I hope you’ve enjoyed a warm and cheerful holiday season, that you’ve shared laughter and good meals with the people you care about, and that you’re feeling full of energy and dreams for 2011.
May this fresh new year bring you joy, serenity, fulfillment, and really good skin. I look forward to another year of meeting you here on Chocolate & Zucchini.
Before we kiss 2010 goodbye altogether, I don’t want to miss my chance to reminisce on what it has brought me, thereby establishing my traditional “best of” list*.
Most memorable trip
The most salient memory I will keep from 2010 is, without a doubt, the trip I took to Japan with Maxence. I can even say it was the best trip of my life, and I wish I could bottle up the euphoria I felt for two weeks straight — and also wrap up in a magic doggie bag every single bite we ate, so I could savor them over and over again.
Most rewarding baking project
For the first time ever, I baked a galette des rois to celebrate the Epiphany, the traditional January holiday I wrote about here and again here. It was a success that far outweighed the (moderate) work involved, and I encourage you to try your hand at it too: the official date is this Thursday, but l’Epiphanie is customarily celebrated anytime in January.
Ever since I found James MacGuire’s instructions for pain au levain in an issue of Art of Eating, it has become our weekly loaf of bread, and I now make it (almost) with my eyes closed.
I also baked a number of batches of these tomato burger buns. They accompanied us through a fabulous summer of near-weekly cheeseburgers — many of them vegetarian, since I discovered with glee that they sell portobello mushrooms at the greenmarket.
Favorite new cooking utensils
My new/old pressure cooker is definitely getting some mileage on my stove: I use it several times a week to cook legumes, grains, soups, and stock.
I have also acquired a used electric coffee grinder (a model very much like this one) that I have repurposed as a spice/seed grinder, to whizz things like flax seeds, cardamom and lemon zest.
And although it isn’t a cooking utensil exactly, we are delighted with the sparkling water fountain that my sister and brother-in-law gave us for Christmas, which allows us to turn still water to sparkling at the push of a button (“abracadabra!” optional).
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