After the warm and mellow days of autumn, the first days of early winter can be an awful shock to the system that I find quite challenging, my mind clinging tightly to memories of balmy days recently past.
Over the years I’ve learnt the best way for me to deal with this shift in daylight is to grasp the change firmly with both hands, rather than trying to hide away inside pretending it’s not happening. So that means plenty of fresh air and physical exercise – walking my dogs in the hills, cycling through country lanes with my kids, or some vigorous brushing and tidying outside, putting the garden to bed for the year.
The thing I do relish about this time of year is the comforting food that I have missed over the summer. This is the season for embracing all those classic warming stews, soups and pies that make the most of some lovely seasonal ingredients and here are some of my favourite dishes to refuel after some bracing outdoor activity. Both the parsnip and apple soup and the chestnut, mushroom and savoy cabbage stew are speedy to make. The pot-roast beef brisket takes a satisfyingly long time to cook to perfection in the oven, so there’s no excuse not to grab your coat and boots and head out for a really long yomp in the country!
Parsnip Winter Warmer soup
Chestnut, mushroom and savoy cabbage stew (Photo by: istetiana via Getty Images)
Beef brisket pot roast (Photo by: Lauri Patterson via Getty Images)
Words by Genevieve Taylor