Winter, the season for inner reflection, drawing in and foods that warm to the core

Deep Water, Iford NSW ©Sarah Ducker 2012

This photo is the perfect representation of the winter months, dark, cold and mysterious. A time for bringing warmth to the core of our body to help us manage the colder weather. Any northern hemisphere reader might scoff, thinking that Australia never gets that cold. It is all relative and the 17˚C in my room today see’s me bundled up beside the heater!

I made Oden yesterday, Japan’s answer to winter warming nourishment; eaten on the icy winter streets and in bars. For those who have a copy, there is a recipe for this fabulous dish, in my cookbook Nourish. It is a very simple broth with these ingredients at least, mirin and tamari, kombu, shiitake mushrooms, daikon, carrots and tofu; all long slow simmered into a deeply delicious meal. This broth looks somewhat like the photo above, unfathomable, watery and dark.

In Chinese 5 element theory winter is a representation of the water element, dark red and black, saltiness and it is the season that requires we give attention to our water organs, the kidneys and the bladder. Cooking styles that best suit the season include long slow simmering, braising roasting sauteeing and preserving. It’s a great time for the slow cooker, the stock pot and the oven but dont forget, and I suspect you wont, we all love something sweet to eat and winter provides us some fabulous fruits. The quince above were transformed from rock hard yellow to meltingly soft, deep red sweetness by long slow simmering with only a very small amount of maple syrup. They were dense and toothsome. Top tip… just cut them in half and wait to core them after they have cooked. This makes it very easy to extract the hard core without leaving any behind and it saves the risk of a knife wound.

The recipe for these is included in my  Refresh, Restore & Nourish in Winter  4 evening or 4 day course. The course provides the fundamental skills of cooking in this season with many supportive easy winter recipes and a menu plan that offers a broad range of breakfasts, lunches dinners and snacks. I ran this course in Rozelle a couple of weeks ago and got the following fabulous feedback.

Zoe said… Thanks for a great 4 days of cooking, eating and learning. I’m just about to qualify as a Naturopath and found 4 days with you to be more valuable and useable than all the nutrition classes I’ve done! You make it real- let food be our medicine, and medicine be our food.

Gabriella offered this…”Thank you again for such a wonderful four days of learning, cooking and discussions. You left me wishing I could bring you home and tuck you away in my kitchen. The amount of knowledge you have on eating nourishing, seasonal foods and healing with whole foods is incredible and I only wished we could have had more time.

Jo wrote…  You are a warm, generous soul who was exceptionally patient, passionate and professional.  I have a coeliac husband and dairy intolerant preschooler, I have beendesperate for inspiration and ideas on how to cook easy meals that cater for everyone’s needs.  I sought information and inspiration and came away with bucket (or shall I say, jar) loads!  I felt so relaxed and happy and really nourished myself.  I think I ate better in 4 days with you than I have in months!  Your food was delicious and made me see how I can make some tasty gf and df meals.

I am running this course again, over 4 Tuesday evenings starting tomorrow, Tuesday 12th June, in Bilgola. There are a few places for the quick and keen. Send me an email asap if you want a spot. I will be running it in Melbourne at The Green Grocer in Fitzroy North, at the end of July. Please help me spread the news to Victoria. More details of this and this months Capturing Cultures classes and more can be found here

cacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacacaca These crab apples, opportunistically gathered after a catering job in Bowral, were way too sour to be edible when picked but with a slow simmer, the addition of a little spice and sweetness they have become deep red ‘roadside crab apple jelly’ which will last the winter long and beyond, though I have gifted half of it to friends already!

Here’s what I did, so you can too. There is something deeply satisfying about producing food from ‘found’ ingredients.

Recipe for roadside crab apple jelly

3 kilos fruit, washed but otherwise untouched, tipped into a large stew pan

covered in cold water and brought to a gentle simmer, pop in a split vanilla bean and a couple of cinnamon quills

simmered until the apples soften, about 30-40 minutes

the fruit and liquid are poured into a colander lined with two or three layers of muslin, over a large pot. Don’t press the fruit, allow it to strain overnight

Measure the juice and add the pulp to the compost

use 500gms light muscovado sugar or raw sugar per litre

simmer the juice and sugar until the temperature reaches 105˚C at this point it will gel beautifully

contain in sterile glass jars, cool and pour a layer of liquid bees wax over the jelly to seal, lid and store until you are ready to use- i’ll give you 3 hours max…

Something new. Exploring Winter Wellness Workshop. Yoga by Gwynne Jone, food by Holly Davis

On July 15 I am teaming up with yogi Gwynne Jones, we are  offering a seasonal one day winter workshop at The Intuitive Well in Bondi Junction. For all the details see June-September classes page


3 Comments on “Winter, the season for inner reflection, drawing in and foods that warm to the core”

  1. Deirdre Ferguson says:

    Thanks Holly. After doing your course I am still cooking the recipes almost every day. Tonight I cooked One pot Andean grains ( my favourite) and crispy roast celeriac and parsnip. I’m soaking turtle beans for tomorrow night’s soup and have quince slow cooking overnight. I have kefir and creamy oats for breakfast and my family have sighed over walnut pâté and naturally leavened pear, date and walnut cake. I’ve never eaten better, though I’m not spending a lot of time cooking. And the kitchen smells great.

  2. jillianmckee says:

    Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?

    Jillian


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