An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in.
A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
- Bill Vaughn
I loved this quote so much when I read it, part way through a beautiful post written by Jamie of Life’s a Feast, that I had to include it in mine today. I don’t know whether I am a pessimist or an optimist, I suspect a mixture of both. I am, as yet, undecided as to whether I am staying up to see the new year in, or the old one out. It’s been quite a remarkable year in many ways and, as is often the case in life, there have been many good times as well as some not so good. Thankfully, only the happy times have played themselves out on this blog, my positive space, my creative outlet.
Many times throughout the year I have found myself in the kitchen, usually with a little pair of hands helping in some way, trying out a new recipe or setting myself a new challenge, which I have then very much enjoyed writing about and sharing with you all. If nothing else, blogging has also made for much more interesting mealtimes as it has encouraged me to push my normal boundaries to try new things. It’s also been a wonderful way to connect with other like-minded foodies, who have all been a huge inspiration to me. Many new and exciting opportunities have also come my way, simply as a result of hitting the little blue ‘publish’ button to the right of my ramblings! If you are in any way thinking about starting a new hobby or are wanting to develop new skills, then blogging is definitely the way forward and I would urge you to try it too. See my Top Ten Blogging Tips if you need any encouragement to get started.
My husband said a funny thing to me earlier this month. He said: ”It’s not always about the food, you know?” as he caught me glancing across as a Nordic waffle stand next to a Santa’s grotto that we were queuing at with the kids. I replied, “Oh, but it is. Wouldn’t standing in this queue be so much more fun with one of those hot waffles smothered with bright red loganberry jam?” I didn’t get a response and come to think of it, I didn’t get a waffle! I don’t know whether it is always all about the food, but food is certainly intrinsically linked to everyday life and if you are a foodie like me, there is always an angle!
Anyway, I would like to wish you all a wonderful New Year, full of fun and laughter wherever you may be celebrating. We’ll be at home, dragging the kids downstairs at midnight to watch the fireworks. The evening might be helped along by a snack or too and perhaps even by a chocolate cake…
Next year, I look forward to celebrating and sharing even more stories about food, focusing much as I have done this year, on seasonal and local produce, perhaps even digging up some more inspiration from my Polish foodie upbringing. I look forward to discovering more inspirational blogs, to taking part in more blogging events, to meeting more of my culinary heroes, kicking off early in the New Year with the story of how I met the brilliant Diana Henry in her kitchen just a couple of weeks ago. I’m leaving you today with a look back on some of my favourite recipes of this year as well as a little piece of wisdom that Diana shared with me - ”You don’t go looking for your passions, they come and find you.”
Happy New Year, dear readers. Thank you for sharing my food journey with me.
My favourite breakfast, inspired by the scrambled eggs of my childhood
My favourite salad, inspired by the Simple and in Season blog event and meeting Marco Pierre White
My favourite vegetarian dish, inspired by a trip to my local supermarket and the gorgeous Yotam Ottolenghi
(would love to meet him next year, just putting it out there!)
My favourite pasta dish, inspired by a trip to a local Italian deli
My favourite cupcakes – inspired by the sunny weather this spring!
My favourite kitchen activity with the children
My favourite chocolate party cake, made for my daughter’s 2nd birthday, inspired by Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa
My favourite food photo – final project during the Leith’s Food Styling Course I have just completed
Polish Pancakes with Cream Cheese – photo taken by Stuart Ovenden
With very best wishes for the New Year!
The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child