Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year - Welcome to 2014

2013 was a busy year for me.  And an expensive year.  I did less of some things (reading and writing) and more of others (canning and knitting).  My activities were generally more, well, active, except maybe the knitting.  Knitting is a sedentary activity for sure, but I spent a lot of time knitting at the local yarn and fabric shop where I perhaps bordered on social, getting encouragement and soaking up inspiration and creativity from fellow knitters, which does wonderful things for the energy level.  But canning and cooking are decidedly physical activities.  And getting rid of stuff, which I managed to do a bit of, tends to be a physical activity.  Most physical of all is going to the gym and working with a trainer on a regular basis.  One of the handier side effects of going to the gym has been impressive relief for the muscular issues associated with the tendonitis in my right elbow.  Those issues kept me from knitting much at all in the last several years

The things I did more of have inspired me to continue to broaden my horizons in those directions.  The success of Project Homemade Homegrown Christmas has me plotting what to knit for gifts in the coming year (and they may not all be Christmas gifts).  I discovered that there are nieces with interest in knitting and cooking, so I am back to thinking about the family recipe cookbook project which has been dormant for quite a while.

I pickled eggplant as well as cucumbers, and there are jars of red wine vinegar and white wine vinegar fermenting in my basement.  The cucumber pickles are getting rave reviews, so I wonder what else I can/should pickle and ferment.

I added applesauce, tomato jam, carmelized red onion relish, and apple butter to my repertoire.  While I plan to make all of those again this year, the books those recipes came from have plenty of others which I want to try.

I dabbled a bit in baking -- oatmeal cookies, sea salted toffee chocolate chip cookies, and cheddar cheese scones.  Take note: warm cheddar cheese scones spread with homemade apple butter are the stuff of pure happiness.

The next few months will be about planning as well as doing, but I definitely want to keep up with the more active pursuits, so I don't know yet what will become of this blog.  It always seems like a good idea to record recipe adventures, but once I get caught up in the process, I have to pay enough attention to what I am actually doing that I don't take notes or pictures.  Once I am finished, I am often too tired to sit down and write about it right away, and the aforementioned lack of notes and pictures makes it difficult to do later.  I have considered a voice recorder, but electronics and food preparation don't necessarily get along too well, especially if there is a lot of liquid and steam involved.  Then there is the matter of transcription.  Maybe shorter posts.  I'll have to keep thinking about it.


  1. How wonderful to read a New Year entry from you. I hope you do not give up sharing your cooking stories and experiences.

  2. One of the reasons I justified buying a smart phone in the first place was that it would/could make blogging easier with the added benefit of not having to actually sit in front of the computer, so perhaps I will give that option another try, even though I have a somewhat conflicting goal of trying to unplug a little more often. The internet can be a grand and.glorious thing, but wow does it get noisy.

  3. I too enjoy reading your blog and hope you don't give it up entirely. Thinking of all of your homemade homegrown Christmas reminds me of the time a dear friend gifted homemade catsup. Oh I wish I had the time and recipe to try to duplicate it! Nothing available commercially comes close to that flavor. (I agree about the noisy internet. It is so good to turn it off every now and again!) mp

  4. As one of the recipients of O's homemade gifts, I can tell you they were the best gifts I received. Tasty Tasty Tasty!!! ab