2007 Retrospective

2007 was a year of ups and downs, and altogether, I’m very glad to bid it goodbye and welcome a new year. While we wait for midnight, here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) of the past year:

January: This was before the formal start of my food blog. I had been keeping a personal food journal offline, and Jeremy set me up a private blog to write out recipes online for easier access, since we don’t have a printer. We tried out the ice cream maker (a present from my folks) for the first time with chocolate velvet ice cream, and I butterflied my first chicken.

February: I made Jeremy some massamun curry for his birthday with the help of Curry Simple, and I actually thought it was pretty tasty, a big first for me. For Valentine’s Day, there was a Meyer lemon tart with a chocolate-painted crust, and we decided we still don’t like citrus-chocolate combinations; I used the other half of the pâte sucrée recipe to make an all-chocolate tart, and that was much better!

March: I cooked with veal and *gulp* whole fish for the first time, and got over my fear of flipping crepes.

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April: Some Greek lamb meatballs made me realize that maybe it was time to start making my food blog public. I began photographing our meals more regularly, with the help of the new camera lens we got to document the life and times of our German shepherd puppy, Freyja. I found my way to my new standard for roast chicken, and tried celeriac for the first time.

Rhubarb Custard Bars

May: The farmer’s market opened for the season: we took Freyja out to meet all the other dogs and their people, and I bought pea shoots and rhubarb and asparagus. We discovered the mushroom stand at the market and gave roasted maitake mushrooms a whirl; I practically did a gig when I found the Silver Falls Creamery booth and its delicious goat cheese.

Strawberry ice cream cloud

June: Our big excitement for June was a brand-new blue Prius, our first car since selling the Jetta in 2004 when Jeremy headed off to art school. We celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary with a chocolate emergency kit and a trip to the beach. I made spaetzle with my new ricer, cooked with fava beans for the first time, and made the best strawberry ice cream ever.

Boysenberries and juice-stained spoon

July: Freyja’s lack of interest in being housebroken finally led us to rip out our carpets and refinish the original flooring underneath. I learned that the Lake Oswego farmer’s market near our vet’s office has an artichoke vendor, and found a zucchini recipe I actually liked. I won my first foodblog contest with boysenberry cobblers, and read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows while eating scones. Even more exciting, I joined the Daring Bakers and participated in my first challenge, strawberry mirror cake.

Finished tart, ready to eat

August: This was a difficult month. We lost our eldest ferret, Pandora, who had been part of our family since just a few months after our wedding. We were also shocked to find out we were pregnant, although we didn’t announce it publicly for a few months. In the food world, I made brownie batter ice cream and ate lamb with a spoon. I also ate a lot of out-of-season grapefruit, and kept wanting mac and cheese even though it was too hot out for it, but that wasn’t the best blog fodder. The Daring Bakers August challenge was a fabulous milk chocolate caramel tart, which gave me the opportunity to get over some of my caramel-making fears.

Cinnamon sugar swirls

September: September was bookended with cinnamon rolls. I started the month with sweet potato cinnamon rolls, and ended it with the Daring Bakers challenge of cinnamon and sticky buns (and the announcement of our own bun in the oven. I cooked my first duck for Labor Day, ate water buffalo yogurt, made homemade ricotta, and gleefully baked a grape pie. I was also fortunate enough to win a copy of Morimoto’s new cookbook from Cooking with Amy.

Rocky Road Brownie Tart

October: October was a doozy. We were pretty badly rear-ended on the freeway on September 30th, so we spent a good part of the month recovering physically and emotionally, wrestling with insurance issues (it was a 6-car pile-up), and mourning our mangled car. I didn’t do much blogging because we also had family visiting around my birthday on the 21st, and a month-long scare over abnormal quad screen results that culminated in a successful amniocentesis. Fortunately, we had the World Series to distract us, and two great teams to root for (with accompanying pastries, of course!): my home-town Colorado Rockies and a rocky road brownie tart, and Jeremy’s lifelong favorites, the Boston Red Sox, who may have won the series thanks to the collective willpower of the Daring Bakers and our bostini cream pies.

Gussied-Up Mac and Cheese

November: We breathed a sigh of relief in November, and celebrated with comfort foods: gussied-up mac and cheese; homemade chicken noodle, roasted cauliflower, and baked potato soups; apple cider donuts; and a smorgasbord of Thanksgiving favorites, including the be-all and end-all of apple crumb pies. I even found time to make potato bread for the November DB challenge.

Barbeque beef brisket

December: At long last, we got our Prius back, almost as good as new. I conquered souffles for the first time and made some gorgeous sandwich rolls for barbeque brisket, and then it was off to the races, Christmas baking-style. Three loaves of quick bread, six batches of cookies and candies, and a DB-style yule log later, it’s probably a good thing we bought ourselves a Bowflex for Christmas. 🙂

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