For starters, back in January I took on a new job turning a government policy into a practical plan and have been leading a global team to make it happen. It’s been challenging and amazingly rewarding. It’s also meant I've spent a fair bit of time on the road, domestically across Australia and also in Singapore and China. While I’ve experienced some amazing new foods, I just haven’t had the time to write about it.
And then later this year I had some health hiccups which left me quite lethargic. The good news is that I’ve overcome my fear of needles. I was so terrified of needles I’ve managed to avoid all blood tests and injections since 1994. That’s 18 years without a needle folks!
Well, since I’ve had about a zillion tests and injections in the past few months, I’m completely cured of this phobia and can now get all the vaccines I should have gotten before I headed off to Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam . . . . you get the picture.
And I’m feeling much, much better. The moral of the story being, get the damn blood test rather than spending four years getting sicker and sicker. Not clever.
On the positive side, I was pleased to discover my rapid weight gain over the last few years wasn't 100% due to my gluttonous disposition, and once the meds kicked in I managed to lose some weight. That's always a nice outcome, right?
So the personal front definitely overwhelmed my blogging, and unfortunately Morsels & Musings was the big loser of 2012, but here is my traditional year in review rundown nonetheless
• Alcohol – at first it was the big winner (lots of travel and networking) but with the health issues I ended up refraining to conserve some strength. I predict I will be happily reunited with my old friends bourbon, gin and tequila in 2013!
• Chilli – with a huge range of digestive issues at play, my best buddy chilli was no longer welcome at our dinner table. Jonas went through litres of sriracha, but my bottles of Louisiana hot sauce looked forlornly at me as I tried to ignore them.
• Thai food – I am a huge Thai fan, my favourite dishes being larb (spicy minced meat salad), khao mok gai (chicken poached in turmeric), som tum (green papaya salad) and the mysteriously named “boat soup” (a rich dark broth of chicken blood and spices). Thai food is super spicy, so for the same reasons I refrained from chilli, Thai was off the menu.
• Salsa verde – despite the chilli ban, I managed to sneak in some salsa verde loving. Being able to make it ourselves meant I could control the amount of chilli I used.
• Pickles – sour things have made a comeback for me this year. Boquerones, pickled octopus, pickled herring, gherkins, pickled cherries . . . you name it, I want it.
• Bread – we got a KitchenAid Stand Mixer and Jonas started making his own bread. I’ve never been a bread lover, but damn if his olive oil loaves aren’t delicious.
Some previous year’s winners also managed to stay high on the winners list, with caramel, pecans, capsicum and maple syrup being the most triumphant.
My favourite recipes of 2012:
|Chocolate Prune Brownies|
|Cactus & Pineapple Salsa|
|Southern Peach Cobbler|
|Smoked Trout & Potato Salad w Horseradish-Crème Fraîche Dressing|
|Pollo en Salsa Verde (chicken in tomatillo sauce)|
|Smoky Chipotle Chicken Nachos|
|Daikon Braised in Mirin & Miso|
|Korean-Style Sticky Pork Spare Ribs|
|Smoked Apple & Chestnut Ravioli w Cinnamon Apple Butter|
|Brown Sugar Meringue w Verjuice Figs & Honey-Cinnamon Yoghurt|
|Brussels Sprouts, Pancetta & Lemon Pasta|
|Shopsin's Pumpkin Pancakes|
|Sockerkaka (Swedish sponge cake)|
|Fennel, Radish & Apple Salad|
Tomorrow I will post my 2013 food challenges, in the meantime enjoy your New Year’s Eve celebrations!