the year in cooking

Some eat to live; I’ve always lived to eat. I cook a lot, and I take photos of the majority of what I make—I take photos of the majority of what I eat, whether I cooked it or not. Looking back at the pictures, I can relive every bite.

3.24.09 • before | after

Like these pickles, that I made sort of on the spur of the moment because of a book I was editing. I am a freelancer, and I was giving Alton Brown’s latest cookbook a proofread. Which meant I was scheming to make nearly everything in it. But refrigerator pickles just hit me as the thing I had to have—and one night, probably between page 213 and 214, I set the book aside to make a batch. I’d never done something like this before, and though I realize that refrigerator pickling is not nearly as impressive as actual pickling, I was thrilled with the results. The onions are my favorite part, actually.

This year I finally mastered the art of poaching an egg, after years of perfectly edible but completely ugly attempts. It’s all thanks to Lauren, who shared a video of how she does it, and now I just channel her on Sunday mornings. I even got myself an electric kettle, which is what she uses to get her water hot but still, and now the process is even easier.

3.22.09 • poached-egg princess

To enhance my sandwich obsession, I finally made mayonnaise from scratch for the first time. I’m not sure if I’d been intimidated by it or just lazy, but I found that it is neither scary nor time consuming. I think the worst part is cleaning the food processor, and I can handle that. (Or, um, if Jason’s around he’ll do it for me.) It makes BLTs with avocado just that much better, let me tell you.

365x3.239 • BLT with homemade mayo!

This year I also became a master deep-fryer. I’d always been terrified of embarking on deep-fried endeavors, but this year I just filled pans with oil and let loose. In 2010 I’ll make donuts for the first time.

For instance, I deep-fried poached eggs (with Lindsay):

And Jason and I made tempura veggies and deep-fried spring rolls (twice!):

6.10.09 • spring rolls

It wasn’t all savory, either. Reid, my chocoholic friend, turned 30, so I made him these chocolate cookies, which received rave reviews at the party. (I still happily remember when Reid, tipsy with birthday drinks, came over to me and said “someone asked if you are a GOURMET CHEF. and I SAID YES.”)

3.7.09 • chocolate-cinnamon sandwich cookies, coated

And I also was in Norway with my parents for Christmas this year, where we got snowed in for days, and mom and I baked Christmas cookies together for the first time in years!

cookies

I could go on and on. The year, as with past years, sure was tasty. I’m eager to try more new techniques and recipes—Steph recently loaned me her slow cooker slow cooker, so I’m looking for great recipes for that this winter. And if the year to come is even half as flavorful and perfectly cooked as our New Year’s Eve dinner, I’ll be doing okay.

new year's dinner

14 Responses to the year in cooking

  1. leo says:

    ohhhh that’s why all the action on my egg video! ha. I was wondering what the run on poached eggs was all about. Now if I could just make those fried ones without it turning into a major catastrophe!

  2. Rebecca says:

    And then I had to make pickles because you made pickles! Good Eats is an awesome book and almost as cool as Alton. He’s the nicest cooking celebrity I’ve ever had the honor to work with. Now I need to go grab that book and cook from it. Congrats on a great 2009!

  3. JanieB says:

    Open a restaurant purlease – International of course. OK I’ll let you start with New York, then a joint endeavour with Jason; as long as London UK is third.

  4. kjerstiye says:

    Gah! Moon cookies! My grandma used to make those every year for me for solstice!

    When we moved her into the ‘home’ she is in now, her hand-written recipe cards mysteriously got ‘misplaced’ (booo!) and I don’t have a recipe for them anymore. Any chance you’d be willing to share the cookie love?!

  5. Jacey says:

    Mmm. Pickles. Mmmm. egg rolls. Mmm. Avocado.
    Okay, apparently, I’m hungry.
    I enjoy your food posts just as much as your crafting posts, so keep them coming!

  6. Paige says:

    Oh my, I’ve just discovered your blog, and it’s like food porn. So delicious.
    And thank you for sharing that poached egg video. So very wonderful.

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