Hello Winter… It is the first day of Winter in Australia and it has definitely shown up ready for the party. It was a crisp chilly morning on the GC. The kids all slept in late (which never happens) making us rush for the school drop off creating plenty of hysteria in the house. Welcome Winter I can not wait! (slight sarcasm)
After visiting my sister in the vibrant city of Melbourne I can’t complain much they have been putting up with cooler weather for months now. I came back gaining a better understanding on how weather affects places differently and how it affects your city socially. We all know that in our warm climate here in Queensland we don’t really have respect for the cold and can’t cope with a day under 20’C. It is apparent that we all go into hibernation mode as soon as winter peaks it head out.
This being said I can’t say the same for Melburnians. May it be that they are acclimatized being used to their radical weather patterns, the city’s bustling cafe culture, the sporting and arts mecca that draws people out or just a ‘get on with it’ attitude the people of this unpredictable inner city obtain. They still tend to eat out, lunch and brunch as much as the summer even in the coldest of days.
Maybe it is the fact we are so spoilt with warm weather majority of the year that we take advantage of the cool weather to recluse indoors and have a break from the dining and party scene or our bodies are just not equipped to tolerate the chilly weather, heaven forbid we wear a coat or jacket when we’re out and about.
A major factor would be that the city of Melbourne is known for it and have made it work for them. Heating and double brick cafes are a must and making it a comfortable environment. Alfresco dining was once an only option on the Gold Coast, restaurants and cafes soon realising we don’t always have the warm sunny days like in the past decades and have been slowly changing it’s scene over the years offering more alternative styles of dining. While roof top bars, hip beachside cafes are perfect in the heat of Summer, indoor social spaces and quaint small bars and eateries are popping up all over the coast which makes winter socializing a much more enjoyable experience.
Our Winters are only short-lived and we may not have the array of contemporary dining and entertainment like those Melburnians but for most that live here would agree our lifestyle is the sunshine and we have to be pretty grateful for that.
Home cooked meals and home entertaining are more what we crave at the moment and why not enjoy the comfort of our home, it is a great excuse to brush up on your cooking skills and share it with loved ones.
I came back feeling like soups, soups and more soups. It is my go to in cooler weather apologies if you see an abundance of soup recipes lately and to come I just can’t help myself. Here is one soup recipe that is bound to warm your belly up and satisfy those homecooking feelings, also with the combination creamy cauliflower and the pepperiness of watercress that go so nicely together. It is not too heavy making it a great starter or a light meal on its own with some warm crusty bread. If you don’t have watercress at home you can leave it out or use some fresh parsley but it really does taste better with watercress. It can be easily found in the fresh herb section at the supermarket.
Hope you enjoy
Cauliflower, Leek & Watercress Soup
1 small cauliflower (500g) cut into florets
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1 leek, white part only thinly sliced
3 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
3 cups milk
salt and pepper
1/2 cup watercress leaves plus extra for garnish
- Heat a large pot on high heat, melt butter and add leek. Cook for 2-3 mins until softened
- Add the cauliflower and potato to the pot followed by stock and milk
- Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 mins cauliflower should be soft.
- Take off the heat, Add the watercress leaves and blitz with a hand-held blender till smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with extra watercress leaves and cracker pepper and warm crunchy sourdough bread.