Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Five Things to Love About Winter

Who's whining about winter? Oh no, not me. I've turned over a new leaf!

It's true to say that in the past (actually immediate past - only just last week) I have been heard to whinge about the cold and the wet and about how much I don't like this season and when will it be warm again and bring on spring etc, etc ...
Well I've decided to change my attitude. It was Hazel who put the thought into my head. She's had a countdown to winter banner on her blog and every time I opened it I'd groan a little. And I was also a little shocked. There are people out there who actually like winter! What's there to like about winter? And that got me thinking.

I wasn't always an anti-winter person. It snuck up on me when I had kids. My first monkey was born on the last day of autumn and that winter completely went by in a blur. I have a photo of me all rugged up taking the new baby monkey for a walk down the street. I remember it well 'cos it was one of the first outings I'd done by myself with him. I love that photo. See how warm and happy and tired I look.

It was the following year that caused the trouble. Eldest Monkey Boy is an actual monkey. He climbs the walls.
When he was a toddler I needed to take him outside every day and let him run about or he would drive me up the wall. Standing in the park every day in the drizzle and cold pushing monkeys on a swing is not much fun. And trying to think up things to do with a very active pre-schooler, who doesn't like crafty stuff over winter is rather draining. And I think that's how I developed my dislike for this season.

Now Melbourne doesn't even have a proper winter compared to some places you readers are coming from. Today, on our first day of winter we're heading for a top temperature of 19ºC. In some parts of the world you'd be stripping off to your singlet the day the temperature reached 19º.

Embrace all the seasons, Hazel admonished. So I'm giving it a go. I've put on my thinking cap and here are my top 5 things in favour of winter.

1.  Winter Veggies
This will be the first year that I have had lots of veggies growing in winter.  I've got kale, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, bok choy, brussell sprouts, silverbeet, snow peas, broad beans, garlic, onion and lettuce on the go now and more stuff planned.

2.  Pincushion Hakea
There aren't a lot of flowers out in my garden over winter but this one is and it's a favourite. This is a great screening plant and it's fast growing. It attracts the birds and is right outside the window so I can get a good look at it but still stay warm.

3. My new arm warmers
These are made by a woman in my yoga class and I've grown to love them. They are really warm and made from recycled jumpers.  Cool eh? She also makes tummy warmers and I'm thinking my belly needs one - that'd definitely stop my whining outside this winter. Link here if you want to see more.

4. Guilt Free Lazy Nights
It's definitely too cold to do anything after 8.00pm over winter. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Here's my favourite spot on a cold winter's night. Lazing by the fire with a book, ipad or TV. Also check out my matching purple favourite winter footwear in this snap.

5. Soup
I love soup. Never tire of it. It's a terrific meal for lunch or dinner. My monkeys will happily consume bucket loads of veggies when it's mushed up in a soup and served with bread. Soup is easy to make, it's low-fat (well, can be), it freezes well and you can pop it in the fridge for the next day and it'll taste even better. So to help you all embrace the seasons too, I've included one of my favourite soup recipes below. Apologies I would have put up a photo of the soup but my peppers are still sweating.

Bring on winter. And if you're reading this on the other side of the planet and are about to launch into summer - don't come boasting to me.

Roasted Red Capsicum Soup
• 5 red capsicums
• 1 red onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tins tomatoes
• 1 litre veggie stock
• 1 tsp olive oil

Roast the capsicums in the oven until the skins have blackened. Take them out, pop them in a plastic or paper bag and let them sweat. When they have cooled completely, peel off the skins and de-seed them. Cook the onion and garlic in a pot with the olive oil. Put the onion, garlic, tomatoes and capsicum into a food processor and whizz until smooth.  Return to the pot along with the veggie stock. Stir until warm.


  1. I hope you really enjoy winter this year VG! The veggies you have going sound great.
    The arm warmers are awesome! What a great idea!

  2. Loving your arm warmers there..very cosy! I'm thinking I could get into winter a little more this much to appreciate and who doesn't love a big pot of soup?!

  3. Talking about winter made me think that I actually have more time for myself in the morning because the children woke up much later than usual as the weather gets colder. Happy first Winter day!

  4. Thanks so much for mentioning our armies! A lovely blog entry -- makes me feel good about beautiful winter days like today :)

  5. Good on you VG! I love the positive attitude in this post. And I am with you on the soup thing. Can't get enough of it. Very comforting - and making it is therapeutic too, I find.

  6. Okay, I am trying... yay, winter is great, fabulous cool crispy winter, how much I love thee.

    I am not dreaming of tropical jungle sweltering heat AT ALL.

  7. The veggies you have on the go sound great. Reading your list almost makes me think that I like winter too.

  8. Ah yes, hearing you on the 'toddler must be outdoors' thing! What fun this will be... eep! But I'm doing my best to embrace winter this year too.

  9. Those 5 things are all great VG, and you are right - we should embrace all the seasons and be positive - BUT there is still whining in our house I'm afraid. It won't stop until September.

  10. Glad you've come round. I totally love winter - and I have my own arm warmers made by a woman at the Trentham Market, which make everything just dandy!

  11. a change of attitude is always good! Besides, I really do love Winter.

  12. Your Pincushion Hakea is very pretty and I'm thinking your purple chair (with matching footwear on) would be a nice cosy spot to enjoy your soup!!

  13. The Pincushion Hakea .... is that an australian native? i'm mad keen to grow more natives this year.

  14. Yep Maggie It's a native. It's great. Fast growing, a good screening plant, bird attracting and beautiful.


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