what's in season: february

the fish market
I heard . . . oh voiceless trees
Under the wind, I knew
The eager terrible spring
Hidden in you

Sarah Teasdale

While February may seem a little dismal, as the poem says there is that fabulous feeling of anticipation that spring is just around the corner as well of lots of excuses for celebratory feasts, with Candlemas, St Valentine's Day, Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras) as well as Chinese New Year.

Fish are most definitely still going strong in the cold months, delicious poached in a splash of white wine and served with buttery mashed potato and some leafy greens. Very comforting. And don't forget that mussels are relatively cheap at the moment,as well as being very quick and easy to cook.

And talking of leafy greens, it is the season for kale and various cabbages, as well as leeks and Brussels, which can be easily turned into a satisfying soup or added to mash for a cheerful "bubble and squeak", perfect with a leftover roast. Winter root crops are still in season and there are stores of potatoes, apples and pears.

vegetables, herbs and wild greens:
artichokes (Jerusalem), beetroot, broccoli (purple sprouting), Brussels sprouts, Brussels tops, cabbages (various green varieties and white), carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chard, chicory, endive, greens (spring and winter), kale, kohlrabi, leeks, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes, shallots, spinach, squash, swede, turnips

fruit and nuts:apples (pippins and russets), pears, rhubarb (forced)

meat and game:
beef, chicken, guinea fowl, hare, mutton, pork, turkey, venison

fish and shellfish:cockles, cod, crab (brown, cock and hen), haddock, halibut, herring, lobster, mussels, oysters (rock), shrimps

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