January is the grimmest month. My birthday is in January. The official worst day of the year, Blue Monday, is always around my birthday. Oh for a birthday in June when days are long, when you can sit outside until almost midnight. The lilac and the pear blossom has just finished blooming. You can eat cherries and strawberries and stuffed courgette flowers with soft cheese. Windows and doors are open, cars drive by, drifting summertime music in their wake. Of course, June is when the happiest day occurs.
What is good about January?
Blood oranges. Being inside while it rains. The possibility of snow. Feeling justified in not going outside. The occasional hot chocolate. Sitting by the Aga. Putting logs on the fire. Wearing boots. Buying a new coat in the sales. Forcing chicory. Seville bitter oranges and making marmalade. Soup with buttered bread.
Here is my recipe for soup on the Kenwood site. It’s easy. It may look like Heinz but it has a deeper taste. And this recipe is vegan. I like to leave a few tomato seeds in it, so that you know it is real.
Serves 4 to 6
1 kilo of Fresh Tomatoes
1 or 2 Red Bell Peppers
1 Aubergine (optional)
1 Head of Garlic,
A Finger of Celery
1 or 2 Carrots, topped, tailed, peeled
150ml Vegetable Stock
20ml of Sherry
Fresh Basil Leaves to garnish
What is your grimmest month? Do you find January depressing? Do you, like me, have a January birthday when most people are too broke to buy you a present?