The Seitzgeist – Issue 71

Posted by in December's Magazine

Why is everyone so surprised when it snows? Hint: it’s December, and it’s Scotland. Is it really so baffling? Apparently so. Despite the fact that we were knee-deep in snow this time last year and all indications suggested we’d have the same again, everyone is dumbstruck. And subsequently, completely unprepared.

Once again, there’s no grit for the roads, schools are closed and people are to avoid leaving their homes. REALLY? It’s not bloody Siberia people. Perspective? It’s a wee bit of snow. People who live in sub-zero temperatures must be laughing their asses off at us.



I LOVE snow. Even with a broken boiler and no central heating (the parts need to come from Italy which, I’ve been told, could take over a week because of the snow…) it’s so achingly beautiful outside I can’t help but love it. Suddenly it feels like Christmas, which means it’s officially ok to buy a tree even though the month isn’t even into double figures yet. I’ve already started studding oranges with cloves and tomorrow I’ve got a friend coming round to listen to the Rat Pack Christmas CD and bake Christmas cake. I can barely contain my excitement. I’m obsessed with the scent of wintery spices like cinnamon and cloves, mingled with freshly peeled clementines and warmed red wine

A sure fire way to ensure your home smells like Christmas is to make some cinnamon cold treatment. I recently attended an event hosted by Napiers Herbalists and Real Foods where the topic of the day was Kitchen Cupboard Remedies. Herbalist Dee Atkinson demonstrated how to make simple and effective remedies from every day food items and this recipe was my favourite. Cinnamon has antiseptic properties, and has been used for centuries as a way of stopping flu attacks in their tracks. It is recommended to start the treatment within two to five hours of the start of symptoms.

Good Soup For A Bad Day
Makes one cup

Half a large cinnamon stick, 3 cloves, Large glass of water, Honey to taste, Squeeze of lemon.

Place the water, cinnamon and cloves in a pan, bring to the boil and boil for three minutes with the lid on. Switch off the heat and infuse for 20 minutes. Add honey and lemon to taste and strain into a cup. Take at the first sign of a cold.  Heaven.

Food Glorious Food
So we’re into December and already I can’t stop eating. I promised myself today would be day one of my healthy eating plan. So far I’ve had broccoli and Stilton soup, and eight chocolate biscuits. Hmmm. An excellent start. Perhaps this is the wrong time of year to impose healthy eating restrictions.

However, I do think it’s important to remember some moderation day to day so that when you do indulge you can do so without feeling quite so guilty. I try and up my fruit, vegetable and water intake to counterbalance the rich celebration food I can’t resist, and if I’m home alone I’ll opt for lean fish or white meat, choosing wholefoods such as brown rice to help cleanse my system. Japanese food tends to be flavoursome whilst light, and I often reach for a cup of miso if I’ve over-indulged the night before and I need to replenish my body’s salt. Ramen is perfect nourishing food and beyond simple to make – noodles, vegetables and meat or fish in a nutritious broth. Broughton Deli on Barony Street does a very good one and they’re now open until 9pm – perfect if you can’t be bothered to make it yourself.

This month I’ve been mainly…
Planning the perfect Christmas presents, obsessing over tree decorations, making herbal potions, waiting patiently for my fleecy welly liners to arrive so my feet can stop FREEZING, looking forward to opening my bottle of Heartlands Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 (thanks for the heads up Villeneuve), avoiding X Factor, wondering how long I can get away without having my hair cut, trying desperately to get my head around numbers, sniffing cinnamon, layering wool, remembering that my cosy wee flat is at it’s best during the winter months, trying to source the perfect sixpence, wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

One response to “The Seitzgeist – Issue 71”

  1. Luke says:

    Never mind snow in December, it's almost May and it's still snowing in Edinburgh! What's that all about!?! If you've got to crank up the central heating I've found a few quick wins to help offset the cost –

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