Although I live in Canada, I am not fond of Winter. Just the thought of boots, coats, and scarves has always evoked a long sigh from me! As an adult, I finally acquired proper Winter gear only when I became a mother at 28 years old and realized that if you dress warmly it’s actually not too bad?! Truth be known, the other mothers would laugh at my ‘Fashion boots” when I would pull my son around the neighborhood in his little sled!
If I go back to my childhood I do have very fond memories of ice skating on the neighborhood, outdoor ice rink and tobogganing on the local hill but I was probably dressed appropriately! I think my all-time favorite Winter childhood memories would have to be “Snow Days”! For those of you that live in a warm climate, a “Snow Day” is a day in which everything ceases… Basically, the road conditions are so treacherous that schools and businesses close and sometimes even roads and highways are closed. As I child of 12 years old I would often bake on a SnowDay… sometimes trudging through waist-high snow to the neighborhood grocery store, if it was open, to get ingredients!
So here it is, April 14, 2018, and we are having a SnowDay! My class tonight is canceled due to a Spring Ice Storm, so maybe an IceDay?.. which we have been experiencing in early Spring more often annually.
Just the idea of being stranded in my home on a miserable day makes me feel warm inside… why? Well maybe because life is so busy these days that a Bonus Day to do as I wish at home means I can do things guilt free because well, we can’t do anything else! For me, this is a license to cook comfort foods for my family! So what’s for Dinner tonight? Braised short beef ribs served with Polenta… let’s face it, it’s April and BBQ Season is right around the corner (I hope!?) and this might be my last chance for Wintery Comfort Food at it’s best!
For the recipe, see my Italian Braised Beef recipe in my cookbook or coming soon to the online school and substitute short ribs for the beef. Serve on Polenta for a change… (recipe below). I finish my polenta with Parmesan Cheese or even Blue Cheese to give a little sharp finish!
Ciao for now, Natalina
A lot of people tell me they don't like polenta and I need to remind them that polenta is merely a vessel on which to serve delicious sauces. Much like pasta, it is a starch that compliments what is served on top... I love it! Especially when finished with cheese...
- 4 cups water, 1 litre
- 1/2 tsp salt, 2 ml
- 1 1/2 cups polenta, 250 grams
- 1/4 cup grated cheese, (Parmigiano Reggiano or crumbled blue cheese) 60 ml
Bring the water to boil in a medium-sized pot on high heat. Add the salt.
Slowly pour the polenta in while stirring until it has all been added. Reduce the heat to medium.
Continue stirring for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked and coming away from the sides of the pot. Add the cheese and stir until incorporated.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately with your favorite sauce on top.