"Making it" through winter

It’s hard to complain about winter in Vancouver when we compare ourselves to everywhere else in North America. In fact, it’s probably best not to bring it up in conversation for fear of a snowball in the face.

But without complaining, let’s acknowledge that it’s pretty grey out there and we could all do with a little brightening up. If you happen to be the creative, artistic type I’m annoyed and jealous. With the flick of a wrist you can bring life and cheer into the room. However, for the rest of us that top out at stick figures, there’s still hope…

We can make things. Using our hands and a few simple ingredients we can bring a bit of freshness to these January days. The key is to keep it simple; so often winter food is heavy and complicated, meant to further remove us from the crisp flavours of summer and drown us in a pool of despair which disguises itself as cream sauce. Let’s fight back.

Here are a few things I’m making these days:

Chili Kale Chips. We’ve all heard that kale is a super food that should be consumed with great abandon, but let’s be serious, even super foods get boring. I’m mixing things up by tossing torn kale leaves with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of The Chili Lab Cascabel salt. Spread them on a baking tray and let them crisp up for snacking greens with a nutty and earthy spice.

Kobucha. Fermented tea sounds gross. I’m 100% with you on that one. But it turns out its totally delicious and takes no more maintenance than watering a plant (except that the ‘water’ is actually sugary tea you have to brew). Also, it’s exceptionally good for you. For all those people that say they’re useless in the kitchen, just start by growing a fungus in a jar.

Eggs. I tend to eat a lot of eggs in the winter. While part of it is necessity to use up the stockpile that accumulates from the chickens in the back yard, I also really love them. Scramble a couple up with a bit of goat cheese and rustic herb sauce, then top a toasted piece of rustic bread. If you really want to go crazy, put a salad on the side and call it dinner.

Creating just the simplest things has the incredible ability to pull you out of the winter gloom. What are you making in the kitchen to bring some brightness to your day?