I haven’t spoken about one of my favorite topic of
complaint interest in a while. Weather. Or better, weather in London.
Yes, I do feel winter on my skin, but the ultimate evidence of the cold is the outwear of Londoners: they are now wearing scarfs and hats. They gave up on sandals and t-shirts!!! Must be seriously cold.
Other peculiar expressions of the winter in London are Christmas fairs, charity street collectors (they are EVERYWHERE like self replicated agents Smith) and Starbucks with its all-you-can-dream lattes and charity campaign of “the suspended coffee”, a revised version of an old custom originating from my city, Napoli, where who could afford used to pay for a coffee “in advance as an anonymous act of charity”.
Quilted winter jacket – Check. Thermal leggings – Check. Heavy wool jumper – Check. Gloves – ….
Gloves – … Gloves?!
Gloves don’t show up, hidden in a wardrobe that still hosts inappropriate cotton shirts. I know, I know, soon I will start wondering if I ever owned a pair of gloves (I owned one glove for sure, it is actually there). It’s going to go this way: soon my hands will be frozen even when kept in the pockets, I will feel forced to fight with my wardrobe and eventually my quest for gloves will end up in me buying a new pair.
While I have no fun in adapting my clothes to the winter, I enjoy spending time in the kitchen preparing “winter meals”. I cook soups, buy pumpkins, cut cabbage. Sweet potatoes are available from local sources almost year-round (I guess because we import them from tropical regions where they always grow) but anywhere else they are naturally harvested around the time of the first frost in the fall. If you can get yourself to buy local food you are likely to get them fresh now (hey, don’t tell me you can only eat pumpkin!).
The health benefits of sweet potatoes are really impressive, beta-carotenes, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin, and all the good bla bla bla… yeah, I understand, you want Google for this kind of information. I have already mentioned something about it here. Can I now just say it’s a good orange tuberous root? A very good orange thing that you can cook, as I did for this galette, in microwave for only 5 minutes. Approximately 250 times faster than the time it would take me to get correctly paired gloves out of my wardrobe.
- ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 glass ice water (more or less depending on the desired consistency)
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ large sweet potato
- ¼ cup feta
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Olive oil
- You can cook the sweet potatoes in water, in the oven or, as I did here, in microwave. The sweet potato will be perfectly cooked, moist and more or less tender according to the cooking time and power you set on your microwave. I cooked it at full power for 5 minutes.
- Peel off the skin and cut the potato in slices, more or less thicker, your personal taste.
- In a bowl, add flours, salt and some of the ice water (water with several ice cubes). Whisk with a fork to combine. Slowly pour oil and remaining water. Mix until the dough comes together.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knead until the dough is smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Crumble the feta. In a bowl, add potatoes, ½ teaspoon salt and ground pepper, and toss gently to combine.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a rough circle about 12 inches across. Place the dough on the parchment paper and layer with potatoes and feta.
- Brush the top of the crust with olive oil, add a sprinkling of salt and bake 20 minutes. Allow to cool about 10 minutes, then cut into pieces and serve.