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newtscamander's avatar

What is your favourite wintery food or drink?

Asked by newtscamander (2825 points ) October 26th, 2012

Are they things you eat exclusively in winter? If so, when do you allow yourself to begin treating yourself to them? Are they a traditional winter food or drink in your family?
I always try to abstain from my favourites (Starbucks’ gingerbread latte, mandarines, gingerbread, non-alcoholic glogg, nut-brittle, stollen, specific chocolates and the special cookies my grandmother makes) until at least late November, but I rarely make it that far without giving in to them when I see them in the supermarket, it’s like they’re calling me from the shelves, pleading for me to buy them.
Do you have similar things traditionally eaten and drunk in winter?

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63 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I’m a soup-a-holic. I make lots of home made soups, and, the good old standby….Campbells Tomato soup. Mmm good!
Soups, french bread and cheese, I could live forever on these 3 items.

flutherother's avatar

Another vote for soup, minestrone soup in particular with crusty bread. I also love grilled cheese on toast though I hardly ever have it in the warmer months.

newtscamander's avatar

@Coloma That sounds very good, you made me realise that I am forgetting pea soup, I do love pea soup on a cold day!

Shippy's avatar

I love soup too. I also adore pea soup! you can add all sorts to it really, chicken, carrots or ham. It is so hearty filling and yummy!

Coloma's avatar

Haha..I JUST had split pea soup for lunch, with veggie crackers and swiss cheese. Yummy!

newtscamander's avatar

@Coloma Oh- and I just had baguette, fresh and warm out of the oven, salted butter and cheese on top! We could have influenced one another’s food choices telepathically… :)
Pea soup is very much adored in my family, and my mother has such a delicious recipe! And very filling, I agree. I always add a big dollop of cold sour cream and some ground black pepper.

marinelife's avatar

Eggnog and pumpkin foods.

Symbeline's avatar

Well I drink coffee all year round, but it becomes special on those super cold Winter days. And eggnog here as well, however if it was sold all year round, I’d always drink it.

ValleyGirl's avatar

I am a soup girl, too, although living in the warm southeast, we don’t have but a few months of what one could really call wintry weather. I make a fabulous white chicken chili, and was reminded last week that it will soon be time to make some. This is something made around Thanksgiving and then up until maybe St. Patrick’s day, provided it is cold enough. The chili is kinda spicy and has pepper jack cheese on top so it will warm your bones and the rest of you as well.

Coloma's avatar

@scuniper Oooh…post your mamas pea soup recipe or pm me. I’d love to have a good new soup recipe!

Shippy's avatar

@scuniper me too !! me too!!

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma I used to have such a nice potato and cheese soup recipe, you don’t perhaps have it?

Coloma's avatar

@Shippy No, but I make a killer smoked turkey sausage, potato and cabbage soup.
Herb broth, diced, smoked turkey sausage, chopped potatoes, onions and boatloads of cabbage with cracked red pepper for some extra zing. Try it, you’ll like it!

Funny..I have been toying with asking a Q. for split pea soup recipes for the crockpot recently. I am sure my wish will be granted today. :-)

jordym84's avatar

Last Christmas my friends introduced me to peppermint bark and I became hooked! I couldn’t believe I’d never had it before. Our local Ghirardelli shop gives out free samples starting sometime after Thanksgiving all throughout the winter and I’m very much looking forward to it this year :)

newtscamander's avatar

I sent my mother a message, asking her to write the recipe to me ;) I’ll just insert it in this thread if that’s okay for you ;) all these scrumptious sounding soup descriptions are making me hungry… More baguette is definitely worth a consideration! @jordym84 Hmmmm…I love peppermint bark! I forgot it up there! Oh, and I love Candy Canes. I always wait eagerly for the day the canes we decorate the christmas tree with are taken down and it is allowed to eat them! :)

Shippy's avatar

@scuniper that would be great thank you! @jordym84 that sounds interesting? I wonder if we can get it?

jordym84's avatar

@scuniper I’m not a huge fan of candy canes, but I do like them some.

