This past year has been one of growth: for me personally, for this blog, and for me and my counterpart culinarily speaking. The year started off with the acquisition of a new camera and a commitment from me to this blogging endeavor - to improve the quality of the content and to attempt to find a voice.
From a culinary perspective, Gareth continued to explore new terrain and expand his skills. 2012 was the year of meat-binding . Starting with our New Year's Eve roasted rabbit , Gareth continued to use this technique for roasting meat and herbs throughout the year with delicious results.
Frenched rack of lamb, bound up with rosemary sprigs
Beef roast bound with an herb and bleu cheese filling
Pheasant bound with herbs and potatoes
We also began exploring the many fine offerings from D'Artagnan . First discovered at our local Wegman's, we began ordering directly from their website at the end of 2011. They provided last years' Solstice Partridge, but also kept us well-stocked with duck breast and various cuts of lamb. By mid-year, I was ordering whatever was on sale to see what Gareth would do with it. This got me a taste of roasted pigeon, several amazing quiches, and a willingness for my counterpart to cook pheasant
Braising squab on the stovetop
This was the year of the wedding cake, a labor of love for our favorite couple who finally tied the knot. We produced a three-tiered white cake covered in butter cream that reached about a meter in height. Of all our exploits, this was by far the grandest. While I did not create a blog posting about this, my personal Facebook page included an extensive photo gallery of the two-day process.
That's a lot of batter
Gareth's first wedding cake
At work, my spouse embraced the Indian culture of his team, an appreciation he brought home and into the kitchen. He developed his own curry powder and tried his hand at several Indian staples, including kheema, biryani, and butter chicken.
While I attempted the latter myself early in the year, Gareth perfected it, and it is now in regular rotation, much to my delight.
This was also the year that I remembered how to bake. I've traditionally played more of a passive role in the kitchen, helping to prep, taking photos, and doing clean up. But in the running dialog about food between me and my spouse, I came up with some of my own ideas this year. Keeping in mind a chefy approach, I created my first pinwheel cookies and baked the best pie I've made in well over a decade.
Mary Cherry Christmas Pie
So what does 2013 hold in store? More experimentation, more good food, and more participation from me. The Food Journal is also undergoing a bit of a redesign. I hope to launch the new and improved site in the next couple of months.
Happy New Year!