Winter cooking, the comforting, the generous.
Winter is not the favourite of the season for scandinavians, far from it, it is long, dark, often windy and wet, always cold.The sun almost disappear and if seen, only bring a few hours of light, rarely eat.It is the season when the nordic stay inside their homes, where they remember the bright days of summer , and the bright side of life in there home country.A visitor will often hear ”come to visit in summer , it is very nice then.”
Winter is also synonym of introspection, reflection, and intellectual work, it is the time for planning, for study, for organising.As the majority of the nordic spend more time inside their house , I imagine that they spend also more time cooking, and more time enjoying cooking , and enjoying eating.
Summer, the bright counterpart is the hectic and colourful time when no one of good sense will spend a sunday morning cooking while the sun is shinning and the outdoor so inviting, the easy fixed barbecue, fast salads and ready to eat fruits and vegetables are perfect for the tempo and summer frenzy.
Winter on the other hand, is providing, ( yes , winter do provide.) a very different local harvest, a underground harvest or just above ground , a selection of roots, tubers, green leaves with strong fibber , bulbs and brassicas, winter squash… As the temperature goes down, nature slow down and nature force get internal.
This harvest , compared to the summer harvest , is more work intensive, require more time of preparation, of cooking. I do not mean that cooking have to be more complicated…please, let it be simple.
Winter is hard on the bodies , so the bodies needs the food to be more nutritious.It is hard on the minds also , so the food should be more comforting and more care should be provided.
Winter cooking should be part of the patch that reconciled us with the dark season, help us accept the lost of the outdoor pleasures for the comfort of the homes, the peace of the armchair, the magic of the kitchens.
Porridge, teas and hot drinks, winter salads, baked, roasted roots, earthy soups , stews, marmites, pickles, fermented preparations, mashes, compotes and jams, tarts and pies, gratins and braised dishes, also the pleasures of baking.
Winter is also time for more grains, beans ,sprouts, nuts, dried fruits, home-made conserve of all kind.( some still find the time to save the excess of summer harvest by all means of preservation technics …and enjoy the fruit of their works later ..) and off course , the superbe selection of citrus.
All naturel remedies against gloomy days, again physical or mental illness, glorious but simple daily celebration of the cold season.