Lockdown 2 - Part 4
Have Yourself a Cosy Little Christmas…
At Eversfield Organic, we’re looking at the second national lockdown as an opportunity. An opportunity to try new things. Whether you’d rather stay in and try a new winter warmer recipe or put on your hat, gloves and scarf and battle the elements exploring nature, we’ve got something for you to try during the COVID lockdown.
This four-part blog series details ways to keep yourself (and your family) busy with the new lockdown rules in mind. The fourth and final instalment may seem a little early, but let’s be honest, we could all use a little Christmas spirit right now (and December is only next week!).
Here’s a few ideas on how to boost festivity and have a cosy little Christmas…
Try a Homemade Winter Stew
A hearty beef stew is a classic winter warmer, perfect to see you through the short days and cold evenings. It’s quick and easy to make as well as versatile – just add whichever vegetables you fancy.
As well as organic, grass-fed beef, a traditional winter stew has potatoes, carrots, celery, peas and onion. You’ll also need tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, stock cubes and of course some water and seasonings. Cooking the stew low and slow allows for tough parts of the beef to soften, so we recommend a slow cooker for this recipe.
- Fry onion and celery in 1 tbsp of oil over low heat until soft. Add in carrots and any herbs. Fry for 2 minutes, then stir in puree, Worcestershire sauce and 600ml of boiling water.
- Tip the contents of the pan into the slow cooker, crumble stock cubes over the top and stir in. Season with pepper.
- Once the pan is empty, fry the beef in 1 tbsp of oil. Don’t fry all at once, instead add little sections at a time until all is well browned then add to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or high for 4 hours.
- If you need to, you can thicken the gravy by mixing cornflower with cold water and stirring in 2 tbsp of liquid from the slow cooker. Add this back into the cooker and continue to cook for a further 30 minutes on high.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, don’t worry! Try the recipe above in the oven. Preheat to 160 degrees (or 140 degrees for fan), pop ingredients into an oven dish, cover and cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for a further 30 to 60 minutes until the meat is tender and sauce is thick.
Create an Organic Hot Chocolate Bar
A delicious warming hot chocolate, topped with all the trimmings (think whipped cream, cinnamon powder and chocolate sauce), is the perfect companion for snuggling down whilst watching a festive film. A hot chocolate bar is a fun activity for all the family and allows you to create your ideal hot chocolate.
The key to a brilliant hot choc bar is having a scrumptious variety of toppings. We suggest indulging in cinnamon quills, cream (for whipping), cinnamon powder, pumpkin pie powder, grated orange zest, Christmas pudding truffles, and of course some biscuits for dunking! For a real, dreamy hot chocolate you’ll need milk, double cream and plenty of chocolate.
- Add milk, double cream and chopped chocolate to a saucepan.
- Bring gently to the boil and whisk until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate into mugs and add your choice of toppings! It’s that simple.
For an added sense of luxury, follow this whipped cream recipe to add atop of your hot chocolates…
- Add 1 cup of cold double cream to a large bowl.
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks are just about to form, then beat in 1 tsp of vanilla extract (the recipe works without this, so don’t worry if you don’t have any) and 1 tbsp of icing sugar (normal sugar also works too – this is just for sweetening the cream) until the peaks form.
- Make sure you don’t over-beat as the cream will become lumpy and butter-like.
- Add to your hot chocolate, then sprinkle with your choice of topping and finish with a cinnamon quill.
Stick on Your Favourite Christmas Film
With your stew in the slow cooker, a hot chocolate in hand and settled down on the sofa, there’s nothing left to do except pop on your favourite festive film. There’s no better way to get in the Christmas spirit than to lose yourself in a Christmas comedy or festive rom-com. A quick whip around the Eversfield Organic office revealed a few of our festive favourites. If holiday romance is your thing, try Love Actually or The Holiday. For some lockdown laughs, we suggest Elf or The Grinch. If Christmas classics are more your thing, you could go for Home Alone or It’s A Wonderful Life. Whichever you plump for, we’re sure it’ll get you in the festive mood!
- Libby Long