When I think of comfort in winter, I think of things that make my kitchen smell amazing and relish in the fact that I have as much of it as I want before I burst.
I think of things that I look forward to eating. I think of things that warm up my cold dead heart for the millisecond it needs to pump blood around my body.
These foods hold a special place in the fridge as they are as fantastic reheated as they are fresh. Beware, all of these contain the instructions to ‘Bung it in the Oven’, which I find most comforting of all – minimum effort for maximum product.
It’s pretty simple. Get a slice of bread and put a slice of cheese on. Bung it in the oven until the cheese melts and BAM! You’ve got cheese toast. If you lack an oven, one trick I’ve learnt is to turn your toaster on the side and stick in your slice with the cheese topside. Have a plate ready for when it pops out.
It’s a good serve of veggies, which tbh we all need. Many recipes will tell you to use garlic, but I’m here to say that its fine without. Substitute with shallots and you’ll have a less ‘in-your-face’ taste, and be more ‘down-the-hole’ goal. Once you’ve made it, bung it in the oven with a bit of bread and cheese on top, that’s my tip. Let it get all melty and lovely.
A Good Roast (Veg and/or Meat)
This is a comfort in that it takes not a lot of effort. Prep the veggies and/or the meat and let roast in the oven and have leftovers for DAYS. That’s DAYS of happy happy rosemary potatoes and sweet potato, and roast onion and potatoes and honey carrots. Brb gonna go make a lamb roast.
Sticky Date Pudding
You may be thinking, ‘but it sounds so complicated, with flour and eggs, and how do you even make a pudding?’ I’m here to say ‘NO FEAR’ grab a packet mix from the supermarket of your choice and the rest is history. Follow the instructions, bung it in the oven and you’ll have a nice hot dessert you can eat with a good half litre of ice cream and no regret. What’s more comforting than that?
There is no wrong way to present this dish. When you take it out of the oven and the scoop you take looks like a 3 year olds sandcastle attempt, you can rest assured that the taste will more than make up for the presentation. You don’t have to attempt to make it perfect. I attempted to make an apple pie during lockdown and lemme say, it tasted a whole lot better as a crumble. Use that spare half litre of ice cream and live your best apple life.
I hope these bring comfort to you in the way they have me: a full belly and no regrets.
Find some great recipes at the Arc Student Cookbook here!