Winter foodie survival tips

The thermometer is telling us we are in the dead of winter. Perhaps it was the void created after the decadence of Christmas, or maybe it was the record-breaking snowfall we got in the last week.

Any way you cut it, here in the Okanagan we are not enjoying global warming.

Where we live, Old Man Winter is not only alive and well; he is throwing a party for Jack Frost and all his other friends. They have uncovered the frigid pool (no hot tub for them!) and they are making frozen cocktails; they are settling in for a rockin’ good time.

From the news, I see that it seems to be a trend, as most of North America is caught in the grips of winter storms.

With that in mind, I decided to offer a few suggestions for a wonderful winter party. What better way to warm up a room than the company of good friends and some heartwarming food.

Martin and I decided we are going to have a cheese fondue party this weekend. We will exercise our minds and souls with riveting conversation and camaraderie. We can think about getting out next weekend to burn off the calories we will consume.

You may think this is too decadent for your tastes, or perhaps you’re not a fondue fan. Maybe you’re too embarrassed to say you have a fondue set in the garage. If any of those are true, here are some other ideas to chase Old Man Winter back.

  • Have an après-ski party (or après-toboganning) – a few appies are good, or even grilled cheese sandwiches can be fun; you can use imported cheese or bread for a more grown-up theme, or dunk them in bowls of tomato soup if you want to reminisce (that was my favourite childhood thing on a winter day)
  • Take your dog for an extra walk – many of our four-legged friends get less exercise in the winter too, so they will appreciate it and their enthusiasm may rub off. Reward yourself after with a nice cup of tea and a piece of winter dessert. 
  • Catch up with an old friend – check off a New Year’s resolution and have fun at the same time. Winter is a good time to swap stories with someone you may not see often. Cozy memories will warm you up, and you can commemorate the event with something decadent like pecan pie.

If your old friends are all a world away like mine, you can just as easily send them an e-mail and then cuddle up yourself with a piece of pie. It would be great to send them a piece of pie to enjoy too, but I don’t recommend trying to put pecan pie in an envelope.

Here is the link for my recipe. If you’re not a pie fan, you can make pecan waffles.

If all else fails, try the “if you can’t beat ‘em” philosophy… try watching a winter movie like Happy Feet to boost your spirits.

If your sense of humour is a bit warped by the cold, you can try Fargo, or if you feel overwhelmed by the bleakness of it all, well then Dr. Zhivago is the thing for you. (A cup of hot cocoa might be needed to survive all that cold, though.)

Stay warm.

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About the Author

Kristin Peturson-Laprise is a customer experience specialist by trade, which means she is someone passionate about people having a good time. 

Her company, Wow Service Mentor, helps businesses enhance their customer experience through hands-on training, service programs, and special event coordination.

Kristin enjoys her own experiences too, and that is what she writes about in this column. She and her husband Martin Laprise (also known as Chef Martin, of The Chef Instead) love to share their passion for food and entertaining.  

Kristin says:

"Wikipedia lists a gourmand as a person who takes great pleasure in food. I have taken the concept of gourmandise, or enjoying something to the fullest, in all parts of my life. I love to grow and cook food, and I loved wine enough to become a Sommelier. I call a meal a success when I can convey that 'sense of place' from where the food has come . . . the French call that terroir, but I just call it the full experience. It might mean tasting the flavours of my own garden, or transporting everyone at the table to a faraway place, reminiscent of travels or dreams we have had."


E-mail Kristin at:  [email protected]

Check out her website here:  www.wowservicementor.com


The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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