Culture and Comfort Food – A Perfect Weekend in January

January was a month full of new starts for me. I started my first real job last Monday and moved in with my boyfriend. It’s all very exciting but at the same time it freaks me out how fast things are changing sometimes. I am not very good with changes, I have to admit. I always need some time to adapt to new situations.

So this weekend was perfect to step back and close the week with some of my most favourite things to do. Enjoying some art and indulging in deliciously heavy comfort food, made the last week with all its new experiences step aside and I was able to completely relax. I guess that’s what weekends should be about ;).

Now if you think we just stayed in bed all day, you got me wrong. On Saturday we headed off to Frankfurt to see the anniversary exhibition of the Städel Museum. The art museum is celebrating its 200th anniversary and is having a great exhibition till the end of January.

Städel Museum in FrankfurtMasterworks in Dialogue Städel Museum

The exhibtion is called “Masters in Dialogue” which describes well the essence of the exhibition. The museum is comparing some of their most popular works with other pictures from different museums from all over the world which have a relationship to each other. Sometimes the pictures were painted by the same paitner and you could see the development of the painter or two painters who didn’t know each other painted the same object or theme with different intentions.

– You can change the subtitles into English at the bottom of the video –

As you can see in the video, this exhibtion was quite different from the chronological presentation of a normal art museum and reminded me of the approach the TATE in Liverpool is taking with their exhibition “Constellations”. They also present a picture and arrange it with others who were inspired by this one picture or painter.

Art is something which really fascinates me and what could be better than spending an rainy and cold January Saturday being inspired by some great art work ;). Well I guess what makes a wintery day even better is some warming food. Since I left Britain in summer I miss the hearty food like pies and mash. So I combined these two traditional dishes in a warming Sheperd’s Pie.

Vegetarian Sheperd's Pie
To mix it up a bit, we decided to try a vegetarian version of the Biritsh meal. I found this recipe on BBC goodfood. Because I couldn’t find lentils in a can and was to lazy to boil dried lentils, I deciced to exchange the lentils for peas which turned out to be a great decision.

For a pie for 2 you need:

a small onion
one thick carrot
100ml red wine
200g chopped tomatoes
vegetable stock140g peas
500g sweet potatoe
butter
grated cheddar

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chopped onions. Add the roughly chopped carrots and pour in the wine, some water and the tomatoes. Simmer till the water is nearly gone. Then add the peas with their liquid and simmer again, till the liquid has nearly gone.

cooking

While you are doing this, boil the sweet potatoes till they are soft enough to be mashed with some butter to a nice potatoe mash. Pour the tomatoe-pea mixture into a bowl and cover it with the mash. Put some grated cheese over it and bake everything for 20 minutes in the oven (190°C/170° fan/gas 5).

vegetarian Sheperd's Pie

The combination of sweet potatoe mash, peas, carrots and tomatoes was heavenly and the perfect end to a chilly weekend in January. This recipe will definitely become one of our favourites, I am sure.

What are your favourite things to do in January? Wrapping up inside or heading out into the cold?

 

 

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