If there’s anything I love more than filling out forms, it’s filling out brackets.  And if there’s anything I love more than that, it’s creating lists.  Here are some of my top food memories of 2011:

  1. Making lactofermented pickles!  It was terrifying and exhilarating, like a culinary roller coaster ride– except it took three weeks of patience.  There are few things I can wait three weeks for, and I will do it again for these babies.  We were just enjoying some the other day with our turkey sandwiches.
  2. Visiting Taylor Shellfish Farm.  We were there for just minutes, but it was such a thrill to realize how close it is!  How huge it is!  What a cool process.  Another reminder for me of the importance of a locally-oriented diet, supporting the farmers, growers and producers who sustain your community.
  3. Discovering tomato jam.  This may seem like a small thing for a year-end list, but it was such a new idea to me at the time, was a blast to make and tastes so good.  Next year, I will make at least a triple batch– the world needs to know about tomato jam.
  4. Watching Mom make onion bread.  This year, Mom has taken her bread-making to a whole new level.  I was so excited to have the opportunity to watch her and see how calm and natural she is when baking bread.  On that day, she was making onion rolls because my Dad and Grampa love them so very much.
  5. Playing with Swedish meatballs with my sister.  Yes, we were playing with them, in that both of us had our hands dirty and we were being silly girls.  I was grumpy when we started the process (overtired, not against the idea) and laughing with tears rolling down my face when we finished.  What fun!  What a great memory to have.
  6. Making pizza with my husband.  I haven’t really talked about this yet, because we’re currently off-season, but my husband makes better pizza than anyone.  Yes, I wrote that, and it is the gospel truth.  We have a tradition of going to the farmers’ market for fresh tomatoes and making a pie that night with his homemade (of course) dough, garlic, oil, fresh tomatoes and fresh mozzarella.  It is a revelation.  Thinking about it makes me wish for July.
  7. Birthday dinners with the ladies.  Cocktails and good food with my two favorite ladies in the entire city of Seattle– what could be better?  This year we added a new place to our list of been-there restaurants when we went to Poppy for my birthday.
  8. Dinner at The Walrus & the Carpenter with R and his Mom.  I don’t think any of us stopped grinning during the entire meal, and three months later, I still remember every plate we ordered.  A wonderful night I hope to repeat someday.
  9. Baking wedding cakes with CJ.  We had so much fun that morning, and during the entire exciting and special weekend.  Anyone getting married in a destination wedding at a lakeside cabin should give us a call!
  10. Dinner at Golden Beetle with my husband.  You may not believe me when I say that it was not the fact that we were at this particular restaurant (which I love) or eating the wonderful food we were eating, it was the experience of sharing it with R– but it is true.  I love discovering food with him!  I love enjoying meals with him, whether they are in front of the t.v. at home or in a special restaurant.
  11. Starting cook.can.read!  I sometimes can’t believe the positive reactions I get from my friends and family reading this blog, but I am grateful every day for your support.  This is so much fun for me; if you find one recipe to make, restaurant to try or book to read because of me, I am doing what I hoped to do.  Thank you so much!  Here’s to many more posts in 2012. 🙂