One tradition to which we adhere in our household is having a seasonal fermented beverage ready for the long, dark, cold months of winter here in Vermont. This year’s beverage is a recipe Rick created with traditional English Christmas pudding as the inspiration. This sweet stout starts off with the smell of figs and a hint of French oak, and orange peel. The sweetness of the figs is prominent with the first taste, but not cloyingly so, even with the vanilla that lingers on the tongue before being replaced with a hint of tannin from the wood. A lovely winter warmer, to compliment cookies, cakes, and other holiday treats.
Ah, winter. Time for hearty, sustaining foods that get us through long dark days. Ironically, it’s the time that I turn to one of my favorite breakfasts, cold oatmeal. I’ve never been a fan of hot cereal – something about the warm, gluey texture just puts me off. But I discovered I do like oatmeal served cold, with plenty of fruit.