I can never remember when seasons officially begin and end but I feel like Winter is here. I'm piling on layers and wearing my hat and gloves every day on my way to work and it's getting dark by 5pm. And, predictable as ever, I pulled my Christmas cookery books off the shelf over the weekend and started thinking about things to make in the coming months. Last night we had a roast chicken with mashed swede and carrot and sauteed shredded brussels sprouts for dinner and a bottle of red wine that Sarah and Rob gave us in September. Tonight, after I've been to yoga which will leave me floppy, ready to pull pyjama bottoms on and curl up on the sofa under the blanket, there will be little leftover vegetable cakes with chicken and Nigel Slater talking about sweets. Or maybe eggs on the vegetable cakes and chicken curry tomorrow, or chicken and chips...
I made a vanilla bundt yesterday. After we had been to the supermarket, before we were ready to start making dinner. A cake to sit on the worktop, we'll take a slice each to work for as long as it lasts, a treat from the weekend to see us through the first few days of the week. It has a golden crust with a soft yellow crumb, the raw cake batter tasted like vanilla custard and dropped into the tin in soft ripples, so satisfying.
So, after the shopping, and the baking, and the roasting I just wanted to say this. I think I'm ready for Winter. I could do with a pair of serious boots in case it decides to snow but apart from that I'm ready and looking forward to some, maybe even all, of the below.
Cold walks followed by warm meals
Christmas cocktails and meals out with friends
A spiced chocolate cake
A December weekend in Sussex
Quiet afternoons in warm pubs with the papers
Wrapping up in a big warm scarf, and, in my dreams, a coat that feels more like a duvet