Also, back in my home country, dried and salted codfish is our main Christmas dish (just like turkey is to Thanksgiving here in the States) and, growing up, I used to look forward to it all year long, from one Christmas to the next. So much so that I wouldn’t let my mom make it any other time of the year because then it wouldn’t be as special at Christmastime haha Each year we would make it a different way (according to Portuguese lore, there is 1001 ways of making salted codfish) and it is always delicious.

jordym84's avatar

@Shippy are there any Ghirardelli shops where you live? Or any stores that carry their products? If not, here’s a recipe for you. It’s delicious!!

Shippy's avatar

@jordym84 I’m in South Africa, but thank you for the recipe :)

Judi's avatar

Pumpkin spice coffee and Wassail.

jordym84's avatar

@Shippy you’re very welcome :)

glacial's avatar

Shortbread cookies, pumpkin pie (until I’m sick of it, which lasts a ways into winter). I don’t make soups, but I do find I’ll make pancakes for breakfast more often in winter – and just generally more hot foods while it’s cold out. OH, and lots of hot chocolate.

Where is Kardamom these days?

Kardamom's avatar

My answer just disappeared after I pushed the Answer Button : (

Here’s the list with no small talk: Starbucks peppermint lattes, pumpkin pie, eggnog, cranberry sauce, soup soup and more soup (especially my home made cream of mushroom, roasted curried butternut squash, and hot and sour soups) pumpkin bread, apple cider (or Trader Joe’s delicious spiced pear cider) stollen, stuffing and roasted pumpkin seeds (or butternut squash seeds which are a little more plump).

wonderingwhy's avatar

There’s lots of stuff I like in winter: apple, pumpkin, pecan pies; winter squash in various ways, lots of heavy stews and slow cooked haunches, potato & mushroom stews and soups, ugh, too many things! Several things I make primarily because they tend to be “too heavy” for summer fare, but this simple (in my opinion, your milage may vary) beef and guinness stew is probably one of my favorites. In terms of drinking good scotch on a cold night is always appreciated and ice cold vodka while outside on a cold, crisp, clear night is fantastic.

olive oil
2 lbs stew beef, sliced thin (venison works too but can take some adjusting if it’s older)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1¼ c home-made beef stock (it’s all about the stock if yours is weak, toss in a bit of demi-glace to punch it up)
⅔ c guinness
¼ c butter
3 oz black forest bacon, diced
4 oz fresh small baby bella mushrooms, quartered (add a couple morels if handy) chanterelle’s work too
2 oz shallots, whole
¼ flour
salt and pepper

heat oil in dutch oven
sauté the meat till just beginning to brown
add veggies, garlic, stock, guinness, salt and pepper; cover, bring to a boil, then simmer for 90 minutes
reserve liquid, remove meat, discard veggies
clean dutch oven, add and melt butter
sauté bacon, mushrooms, shallots for 10 minutes till slightly golden and tender
add flour cook 3 minutes, string constantly over low heat
add cooking liquid string to keep smooth
add meat and reheat.

Serve with plenty of black bread, small boiled potatoes, and ice cold vodka.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Eggnog, pumpkin foods, gingerbread foods, apple cider, minty foods.

I really hate the idea of seasonal foods. In the globalized world we can get any of these things any time of the year but evidently you can only enjoy gingerbread or pumpkin stuff in the fall/winter

glacial's avatar

Mmmm… stuffing.

Bellatrix's avatar

Stew – my husband (and previously my dad’s) stew. To die for but it’s too hot here for stew in summer.

janbb's avatar

Shepherd’s pie

Sunny2's avatar

I’ve had to stop drinking alcohol, but have vivid memories of loving a Tom and Jerrys Served hot, it’s spicy, sweet and absolutely delicious around a Christmas tree, after skiing on a cold day, after building a snow man, or any cold day.
Tom & Jerry
recipe makes 12 cups
12 eggs, separated
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound butter, room temperature
3 pounds confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice
To make batter:
1. Beat egg whites and salt until foamy in a large glass or metal mixing bowl until stiff peaks form. Lift your beater or whisk straight up: the egg whites should form a sharp peak that holds its shape.
2. Beat the egg yolks to soft peaks in a separate bowl. Beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla to the butter mixture; mix. Stir in the nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and the egg whites; beat until well blended. Batter can be frozen or kept in refrigerator for several weeks.
3. To make a Tom and Jerry, fill a cup of hot water with spiced rum or brandy. For non-alcoholic, use warm milk, or hot cocoa, or eggnog. Stir in 1 heaping tablespoon of batter.
I haven’t tried the non-alcoholic version, because I just found it. I will!

