Food52 Life

Test Kitchen Top 3: Cabin Fever

January 23, 2013

Winter brings many things. It brings visions of chili and hot cocoa. If we're lucky, it even brings sledding and snowmen. But it also brings sick days and a bit of cabin fever. With two of our fearless editors down for the count, and the temperatures dropping well below freezing, the test kitchen felt winter's harsh bite this week. Luckily, Amanda's apartment has a functional heating system and some of our coping mechanisms include playing with food and taking pictures of artfully chopped vegetables. Take a peek into the test kitchen's battle against winter, and remember to follow our icy Instagramming fingers for more behind-the-scenes action.


1. Empty chairs at empty tables. The endless warnings about cold and flu season are, apparently, not a joke. Kristy's usual perch was left vacant as she recuperated at home. Initial excitement about stealing her seat subsided when we realized that our heads hit the shelf above -- turns out this chair is specifically Kristy-sized. Let's hope she gets better soon -- we don't like Amanda's chairs to get lonely.

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2. Leeks every which way. We tested some exciting recipes for our most recent contest, which required slicing and chopping (and eating) large amounts of leeks. When it comes to winter comfort food that doesn't weigh you down (we're looking at you, grilled cheese), leeks are the answer: sautéed and softened, they add silkiness to any dish. Keep an eye out for our finalists and Community Picks in the coming days!


3. You're never too old for alphabet pasta. Maybe it was inspired by a bit of cabin fever, but we got seriously excited at the prospect of alphabet pasta. (It's basically refrigerator magnet poetry, but it's edible. Right?) Pro tip: don't buy yourself a box if you're hoping for a productive afternoon. Do buy yourself a box if you enjoy sorting tiny pieces of pasta and writing haiku with food. PS -- can you guess what our next recipe contest will be?

3 recipes to fight the chill:

 lamb  soup  tod

A Lighter Lamb Stew

Warming Soup for the Freezer

Hot Toddy with Dried Cherries

Tell us: how do you deal with cabin fever in your kitchen?

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Marian Bull

Written by: Marian Bull