Halloween is fast approaching and that means that many mothers will find themselves getting out their crafting guns in order to create Halloween costumes, whilst simultaneously cooking up a storm in the kitchen to create some culinary creations fit for Frankenstein!
When we look at this season of long nights and cold days, we tend to retreat inside, which can be a very cosy and warming experience to the soul – it’s a great time to connect with family and one of the best ways to do this is through cooking. In our family the concept of soul food is that of creating food which nourishes the soul as well as the body, and in that vein, autumn is a perfect time to prepare some autumnal culinary treats.
Indeed, autumn is very much a time for comfort food – whether you’re cosying up in front of your favourite film, or taking a weekend break to somewhere enchanting at this time of year such as the Lake District.
Here are three ideas to point you in the right direction if you’re looking to tap into the cost autumnal spirit and serve up some warming culinary treats that the soul tends to crave at this time of year, most of which are savoury, though if you wish to indulge your sweet tooth you should check out this Sticky Fig & Blackberry Cake.
There are few things more appreciated on a cold day than a warming soup, particularly when tucked into on an autumnal walk in nature. The great thing about soups is that they are nutritionally rich, yet cheap and very easy to make – what’s more is that they are very quick to heat up if you need a quick snack and don’t have time to cook, plus they freeze well, so you can make a huge batch and consume it over several weeks. Our family favourite is my Autumn Soup.
When the cold comes we often crave comfort food such as pies – indeed, if you are heading somewhere rural for an autumn walk, there’s a good chance you’ll end up in a country pub enjoying something akin to a traditional Steak and Ale pie.
Making a pie is simple – particularly if you cheat and use pre-made pastry that you simply need to roll out and place over a bowl of meat and/or vegetables smothered in a rich hearty gravy. The brilliant thing is that pies are also cheap to make, as the meat used for pies tends to be cheaper cuts.
Having a warm apple pie come out the oven is a treat for all the senses, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream is the perfect accompaniment. Of course, this isn’t quite as good for you as the soups discussed earlier, so if you’re looking to keep the calories down, you could instead make an apple crumble with a healthier alternative to the topping; such as honey coated oats, nuts and cereals rather than the sweet buttery crumble most people desire.