December; The official start to winter


Winter is upon us, the official start of frosty mornings and short days, cold and unfriendly. All the trees have shed their leaves and growth has almost come to a stand still. But when December arrives it brings with it an anticipated month of good cheer, a time when family and friends are drawn together and a time of year for more special table occasions, possibly than the rest of the year combined. December is a month that holds the true spirit of festivity in a build up to our most sociable occasion of them all ‘Christmas’.

Yes Christmas is practically upon us and what a great time of year it is when more or less all the vegetables, fish and meat that we consume are produced locally on and around our small islands. Many vegetables are beginning to come into full swing, the cold, crisp mornings helping to concentrate the sweet full flavours of carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, Swedes, parsnips and salsify. Leeks, cabbages, swiss chard and brussel sprouts are all at their best, crisp and in peak condition. Fruits from further a field that have been incorporated into our cuisine for a long time now are starting to adorn every greengrocers shelf, blood oranges, pink grapefruit, cranberries, pineapples and pomegranates are all perfectly plump and full of juice and just ready to be eaten. Another local favourite of mine the chestnut is starting to make its appearance and is fantastic in stuffing’s for the Christmas turkey or goose.

Even the cold, icy waters around us are still producing fish plump and full of flavour. Sustainable fished cod in particular is especially good very meaty, firm textured and full of flavour. Brill, plaice, halibut, whiting, hake, scallops, oysters and turbot are also firm favourites in winter the cold deep waters seem to improve the texture and taste of all these deep water fish.

If there is one produce that we excel in it is certainly game. The gaming season started in autumn, but continues to thrive in winter. Venison, partridge, pheasant, rabbit, grouse, wild duck and goose, are plentiful and in top condition. We really are very fortunate to have such wonderful game on our lands so make the most of them with apples, pears and cranberries and any other seasonal fruits that thankfully grow in conjunction with our wonderful game.

So it’s December, the start of the coldest of our seasons, often described as cold and unfriendly; well cold it is, but unfriendly? Definitely not!!! We are spoilt for choice with a very fine selection of food directly from our lands and seas. So its winter, it’s cold outside, so sit back with a big bowl of home-made stew in front of a warm fire and think just how lucky we are to have such a friendly season.

Comments (0)

Post a Comment