Hi, everyone. And Happy New Year! May it be full of shiny happy things.
I know that Standard Internet Wisdom would have me bashing this year, telling it to not let the door hit it in the ass on the way out. And, generally, yes. I like “new year” traditions: anything that offers a reset (and a holiday weekend) can’t be all bad. I guess, for me, 2016 was a pretty weird year with a lot of good and bad in it — much like any other year, except also with a move across the country for a new city and new job. So I don’t want to trash the whole year in light of some really lousy parts. That’s not the year’s fault.
This year was full of some really good recipes, and some I’m not so proud of. My personal favorite is the Cider Pot Roast, which Jack and I love so much we made it for Christmas dinner. My friend Corinne made it with not-hard cider, and that works, too. I’m also thrilled beyond measure that Denise fixed my 2015 Christmas cookie failure and made gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free Spritz cookies. (I’m going to try to make chocolate ones too – D.) My cookie press’ highest use last year was as a tie for Formal Borg attire at a costume party.
The recipe that I’m (Denise) most proud of is the Cure Your Own Pastrami. I literally almost wept as I ate it. I know that most of it wasn’t my recipe, but figuring out how to make my own safe curing salt and making it and having it taste like real pastrami was such a joy. And this year in the garden, I was able to put up (canned, fermented, dehydrated, or froze) a good bit of what I grew so that I have safe food for winter. Okay, a lot of it is turnip and daikon, but I did get tomato sauce, lots of grape concoctions, pesto, dried spices, a good amount of green beans, and some blueberry jam. I’ve been putzing around and growing the weird and wonderful, but next year I’m going to try to focus on production and adding some new fruit bushes.
This coming year, we’re going to try to mix things up a bit and give ourselves some new challenges. For January, that challenge will be Party Foods. I know! You’re going to say we just came out of party season, and it’s now “diet” season or something — but neither Denise nor I think that adding more restrictions to a food allergy avoidance diet is a great idea. If it doesn’t hurt you, and you want to eat it, maybe you should eat it. Besides, this is also our way of making up for all the holiday treats we did not eat because they would make us sick or try to kill us. (I think that my condolence prize for having adult onset food allergies is never, ever freaking dieting again. Period. -D).
We’re also looking forward to Denise’s garden, ever expanding, and MaryKate’s reviews of eating out in Seattle with allergies.
So we’ll see you on Monday to kick off a Treat. Yo. Self. January. (And now that may include rewatching some Parks and Rec for MaryKate).
Do you ever challenge yourself in the kitchen? How do you do it? Happy 2017 everyone.