The decorations are packed away and the last of the chocolate has been eaten so now what? Well, in my case January is always a month to atone for the culinary and financial abandon of December. The rules for me are simple: go out as little as possible, spend as much time in the gym as possible and try and spend as little money as possible.
So, if I’m not going to go out and I’m going to cut spending then how am I going to treat myself? Well, by cooking delicious meals at home to counter all that is dreary and dull about this month. The other rule for me is that the meals have to be quick to prepare and relatively simple as there seems to be so little time in January (what, with all the working and exercising). Words I want to hear include braising, slow-cooker, one pot wonder… Let’s hear it for deeply satisfying, easy ways to rich, winter warming meals.
To liven up my January dishes I love using as many of those wonderful warming spices and flavours as possible – turmeric, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, and chilli – I could go on and on. These are not only delicious but most are very good for us too. Turmeric is, amongst other things, a natural antiseptic, ginger is great for warding off the dreaded ‘lurgy’, and chilli, one of my favourites, helps release all those feel-good endorphins (just like chocolate does, but this is January and we‘re being good remember!).
In short, staying in, in January for me is about regrouping, resetting and restoring after a manic December but hey, it’s only a month and February is just round the corner.