown.
- Remove the beef from the pan and leave to one side.
- Add onions to the pan and cook for a bit, before adding chopped mushrooms and carrots.
- Add the beef back to the mix, with beef stock and red cooking wine.
- Add some water, mix, and cover.
- Leave in the oven for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Once cooked, put the veg and meat into a caserole dish and a little of the sauce, cover the top of the dish with the pastry.
- Cook for 30 minutes.
- Use the leftover sauces as gravy.
- Best served with Mash potato.
5. Beef Bourguignon.
I think it was my boyfriends dad who first made me this (Shout out to Paul whose the reason I try so many new foods that usually become my favourite!!). Its basically the same as the pie, obviously just without the pastry. But my god it’s tasty. Especially with mash potato (which I bloody love).
6. Homemade soup. (Ham & Lentils)
Another Momma P speciality and my sister Emma’s favourite. It’s super easy to make and one you can throw into the slow cooker, head off to work, and enjoy when you come home.
- prep all of your veg and cut up your ham, add it to the slow cooker with water and vegetable stock.
- Leave to cook throughout the day.
- Let the lentils soak in cold water for about 20 minutes, before adding them.
- Serve and enjoy with crusty bread.
These dishes are all perfect for warming you up after a cold day outside. So, if you give them a try, be sure to let me know what you think in the comments.
Bye for now