Food Stuff

Illustration By Mark Stivers

Heating bills are so insane that I find righteous anger a more affordable form of warmth than my furnace. But when I can’t get heated up over energy prices and conspicuous consumption, I turn to hearty winter foods, the ultimate of which may be cassoulet. Talk about conspicuous consumption! Cassoulet, which some friends and I recently made from scratch, contains duck confit (requiring several cups of duck fat), tender lamb neck and shoulder stew, and Toulouse sausages, all interlarded with pounds of white beans and about three heads of garlic. We used a lavish recipe from a Chez Panisse cookbook. I felt like I bathed in duck fat. Of course, baking giant pots of deliciousness for five hours probably used up at least as much energy as giving in and turning up the heat, but I got a lot more flavor for my money.