2008 Retrospective

2008 was heavily punctuated by the birth of my son in March. Most of my food this year revolved around either preparing for this momentous event, or compensating in its wake, particularly since a good deal of my time for 6 months was spent sleeplessly attached to a breast pump. By the end of the year, my tiny baby was already a big boy, partaking in tastes of all the holiday offerings.

January: I struggled this month with the realization that so much of my food is brown and white, from baked goods to pastas to meatloaf. Saffron dishes and lemon meringue pies brought some jolts of color into the monotony, while (brown) gianduja gelato, (white) scratch-made wontons, and (beige) sunchoke bisque just brought the flavor.

February: I made a towering German chocolate skyscraper cheesecake for Jeremy’s birthday, and a take on long johns, a favorite childhood doughnut, for myself.

March: Lots of easy, comforting food and freezer meals to prepare for the birth of my son. I snuck in a pie for Pi Day, and a creamsicle cake for my baby shower.

April: With a newborn, I wasn’t doing much cooking, although I did pre-write a post containing my superhero origin story. Mostly we reheated food from the freezer, relied on the kind cooking of family and friends, and ate curry.

May: This month I made some improvement in the food front, although we still had a few freezer meals to eat up. I posted my birth story with a side order of oxtail ragu, and made a number of easy, delicious meals like brats and apples, Swedish meatballs, and sticky Asian ribs. I even snuck in a little baking, with a piña colada Opera cake and a super-speedy brownie recipe.

June: We discovered one of my all-time favorite pork recipes this month: Hawaiian braised pork. I also made my first laminated dough and played with purple cauliflower, of all things.

July: This month I made an effort to get back to the farmer’s market, infant in tow, and worked with frisee, mushrooms, fava beans and beets, with varying degrees of success. Highlights from the month used pantry items, however: red beans and rice, Greek shrimp skewers and a hazelnut praline cake.

August: This month it was almost too hot to cook, and I was busy trying to keep up my milk supply with a baby who was sleeping through the night. I wrote up a hodgepodge of recipes from the course of the summer: several ways to cook lamb, fabulous Belgian waffles, garlic scape pesto and lentil soup with walnut cream.

September: This month was punctuated by farmer’s market produce, first paired with eggs, then highlighted at a going-away party for a dear friend. And sometime in there, my son had his first taste of solid food.

October: Lack of sleep (while trying to transition the baby to sleeping in his crib all night) led to a lack of energy for posting. I did manage to experiment with eggplant for the first time, though.

November: Thanks to an enormous batch of arroz con pollo, I made my first batch of homemade tortillas, and served up pumpkin in cookies and a caramel-kissed pie.

December: A belated offering of Thanksgiving lavishness, and a rather stunning French yule log served up to friends on New Year’s Eve.

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