Oh boy, it’s that time of the year again~! Certain markers, especially the smaller ones like the upcoming Valentine’s Day always startle me in a “didn’t we just do this like… yesterday?”-kind of way. The bigger holidays always seem sooo~ far away but, at least to me, the small ones really make the passing of time blatantly obvious. So, Valentine’s Day in just a bit over a week – as always a reason for Hubby and me not to do what extensive pink, flowery and chocolatey media bombardment expects us to do~!
As you guys may have already gathered from my general step-back from most things in the “sweets” department, sweet wines aren’t exactly my cup of… well, glass of wine I suppose! either. But, with the winter festivities not that far behind us, of course there are still some remnants and strays lingering around my pantry. Like, for example, a bottle of semi-sweet Burgundy Pinot Noir Hubby’s Grandmother gave to us – according to her, her favorite late-night “Sip-let” before bed.
And again working on one week’s post ended up having me leap right into the next one, so to speak… “Simple (but SO delicious) Things” led to Madeira’s signature soup which led me further on to the sweet peaks of the island’s cuisine, all things passionfruit. And that train of thought poked and prodded one of my little demons into mischievously chuckling awareness.
Just last week, while I was in the middle of finishing up the Baked Apple post, I had that famous Art Print of Woodstock and Snoopy jumping into a large pile of dry leaves labelled “We Love the Simple Things in Life” flash through my head. And of course my mind immediately bolted over to Madeira, the islands heart and way of life so perfectly mirrored in its deliciously simple yet vibrant and colorful cuisine.
Now that the holidays are over, the “real” winter appears to be settling in around our corner of the world. Not just in the weather-related sense, but also in a more subtle way where the sudden lack of the all-encompassing fog of overly flamboyant Christmas-themed foodstuffs, -decorations, -music, -media coverage and the like leaves you with a sense of… focus? Awareness?
Welcome to 2019 everyone! I hope you had a good time over the last couple of days and celebrated the end of 2018 with a roaring party (or in any other way suited to your personal picture of “perfect”) that set exactly the right tones for a fantastic new year~!
Dear fellow Food Bloggers,
you will all (most likely) be familiar with this situation: there’s a dish you cook up regularly, say when it’s cold and icky outside and a case of the flu is setting up shop on your doorstep. Like a classic Chicken Broth / Noodle Soup kind of a dish, or any of its comfort-foody relatives. You’re used to going though all the steps, auto-pilot being an understatement here, but the result always puts a huge smile and a satisfied expression on your faces, no matter how easy-breezy the prep seems to be by now.
The colder and nastier it gets outside, the more often my mind wanders off to about 2,800km west-southwest of here, to Madeira. Since there’s nothing I can do about shortening the actual distance on the spot, I can only tap into my recently refilled inner reserve of Madeira-Zen, roll up my sleeves and start cooking to bring a delicious little piece of the island into our corner of the world instead~!
Oh yes! Approaching the most button-popping, feast- and party intensive, energy-draining yet most fun time of Winter! Indeed, it’s time for my annual Winter Box’o’Chocolates bash again as the Holidays are edging closer and closer. As usual, I prep my boxes a bit earlier than they actually need to be ready to make an appearance below splendidly decorated Christmas trees, on office desks, banquet tables or simply on the palms of the night owls amongst my friends and family, so you guys get a – hopefully inspiring – sneak peek as well as the chance to request a recipe in addition to my pick today to appear just in time to prep a batch for your Holiday festivities or personal pleasure~
A quick glance at the world outside my window just confirmed what my internal world already knew: It’s officially Stew Time! The Christmas Markets around town have opened their gates, doing their very best to counter the grey-on-grey, cold’ish, wet’ish “thing” that’s our signature early winter weather with the most delicious treats, aromas and, of course, all the hot spiced wine they can cook up.