what's in season: december

autumn leaves in a London garden
(my garden needs raking!)
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.
A magical thing
And sweet to remember.

"We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

Oliver Herford, 1863 - 1935

This time last year I was writing about icy winds and Arctic weather; London was snow-bound and I was greedy for warming, hearty food.

This year has been much milder; it still feels like autumn in my neck of the woods in north London. But as the weather has got colder and damper, I still crave winter warming meal packed with flavour, such as Celeriac and Stilton soup or Spicy Parsnip soup. A Beef and Ale stew is always welcome too, served with lashings of winter vegetables, whether mashed potato and lashings of buttered greens, or a puree of carrots and swede.

So now is the time to think of tasty stews and casseroles, delicious roasts and divine vegetables, from root vegetables such as parsnips and swede to leafy greens such as Brussels sprouts and kale, not forgetting my favourite "king of all cabbages" - the glorious Savoy.

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

fruit and nuts:
apples, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pears, rhubarb (forced)
meat and game:
beef, chicken, duck (wild), goose (farmed and wild), grouse, hare, mallard, mutton, partridge, pheasant, pork, turkey, venison, wood pigeon
fish and shellfish:
cod, crab (brown and hen), hake, herring, mussels, oysters (native and rock), sea bass, shrimp, sprats, whiting


Dom at Belleau Kitchen said...

oh look at all the lovely bounty for us to eat... genius... massive game pie is what im thinking x

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

I love winter veg (although usually a bit sick of it by Feb!)

And I dream of game pie . . . unfortunately it's not as easy to come by near me as the butchers seem to charge a premium for it. Bah!

Patricia (La Chatte Gitane) said...

Sorry, but I got side-tracked by the picture of your lawn....
I thought it was a very colourful salad at first. Doh ! :))

Ailbhe said...

Have to say I too am a winter fan. Love the look of your steak & ale pie and am a big soup fan. I have soup a few times a week in winter and rarely get tired of all the variety you can get in a bowl!

Lovely looking site : )