Bringing warmth back to your kitchen in winter

Bringing warmth back to your home in winter

Do you know, that I’ve learnt that we have a difficulty with creating warmth and soul in colder weather? It’s true.
We know about creating community in summer. We know about outdoor living – how to cook and entertain in summer.  We know about braai’s and connecting in the sun and around swimming pools but something happens to us in winter – that is very particular and unique to Joburg culture.
We get cold and we battle to create the same type of intimacy and joy around food and togetherness at home as we do in summer. I’m going to share my insight into this with you and offer a solution.
Do you know that it is a fact that the moment it is cold – retail sales in Jozi hits the lowest slump of the year? It’s a really hard time for anybody in retail as from a retail perspective, people in Johannesburg literally disappear when its cold and it isn’t always clear as to where they go.
What I could rarely understand is how it is that whole food sales crash to the same degree as others. This has never made sense to me. For me, when its cold, I don’t like going out. I am far happier with staying in and settling into cooking at home and making my kitchen warm.
So I used to wonder – what on earth are people eating in winter if they aren’t buying food as much? Winter, for me, is the time when you cook more and buy more intense foods to cook but clearly this isn’t the case for most of Jo’burg so I’ve been exploring what this phenomenon is.
I’m certain that the way we respond to this isn’t in the best interests not only of our immune system in winter but also the very real spiritual need for more closeness and warmth – not only physically but also emotionally that winter requires and invites.
What do people in Joburg eat in Winter ?

Chatting to other food retailers and going half crazy quizzing people on their winter eating habits, I discovered something I never knew.

In Jozi particularly, restaurant sales go up in winter and food sales go down. People in Jozi cook less in winter and go out more! I was stupefied at this discovery because initially it seems counter intuitive to me – until I started delving deeper with my second tier ‘why’ question and found the answer.
The answer was a fascination to me. Then this past Sunday after creating a really beautiful Sunday lunch that left everybody around the table full of soul, happy and nourished. Looking back over the joy it had been to create that, I knew I had an answer for you that will help you create the atmosphere we seek outside of home in winter – within the home – while not having to compromise on the nutrient density we need most especially at this time.
What I discovered is that Jozi homes are for the most part cold.
We’re not great at creating warm homes, most homes built for summer living and many people are uncomfortable at home in winter. Restaurant sales go up in winter, people are looking for food they don’t know how to cook and looking to escape home because they don’t know how to work with and create ‘cosy’ and then too are intimidated by winter cooking.
Yet – the reaction – to go out and look for warmth and rich food and soft lighting tells me we’re hungry for it.
Why am I not content to just let this be?
If people are going out, we know that they are getting in less nutrition in as your average restaurant fare  isn’t in alignment with the bodies need for more nutrition in winter.

It doesn’t need to be this way. You can create the warmest kitchen and fill your house with soul cooking a nutrient dense comforting winter meal that is going to make home warm and that isn’t difficult, yet is going to impress your family and friends and leave your house feeling warmer than any restaurant can.

It’s a particular joy in winter to go back to long lazy roasts and to light a fire and have people join together to create cosy warmth. It’s a different togetherness to our summer way of doing things and it is very special when you create it.
I think we’re uncomfortable with winter cooking and this kind of entertaining and I want to suggest that changing that is an important part of our food revolution. Whilst there are more and better restaurants cropping up in our quirky city that can offer you a soulful warm environment – nothing can compare to what you can create in your own home and kitchen. From a nutrient point of view – with the types of incredible produce we have that are seasonal and organic, it seems a shame to not be celebrating them and cooking less when winter is a very rewarding time of year from a cooking perspective.
I have learnt that people get overwhelmed with how to cook in winter and are missing the utter pleasure of leisurely Sunday lunch cooking and the heat it brings to the kitchen, to loved ones bellies and to your soul.
There is a perception that winter cooking is laborious and difficult. We are more confident to throw together salads in summer and let a braai take care of the meat, but we are less confident with deeper dishes as there is a perception that it’s much hard work.
It really isn’t.
Winter cooking can be not only the most satisfying but also the most relaxing.

So I want to help you with this. I have shared recipes and a menu plan of sorts for a Sunday lunch I put together last Sunday that will warm not just your kitchen and home but be a nutrient dense meal for the whole family without needing to be slaving in the kitchen for hours.

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