Home Comforts + A Rustic Vegetable Pie

Hello there! Hope your January is going well. I'm still coughing and spluttering a bit, but seem to be getting better. I've been drinking a lot of hot water, honey and lemon and it truly does clear you of all the gunk that's stuck in your chest and nose. I've also been enjoying homemade lentil soup for lunch and adding a little turmeric as it has known anti-bacterial properties. I can heartily recommend trying some of these things if you are under the weather. (I'm also turning to packs of Mini Eggs which perhaps aren't the best way to get over a bug, but what the heck...). 

Here in Yorkshire it has been so grey and damp, pretty much every day.  Occasional breaks in the cloud let a little daylight in but only for such short periods that it feels gloomy all the time. I'm looking for ways to get through these dark winter days and I always turn to comfort food and things to brighten my home. So I thought I'd share some of my favourite ways to get through January. 

Greenery - bring in a little of the outdoors with evergreens. Not just for Christmas, a simple wreath made from ivy from the garden gives my wall a lovely focal point. It's tough as old boots and I chopped out some branches and then wrapped them around my clematis vine wreath. They are so strong they don't even need tying in with floristry wire. I've also bought some hyacinth bulbs and potted them up in my vintage terracotta pots, they are growing slowly, but I hope in the next couple of weeks I'll have some bright pinks to enliven up my mantel.

Fairy lights and candles - you can't just put the fairy lights away once the Christmas decorations come down can you? January demands more cozy lighting, more twinkling, more cheer to get you through the dreary days. So the fairy lights have stayed and they make me really happy with their simple beauty. And candlelight just makes everything better - fact. I bought some packs of these natural beeswax candles from Workshop Living, a bargain at only £2 as they are in the sale too. 

A rustic vegetable pie - well what beats pastry and cheese baked together? It's perfect comfort eating for a winter evening supper. This is a throw every vegetable you have left in your fridge/cupboard and then make a quick stock to cook it all in. One quick puff pastry lid, an egg wash and it's into the oven for about 40 minutes, then served with broccoli and potatoes. Here I used: half a celeriac (peeled and cubed), 4 carrots (peeled and diced), half a large sweet potato (peeled and cubed), 2 leeks (sliced finely), half a swede (peeled and cubed) and some fresh thyme leaves. I cooked the leeks in a little butter then added the rest of the veg and sauted for about five minutes. I added the thyme leaves, mixed them through and then 600ml of vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for ten minutes. To make it more appealing to the Boy I made a sort of cheese sauce by adding one small tub of soft cheese and then I stirred it through until it melted. Then pour into a pie dish, roll out the puff pastry to fit on the top, crimp edges, slice a couple of holes in the top to let the air out when it cooks, brush with an egg wash. Stick it in the oven. Cheesy, pastry comfort food. 

Three simple ways to help beat the January blues. Have a great week folks. x