Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 234- Cold Weather Food?

Spending most of the last 3 winters in Wyoming means I'm not really expecting "cold" here in South Carolina this "winter" but I might as well get ready for it anyway. Last night was actually rather comfortable at just below 50. While I was out wandering (good for thinking) I thought about cutting off my (too big) ratty jeans into shorts and using the extra leg material for patching *all* my jeans.

Which is, I suspect, a pretty good indicator that I'm comfy as heck at that temperature. Then again, there are people around who've watched me wander around in sub-freezing temps wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Well, and long socks and flip flops, but still.

Note- Flip flops + toe socks, ok. Flip flops + snow, ok. Flip flops + toe socks + snow = very very cold wet feet. Do Not Want.

So winter here isn't really sounding like winter food time for me. But maybe it'll be "warmer" food time.

I don't know how excited I can get about heavy stews and casseroles and roast root veggies and chowders and whatnot when it's still t-shirt weather. And baking? The RM's keep the house cold enough to double as an icebox all summer, they're just as heavy handed with the heat when it's chilly. You ever try baking in an 85* kitchen? pleh.

Problem is, I *love* winter food. I love mayo-based cold salads, too, but I *really* love cold weather food. All that stuff that's just too heavy to stomach when it's 90* out, or that's so high in energy that your body starts pumping out heat the second it hits your stomach. I love that food.

I've been known to roast gallon baggies of root veggies just so I could make fast roast root veggie chowder. I can decimate a vat of topped polenta, and pasta is instant winter warmth.

These meatball subs are probably the heaviest things I've eaten since March. I have no idea how many calories are in them, I really don't care. I just know that after eating them I could happily go moon-bathe in a blizzard.

Of course, it doesn't blizzard here, but whatever. They're kicking out enough energy to keep me going in seriously cold weather. It doesn't get that cold, even with the RM's manning the AC controls.

So I have a question for you guys- How the heck can I adjust my (seriously hearty, sometimes expensive) winter food to something that won't overheat me in weather my body thinks of as "summer morning/ evening"? I don't want to give up my favorite winter foods just because I had the common sense to move somewhere I won't ever have to shovel (5+ foot drifts of) snow.

It was 50, and people were wearing parkas. Srsly.



  1. Potato soup!! Good hot, good cold! Tomato soup/gazpacho, same thing. There are actually quite a few soups than can work hot or cold.

  2. Our kitchen is horrible in 90+ degree weather for cooking. No a/c there, stove fan barely works, cross breeze from windows is stagnant. I usually go through a gallon of water when I cook in that kind of weather, but really when it gets that bad I opt for any food other than having to cook it (if possible).

    Got a grill? Have a friend who has one of those hibachi deals? Cook outdoors maybe?

    Also, I was thinking gazpacho soup as well, throw it in a blender and chill in the refrigerator.

  3. Cold soups are a possibility. I just run into a problem- It's hot inside, cool/ comfy outside- it takes a bit more energy to keep me going in cool weather than "it's forking hot, I want to die" weather. So long as I stay inside, I'd be fine. Unfortunately, I have a huge pile of stuff I have to go out to do now...

    Also, all those tasty gazpacho ingredients go thru the roof, price wise, in winter. Even strangely warm southern winter.

    I'd just about kill for a grill at this point. grilled veggie soup is even better than raw veggie soup.

    Cold potato soup? Is it just potato soup served cold?

  4. Pretty much. It's vichyssoise, traditionally. If you google 'vegan vichyssoise', there are quite a few hits.

  5. Ah. I always though vichyssoise was a fish soup, like bouillabaisse. Shows what I know about French sounding food...

    Huh, blended to death/ strained cream of potato/ leek soup. Not bad.

  6. I used to think that too, because I thought it was fishyssoise, not vichyssoise.

    I think the key is that there are a lot of flavors that taste good both hot and chilled. As long as you're dealing with a broth and don't have to worry about consistency of solid items, and avoid that yucky 'room temperature' range, lots of soups can be good in either category. The extra bonus is that if you're eating before going out, you can eat it chilled so it isn't too heavy in the outdoors heat, or if you're settling in for the day and the apartment is too cool, you can heat it up instead.

  7. Hm, in the winter I make some awesome borscht, and butternut squash soup is yummy/spicy, don't know how beets and squash fit into your budget (or how good, to me, borscht is sans beef bones).

    I am really excited to hear about root-chowder, as those and greens are the only veggies I've been eating lately! Also anything that makes polenta taste better is great in my book!

  8. Polenta *is* kinda the ultimate in bland tasting, healthy-type food, isn't it... I used to just cook it slower, drown it in salt and cheese and hope for the best- that's not working so good right now.

    Squash pretty much always fits, and beets will fit better when they are *totally* in season. Might have to go look for them at the local farmer's market, though. Haven't actually made it over there yet...