Coloma's avatar

I’ve gained 5 lbs. instantly just reading all these sharings. lol

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma I need to stay off food threads

Coloma's avatar

@Shippy

No Shippy! lolol

syz's avatar

Spiced hot apple cider.

Only138's avatar

Hot chocolate is my winter drink! and beer of course. :)

Bellatrix's avatar

I love Italian or Spanish hot chocolate @Only138. That is like heaven in a cup (or better still a mug).

Coloma's avatar

@Only138

Hot chocolate and beer, at the same time? haha
Blech!

JLeslie's avatar

I start eating wintery foods in the fall actually.

Apples. Especially Honey Crisp apples.

Soup.

Pecan pie for a treat.

I drink Hot Chocolate all year, but much more in the winter.

ucme's avatar

I like a nice steaming bowl of tomato soup when it’s cold out, just the normal strong black coffee for me, regardless of the temp outside.

Coloma's avatar

I love Honey Crisp apples. It’s harvest time up here at our famous “Apple Hill” ranches. :-)

downtide's avatar

Chunky soups and stews are perfect winter food for me. Stew season starts when the weather gets cold, which is this week. I don’t have any special winter drinks, though I do usually make mulled wine at Christmas.

JLeslie's avatar

I just remembered, I also start eating hot Wheatina and Oatmeal.

jordym84's avatar

@JLeslie I went apple-picking last month and my friend’s dad made me try honeycrisps and they’re now my favorite kind of apple! I got some from the grocery store the other day and though they were good, they were not quite the same as the ones fresh from the tree…

Coloma's avatar

Oooh….use the honeycrisp apples mixed with blackberries to make an amazing apple berry pie! 2 years ago I invented my now famous, apple-blackberry pie. People couldn’t get enough of them. :-)

JLeslie's avatar

@jordym84 Around here they are very expensive. The only problem with me telling people about them is I am afraid will contunue to go up, and the prices will never come down :(. LOL. I looked into putting a tree in my yard! But, I live a little too far south and I realized after reading that bees pollenate the trees, and I do everything to not encourage bees to be near my house. If I had ten acres and lived 500+ miles north of here I would plant some trees though.

jordym84's avatar

@JLeslie LOL yeah they are kind of expensive here in FL, but when I went apple-picking in upstate NY they were free to eat off the tree and it was only $10 I think for a huge bag with as many as you could fit in.

JLeslie's avatar

NY is a Big Apple state. :). Pun intended.

Coloma's avatar

@JLeslie Awww…bees are so valuable, we should all have bee attracting plants around, considering how endangered our wild honey bees are what with their colony collapses due to systemic pesticides. I have a wild hive in an oak tree in my yard and I mist them in the summer and provide sugar water in the winter.

JLeslie's avatar

@Coloma I agree they are very valuable, I just don’t want them within 150 feet of my house. LOL.

newtscamander's avatar

I get so hungry reading this! It doesn’t make a difference how much I’ve eaten before….it all sounds so delicious! And I would have to add hot apple cider (but I prefer apple juice, to which I add a spice mix called Hot Apple Cider) and cranberry sauce (especially when eaten with turkey on Christmas Day) to my list. And raclette is traditionally eaten in my family on Boxing Day. Yum!
Oh, and here is my mum’s recipe for pea soup (she told me there are always slight variations to her cooking, but this is the basic recipe she uses, which changes if she’s in the mood to experiment) :

You will need:
(serves four, if you add some toasted wholegrain bread to enjoy with it)
1 kg deep-frozen peas
3 onions
2 tablespoons oil
400 grams sour cream
a mug (mug, not cup) of broth
some garlic, if you like
black pepper
nutmeg
salt (with herbs inside if you can get it)

First, put the onions into a pot with 2 tablespoons oil and fry.
Add the deep frozen peas and the mug of broth and some garlic if you like.
Let it cook until the peas are done, while you wait for this you can season the soup with the black pepper, nutmeg, salt, and herbs.
Then purée the whole lot and while you do this add the sour cream.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream and/or a dash of pumpkin seed oil.

