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Winter is almost upon us. It is pretty much dark by 4.30pm and there is a nip in the air. We are usually lucky here and avoid too much in the way of frost, temperatures kept “warm” by the waters of the Irish Sea, but what we do get is an icy wind whipping in from the sea.

It has been an unusually mild Autumn, but now I am starting to think of hearty, warming casseroles or chilli or things with lots of melted cheese. There is something immensely comforting about toasted cheese, even if it is just on nachos or toasted bread. Then again, I have always been a bit of a cheese addict whether it is a good strong cheddar; soft creamy mozzarella melted into a tin of chopped tomatoes with some basil to make a lovely sauce for pasta; or chargrilled pitta bread stuffed with brie, I just can’t get enough of the stuff.

When I think about it dairy in general is comfort food. Am I the only one who enjoyed milk puddings at school. I have never lost my love of tapioca or semolina pudding and my Mum makes a mean rice pudding (although I have never mastered the art). A dollop of cream can make a very ordinary cake into a lovely pudding, or a large spoonful of whipped cream on the top of a large mug of hot chocolate with a sprinkle of grated chocolate on is divine and I can’t eat a bowl of porridge without cream.

At the moment, I am searching for tasty, savoury food, so tomorrow I will make something with a Mexican leaning, although I am not sure what. Whatever it is, will be loaded with coriander, cumin and chilli and perhaps peppers and sweetcorn for colour and whatever vegetables I decide to throw in plus beans. There will be a sprinking of cheese and  I may just follow up with some chocolate cake (with cream of course).

 

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