A month is a long time to be away from home. We´re picking up the routine right where we left it off, and it´s all good. The kids are off to nursery, their father to the office, and I´m left at home to field rapid deadlines and long dragging books.
And back in my very own kitchen. It´s lovely to sit down to a meal you´ve had nothing to do with, day after day, and so comfortable., but any lingering lazy sighs are quickly stifled at the pleasure of finding all my favourite pots and pans and wooden spoons, ready to be played with.
Still it is dead of winter, and days are short and so cold, and one can become a tad weary of a diet of parsnips and broccoli. So I brought over a secret ingredient from Spain: ham bones.
Why not actual ham, you say? Well, indulgent fatty products are not very January, are they? After a month of non-stop pigging out it´s time for the whole grain and the green vegetable. Spare, stripped down food, thrifty and healthy.
And a ham bone, even a pedigree ibérico de bellota ham bone, is still a bone, and you can´t get more austere than that. It can only be used for broths and bean soups, but is guaranteed to lift them and give them a luxurious, velvety depth.
That, with some bread and a few tangerines, is all that´s needed to get you through the beak midwinter.