Monday, December 31, 2012

Food Wrap-up, 2012

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .
Here are my food highlights and low-lights of the year:
1. Worst canning idea of the year:  watermelon jelly.
2.  Best canning idea of the year:  pitted plums (on the right).  We had a glut of plums this year, way more than I needed for plum cakes, plum sauce, plum jam.  So I pulled out the cherry pitter and plopped them into jars.  Raw, they're a bit tart; canned with a light sugar/water syrup, their flavor snaps.  From now on I'll be fighting the squirrels for these plums with a little more urgency.
Runner-up:  Peach salsa.
Second runner-up:  Blackberry liqueur syrup.

3.  Best fun-to-read food book I read this year:  The Kitchen Counter Cooking School by Kathleen Flinn.  Read more  about it here.
4.  Best straightforward, informative food book I read this year:  The Fruit and Vegetable Stand:  The Complete Guide to the Selection, Preparation and Nutrition of Fresh Produce by Barry Ballister.  Chock full of information about every type of produce you can imagine, straight from the mouth of a guy who's been in the business for years.
5.  Niftiest food-related product I've tried:  Ninja blender.  I got this a year ago for Christmas and have used it every single day since, often multiple times.  With six blades, it makes obsolete my need to crush up coffee ice cubes in the garage with a meat mallet.  (See mocha frappuccino recipe here.)  I can no longer live without this thing.
6.  Niftiest food-related product I've never tried:  bicycle-powered blender.  It just looks fun.
7.  Biggest garden-related disappointment of the year:  tomatoes. We got a few, but nothing like the scads we usually get.  We are hunkering down for a looooong winter with a paltry supply of roasted, dried, juiced tomatoes.  Weeping quietly here.
8.  Most innovative, scrumptious baked good of the year:  peach muffins with cream cheese centers.  Yowser.
9.  Craftiest food-related project I made this year:  embroidered tea towels.  I've been making variations of these for months.  You can finish one in about the amount of time it takes to listen to a San Francisco Giants' ballgame.  Yes, that would be the World Series champion San Francisco Giants.  Smiling now.
10.  Best new bread recipe of the year:  no-knead onion rolls.
11.  Biggest non-canning flop of the year:  making my own vinegar.  It ended up with little worm-like things floating on the top.  Ewwwwww.
12.  Best post that no one read but my mom (you did read this, didn't you, Ma?):   anchovy sauce.  True anchovy haters are excused.  But if you like them even a little bit, you gotta give this a try.

So there you have it.  My best and worst food discoveries of the year.  What about yours?  I would love to hear what worked and what didn't.


Blogger Average Joe said...

Wow! Since 2009! I probably won't go too far "back in blog".

December 31, 2012 at 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Barbara H. said...

Love that heart-shaped watermelon cut out at the top! The onion rolls sound especially good.

I hadn't even thought about the food aspect of last year, but I did pick up a few new recipes. Pinterest has fueled that even more -- are you on there? One of the best is Snickerdoodle Blondies -- like Snickerdoodles in a bar cookie. Scrumptious.

January 1, 2013 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Barbara H, I have snuck onto Pinterest a time or two. That place is dangerous! So many great ideas on there. The cut up watermelon was done by my friend Angie for a bridal shower for her daughter. Isn't it beautiful? Snickerdoodle Blondies sound good, too.

January 1, 2013 at 10:13 AM  
Blogger Elena said...

I loved your year in review. I will have to read the anchovey post as my husband loves them :) Happy New Year!

January 5, 2013 at 6:47 PM  
Blogger teresa said...

life really is full of ups and downs, even in the kitchen. fun post!

January 13, 2013 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger ~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This was such a fun post to read. I would love to try those onion rolls! We had an uneventful year...I think! We just need to try some new dishes this year!

March 6, 2013 at 1:35 PM  

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