I hope you like it!

Coloma's avatar

@scuniper Sounds great! Thanks! I will try it soon, next week maybe, need to go shopping again soon. :-)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@jordym84 Honey crisps are really good, but if you haven’t had them yet I suggest you try a Fuji Apple. Hands down the greatest juiciest apples there are IMO.

jordym84's avatar

@uberbatman Thanks for the suggestion!! I’ll be sure to look for them next time I go to the store :)

Coloma's avatar

Yes, Fuji’s are great too!

I have always been interested in hybridizing, I wonder what it would take to hybridize a fuji and a honeycrisp, fujicrisps. lol
I had a peach tree with a nectarine graft once, it was great to get both off the same tree.

JLeslie's avatar

@Coloma That is fascinating to me. I didn’t even know that could be done. When we touched on botany in my science class in high school, I thought it was incredibly boring. Now, I find myself very curious about it.

newtscamander's avatar

I read about grafting in a novel by Jodi Picoult and I think it sounds incredible, a little like magic…but then again, I think her description was a little unrealistic…

Coloma's avatar

I am making a baked potato for breakfast right now. lol
I need to go shopping today, down to extreme creative weirdness over here. haha

Kardamom's avatar

Even though we had hot Santa Ana weather here yesterday, I was craving macaroni and cheese so I made my homemade version with sauteed mushrooms, crumbled bacon (fake in my case) and topped with panko bread crumbs.

We have a grafted citrus tree in our back yard that produces tangerines, lemons and limes. We have horrible soil, so it doesn’t produce as much fruit as we would like, but it definitely has 3 different things coming from it.

Luckily our rosemary bush, which started to go belly up in its small pot (it was originally cut like a Christmas Tree) is thriving in the bad, rocky soil, as is our mint, which pretty much takes over no matter where it is. I love mint!

On the other hand, we can’t grow a decent tomato plant to save our lives. My Dad loves tomatoes and has put them in pots, put them in the ground, put them in the sun, put them in the shade, hung them upside down, given little water, lots of water, and everything in between including amending the soil, with not much luck. And the bugs always get to them. He always heeds the advice in Sunset magazine about zones and tomatoes, but to no avail. He’s tried all sorts of different types of plants, including the ones that are described as hardy and they still have problems : (

One of my friends lives about 10 miles away and apparently the soil in her neighborhood is superior, because she gave my Dad a tomato plant that sprouted up as a volunteer in the middle of her grass. Her potted tomato plants were still producing fruit well into winter last year and she had another volunteer that popped up under her rain gutter and it was winding itself up the pipe and producing lots of fruit. She had so many tomatoes that she had to give them away.

We also have an avocado tree that was planted from a seed and kept in a pot, and then it was planted in the ground and was grafted when we moved to our current home. The neighbor acoss the street works on an avocado ranch, so he helped my Dad graft it. You will not produce avocados with an un-grafted tree. Then you have to have the right bee pollenators. It didn’t produce any fruit until it was about 10 years old. Now it produces fruit every other year, not sure why. But this year, the racoons have pretty much eaten all of the avocados before they’ve gotten bigger than a lime. When we’re lucky enough to spot a full sized one, high up in the tree and grab it with my Dad’s custom made ‘cado grabbin’ tool, they’re delicious. We would have had enough ‘cados to feed out whole neighborhood if those masked bandits didn’t come around every night. Our patio is littered with skins and seeds.

About a month ago, my Dad accidentally let a racoon into our living room. He thought it was our neighbor’s cat.

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Coloma's avatar

I am sipping on coffee with an english toffee cappucino (sp?) mix this morning. Mmmm good!

newtscamander's avatar

@Coloma it sure sounds good!

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