Winter on the Farm by Matthew Evans
This is my favourite time of year, mostly because I can indulge in my favourite kind of food – country cooking. Winter on the Farm starts promisingly enough, with the perfect date and banana porridge, and Matthew Evans is a man after my own heart, who eats his with cream. While I may not have a wood-fired cooker to cook a cardamom-scented rice pudding overnight in, it was worth getting up early to prepare it for a late breakfast, just to have the smell wafting through the house.
The mainstays of country cooking are soups and stews that don’t rely on exotic or expensive ingredients, but nevertheless satiate and warm the soul like nothing else. There is a wonderful recipe in here for a spiced oxtail and parsnip soup that would convert the most squeamish children to eating oxtail. There are also plenty of ‘rib-sticking’ meals like bratwurst with braised Lilliput lentils and pot-roasted quail with pomegranate, which will see you through the dreariest of days.