Side Dish: Winter Hibernation

Winter Hibernation_3

It is safe to say that it is officially freezing. It has been -1C three mornings on the trot this week, and let’s not even mention the lack of sunlight. It is times like these when we just want to curl up on the sofa and pretend that nothing exists. Unfortunately, we are not bears; hibernation and busy work schedules are mutually exclusive. But, that is not to say that we can’t plan ahead, and make our lives that little bit more comfortable in the chilly winter months. Although, sleeping in a cave non-stop for 12 weeks does sound mighty inviting.

“Batch cooking is a life saver…”

Winter Hibernation_1

Batch cooking is a life saver. Sometimes when you come home from work in the pitch dark with frost-bitten fingers and a less than sunny disposition, the last thing you want to do is cook something extravagant. Yet, your body craves something carby, cosy and warm. It is such an uncomfortable paradox. But here’s an idea, next time you have a free Sunday afternoon, think ahead and make those weekday evenings that little bit more pleasant by doing a little batch cooking. For example, this easy-peasy roasted tomato and garlic sauce can be the base for so many meals. Mix it with pasta on its own or add a 500ml stock to make it into soup. Fry up some beef mince and throw it in to make Bolognese or Chilli con Carne. Add some spices and diced chicken or lamb to make a tagine or a curry. Have it on top of grilled meat or fish to up your veggie intake… god knows it has to be good for you with 2kg of tomatoes and very little else!

Winter Hibernation_2

The recipe is quick, simple and utterly soul warming. Honestly, thinking ahead a little will save you so much time and effort when you come home from a long day. Batch cooking makes these winter months just that tiny bit more bearable, and when it’s windy, rainy and cold outside, we will take what we can get.

Happy Hibernating.

See you next Thursday,

Batch Cook Roasted Tomato and Garlic Sauce

2kg tomatoes, various sizes, chopped in half

2 bulbs of garlic

4 tbsp. olive oil

Sprigs of fresh thyme

Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Place the tomatoes on a large baking tray, season and drizzle with oil. Get your hands in there and mix it all together, so the tomatoes are covered. Slice the garlic bulbs in half and place them on top. Cook for 40 minutes.

Take the tray out of the oven and allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a bowl and make sure to pour in all the juice that has escaped from the tomatoes. Squeeze out the garlic cloves, which should be soft and paste-like. Use a hand blender to blitz into a liquid. The consistency is totally up to you, but T likes to leave it relatively chunky. Taste and season once again. Pour into Tupperware, allow them to cool completely and freeze. You can keep it in the freezer for up to three months.


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Hello! We are Ginseng & Thyme, two friends and work colleagues from Manchester with a passionate affinity for food, drink and lifestyle. Here’s our food story, what’s yours? Twitter: @ginsengandthyme Instagram: @ginsengandthyme

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