Three times this week I have woken to find thick frost on the box hedges that surround the herb beds and once the bare soil white over with snow. At seven o’clock, such a sight can only mean porridge, but by mid-morning my thoughts have turned to something more substantial: to meat and bones and simmering soups, sauces rich with wine and slow-cooked onions, steaming piles of canary-coloured polenta, mashed chickpeas, parsnips or haricot beans. In cold weather I have no wish for quick fixes, but for suppers that slowly announce their presence some hours beforehand, teasing your appetite as they gradually simmer their way to tenderness.

Nigel Slater (via erj)