Even though there’s something comforting about getting back into a normal routine after a hectic holiday period, I don’t like January. It’s the one month that makes me want to be indoors all day long, and keep the January Blues away. Although December is similar to January with long nights and short days, the build up to Christmas is full of twinkling lights and excitement of what is to come. Once the fireworks of New Years Eve have disappeared into the night there is nothing left to look forward to and it’s back to the humdrum of everyday life, mixed with long nights and short days. The lack of light is the hardest I think. It feels like the middle of the night when the alarm goes off. January is the hangover of the year. The best thing I can say about January is at least it’s not February !
I know I am not the only one struggling, so here I give you some delicious recipes for the long and dark winter days.
This picture is from our very first winter at the farm in Sweden. Before we built gates and fences all around the farm. Looks a bit different. More vild and lonely. But beautiful. It was a perfect winter morning after the temperatures fell to minus 5 degrees during the night. This is what I will call a good January winter day, when the snow lighten up the landscapes, and the days seems longer, but unfortunately those days are few in this part of the country.
«Feeling a little blue in january is normal»
To light a candle is to cast a shadow
Ursula K. Le Guin
It Happens To Be Freezing
Brace yourself…. it is going to be cold. No matter where you live in Scandinavia, it will be cold and it will be windy.
Maybe it was cold in December — but the Christmas lights, high spirits, feasts and fine wine seemed to keep it at bay. The house seemed warm and cheery, with no guilt about keeping the heating on all day. It’s Christmas after all! But January feels like a slap in the face with a cold fish. Reality comes home to roost and it seems colder, wetter, damper and more depressing than any other month of the year. Extra layers of clothing are donned. There's a bleak landscape that only improves when the sun occasionally breaks through during the excruciatingly short days.
¨Stay safe, keep warm and make a soup! A garlic soup for example¨
( adopted from Manger by Mimi Thorisson)
2 tablespoons duck fat or extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finally diced
1 whole head garlic, plus 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1.2 liters chicken stock
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
A few springs of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, if desired more for serving
2 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
In a large pot, heat the duck fat over medium heat. Cook the onion for 2 minutes. Add the sliced head of garlic and cook until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir well, then pour in the chicken stock and bring to low boil. Season with salt and pepper, add the thyme springs, lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Fry the remaining sliced garlic until golden and slightly crisp, about 3 minutes, drain on paper towel.
Purée the soup in batches in a blender. Return the soup to the pot and set over medium heat.
Beat the egg whites in a small bowl and then drizzle, whisking constantly, into the soup. You should see thin strands of egg white form in the soup; immediately remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks with the vinegar in a small bowl, then slowly add a little of the soup, again whisking constantly to prevent curdling.
Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with fried garlic, and drizzle with a few drops of olive oil, if desired. Serve immediately.
Rosemary chicken with baked vegetables
This whole roasted chicken turns out terrifically flavorful and tender, and the broth left in the bottom is a perfect gravy in itself
2.5 dl chicken broth
1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
100 g butter, cut into 1 tablespoon sized pieces
2 navel oranges, halved
salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
100 g butter, melted
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. Pour the chicken broth into a small roasting pan, and set aside.
Loosen the skin from the breasts and thighs of the chicken. Stuff the butter pieces evenly underneath the skin of the chicken, and place into the roasting pan. Squeeze the orange halves over the chicken, and stuff the orange halves into the chicken cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper to taste, then rub in the minced garlic. Drizzle the melted butter all over the chicken, then lay the herb sprigs onto the breast and around the legs.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and baste the chicken with the pan juices. Continue cooking until the chicken is no longer pink, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 74 degrees C, 1 to 2 hours. Baste the chicken every 10 to 15 minutes after you uncover it. Once cooked, allow the chicken to rest out of the oven for 10 minutes before slicing
Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier
We don’t eat our chicken. They are acquired to produce eggs, and for pleasure of cause
We buy our chicken, or other poultry from Vikingfågel a farm very close to us, who produces fresh, organic and happy birds, who tastes absolutely great. Big difference from supermarket chickens.
This cake is perfect if you need to use your fruit quite soon. It does not matter if the fruit is a little over-tempered. The cake tastes almost better with good ripe fruit
Pear Cake with cardamom
100 g tempered butter
100 g sugar
150 g flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tps Cardamom
1 pinch of salt
2 tsp Vanilla sugar
100 g Cream fraiche
Brown sugar and cardamom for garnish
Preheat the oven 180 degrees.
Run butter and sugar white in your kitchen aid or similar. Add one egg at a time and stir between each time. Add flour, baking powder, vanilla sugar, cardamom, salt and cream fraiche. Mix for approx. 2 minutes. Dress a small (20 cm) cake tin, or iron pan with parchment paper and pour in the batter.
Peel the pears and cut in halves and remove the cores. Place the pears halves in the mold and push them a little bit down, but not all the way. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and cardamom over. Bake for 30 minutes. Best to serve when still warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream