It is cold. Polar Vortex cold. Freeze off your bits cold. Dog won’t go out cold. You get what I’m saying? I’m sick of winter already and some people still have their Christmas trees up. Perhaps it was a bad sign when Buffalo had FEET of snow around Thanksgiving. I don’t know. I don’t real the Farmers’ Almanac, but I do look for signs to help me prepare. I was NOT prepared for this cold snap.

Oh well, nothing to do now but stay warm, eat well and keep the body fat (what little I have) at a good proportion. I never feel guilty about all of the high fat food I consume in the winter months. That is what winter months are for. All of those people who make resolutions to “eat healthy” starting January 1st may be making a mistake. Perhaps that is why those resolutions get broken so quickly…it is counter-intuitive. Low fat, lots of veggies, lean meats, grains…when it is 9*F outside?! Crazy. Give me cheese, stews, creamy soups, baked potatoes with six inches of toppings, pie, cake, hot chocolate. Oh, and pasta…lasagna, ravioli, macaroni and cheese…mmmmmmm.

That said, this is the time of year to consume lots of delicious soups. What I like about soup is it is so easy to make one out of whatever I might have in the frige or the pantry. During November & December I load up on self-stable broths and stocks. You can buy bullion cubes if that’s your thing. I prefer the liquids. Those holiday months are also a good time to freeze those ravished Chicken, Turkey, Ham, Beef bones with little bits of meat clinging to them. They can be the base of a terrific soup weeks later when Old Man Winter comes knocking at your door. The farmers market in my area has scant offerings, but even those can make a good soup. I make a Kale, white bean and ham soup that gives winter the finger. One thing I can usually find are mushrooms. Many are greenhouse grown in the winter, so there is still a nice variety available.

I follow Food & Wine on Facebook and saw this http://fandw.me/1w3pGIu . If you don’t like a good mushroom soup, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. Seriously. I know some people who “don’t eat mushrooms”. In most cases they’ve merely had a bad experience with mushrooms and have now given them up completely. That makes about as much sense as someone who bounced a check once giving up any relationship with money. For some people it is a texture thing.That I can understand. But with some soups, the mushrooms are pureed and texture isn’t a factor. So my challenge to you fungi-adverse people out there is to give mushrooms a try in 2015. Soup is a good start. Need more ideas? Stuffed mushrooms, mushrooms in an omlette, mushroom pate, battered and fried mushrooms…the list goes on. (*Note: ignore all of this if you are allergic. Really allergic, not fake allergic. You know who you are!)

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