The above sight will now become a regular feature of our evenings, it is mostly a statement about our current foul weather, rather than a cooking method.
We've now said goodbye to those wonderful warm and sunny late November days, and are into a period of cold, drizzle, and pale grey skies. We have already had two frosty mornings (-1C), and of course there are many more to come. I see predictions of upcoming max daily temperatures of around 6C, and I see us possibly being stuck indoors for some while.
So, slow cooked warming stews are the order of the day. On top of our wood-burner (above) is an Irish Stew, with cheap breast of lamb, spuds, carrots, a quartered onion, and some pearl barley. I later added a few simple herby dumplings. The other pan contained some plain steamed 'greens' (Cavolo Nero). If that doesn't warm us up; I don't know what would.
Other dishes that will soon appear on the wood burner include Coq au Vin, and Boeuf Bourguignon. Amazingly, such slow-cooked dishes are far less time consuming than frying a couple of Pork chops. Everything goes in one pot, then they look after themselves until ready. Baked Potatoes will be prepared in the ash pan underneath the fire box. What could be better?
Out in the country the change of seasons is more poignant than in town, and our meals follow suite. Many town dwellers would see no difference between their July Big Mac, and a January Big Mac, but if we were to eat a Greek Salad at Christmas, or a Lancashire Hot Pot in August, it would seem very odd.