Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

How to Beat the System with a Warming Dish; FOOD JANE LOVETT

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

How to Beat the System with a Warming Dish; FOOD JANE LOVETT

Article excerpt

Iwill probably get into trouble for saying this - and complaining - but our house is a very cold one. An old stone farmhouse with ill-fitting windows and doors, it is also long and thin which means that what little heat there is, filters straight out and the wind whistles in, through every nook and cranny (of which there are many), unlike a more traditional, squarer-shaped house where the heat is snugly cocooned in the middle.

Himself is somewhat, shall we say, 'careful' with the heating and is in absolute control of the time clocks, overriding switches and any other aspect of our warmth!

I am sure that he requested 'difficult to understand controls' when the heating system was installed. No plain ordinary user-friendly 'on and off' switches here, enabling a sneaky blast of heating when he's out.

One of his favourite pastimes is checking the dial to see how much heat the solar panels on the roof have produced to heat the water, and thereby see how much money we are saving with our small domestic contribution to renewable energy!

Meanwhile, the rest of us wear our outside clothes inside, and I frequently go into Wooler togged up like a yeti, only to find that it is warmer outside than in.

At least I get warmed up in the car on the way there.

Other tricks I have developed are wearing mittens at all times and standing in front of the oven with the door open.

Oh yes, and visitors are always very welcome, as this means full heating all round!

Another trick is to stoke up the body with heart-warming food. A bowl of hot steaming soup, a stew, a rib-sticking tomatoey casserole of sausages and beans and other comforting fuel works a treat - think Ready Brek glow.

Smoked haddock chowder is another such dish which hits all the right buttons at this time of year. It's a quick, easy, completely delicious and sustaining, chunky one-pot winter-warmer, perfect for lunch or supper and made even better with a good wedge of soda bread.

Please don't be tempted to buy the garish bright yellow smoked haddock which is in fact not smoked at all. It is merely smoke flavoured and dyed and as a result is no doubt full of E numbers. …

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