At last it feels like winter.
The frost has remained on the ground in our little garden all weekend.
A single quince still clings to the tree.
After I took my photos I retreated to the warmth and comfort of my kitchen to cook some winter food.
Why not make a meal of mash?
I fried some onion slowly in butter until sweet and melting. Then I added a couple of cloves of crushed garlic.
It was all smelling very delicious. While this was happening I had a pan of potatoes on the boil -lots of potatoes. When they were cooked I drained them, dried them over a low heat and mashed them with butter and milk. Then I stirred in the onion and a heap of grated cheddar.
I spread it in a baking dish, scattered more cheese on top and put it in the oven to brown.
It was good.
Some crisply cooked bacon stirred into the mash would have made it really good.
Bacon makes most things better.
For supper this evening I made a simple chicken cobbler. I browned a chicken breast for each person in some butter and put them aside. Then I added a tub of my vegetable hash (a chopped onion would work just as well) and a clove of garlic to the pan. After a few minutes I added a tablespoonful of flour and stirred it into the oniony mixture. I added about 15 fl oz of chicken stock a little at a time stirring well with each addition to make a creamy sauce. Then I put the chicken back in the pan along with a couple of chopped carrots and some mushrooms. When it was all bubbling I sloshed in a slug of white wine and seasoned it before putting the lid on and putting it in the oven for half an hour at 180°c (160°c fan).
While it was in the oven I made the cobbler topping. I used an easy drop biscuit recipe which I often make with cheese to serve with soup.
Combine 9 oz plain flour, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 cup of grated cheese ( cheese is optional -fill an 8 fl oz measure to obtain a cup).
Rub in 2 oz of butter and then stir in 8 fl oz of milk. The mixture will be sticky.
When the chicken has had its half hour in the oven stir in a handful of frozen peas and a handful of sweetcorn then dollop spoonfuls of the cobbler dough onto the chicken stew and put back in the oven without the lid at 220°c (200°c fan) for about 15mins.
If you want to serve these drop biscuits dry then dollop them onto a greased baking tray and bake for 10-12 mins. They are so easy and so quick to make and just the thing for a wintry lunch with soup.