Thursday, December 16, 2010

Top 10 of 2010

Hi Friends,

I don't really blog here any more (thank you school and work and life), but I've been thinking a lot lately about food and how thankful I am for the year-in-food I've had.

With that in mind, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to distract myself by posting a Top 10 of 2010. Not sure what the actual theme of the list is, other than it has to do with food:

10. Sharing bulk items from Bloomingfoods with the Feltigan house. This was our first year to do so and it's been great to know that there's a giant bucket of sugar around somewhere so you don't have to run to the store.

9. Food blogs. I've kind of OCD'ed out to some rad food blogs this last year and have a learned a lot in the process. Some of my favorites are the food section of the Atlantic, Cheeseslave, and Food Renegade.

8. Homemade granola. I've tried lots of granola recipes over the years in order to find the most economical and healthy option. I finally arrived at this beauty and have never looked back.

7. Homemade brew. Ok, now, I have to admit that I haven't really had that much of the homemade beer that the Guff has brewed, but it's pretty cool nonetheless that he makes it and shares it with everyone.

6. Canned garden goodness. I think this is our 3rd year of canning now, and we've really hit our stride. A major breakthrough was Will's creation of "restaurant style" salsa. I have to admit, I hate chunky salsa. Even if it's from the garden, it still reminds me of the nasty ketchup-salsa you get from the store. Now we have La Cha-esque salsa at home whenever we want it.

I've also expanded my repertoire of delicacy canned goods to include pickled garlic and pickled red onions. Fancy pants.

5. Eating good in the neighborhood. We have eaten out quite a bit in the past year. I will unabashedly blame this on our excessive schedule of work/school/practicum/band commitments. Even though I'd prefer to eat out less, I have come to REALLY appreciate the fact that not only do I live in a community where I have endless local eatery options, but I can also choose to eat somewhere that sells local meat and foods. Upland, Nick's, and Farm (pizza or burgers only!) have become regular stops for us from time to time.

4. Dehydrated herbs and veggies. After a failed attempt at making fruit leathers in 2009, I broke out the ole' dehydrator this year to give it one more try. Lo and behold I sucessfully dehydrated lots of tomatoes, basil, zucchini, and peppers.

3. Cream top yogurt. What in the world have I been doing eating the low-fat crap? My regular breakfast now includes cream top yogurt, aforementioned homemade granola, flax seeds, honey, and cinnamon (if I remember). Yum.

2. Will at the Farmer's Market. This past summer Will started working regularly at the Bloomington Community Farmer's Market for our friends Matt and Mandy of Schact Farm. Not only do we get lots of good meat and eggs (especially during that awful salmonella outbreak this summer!) from Schact, Will also barters for other yummy treats from the market. Mushrooms and peppers have been among my favorites.

1. Community dinner. Although this isn't new to 2010, it has started to occupy a new place in my heart. I think that all of us on Sunset Hill have come to enjoy the space that community dinner provides to share food, friends, and fellowship. When I'm able, I especially enjoy the opportunity to cook for everyone. I've come to realize that this is my favorite form of hospitality.

After all of this, what could I possibly have to look forward to in 2011? Well...

1. Raw milk. We are FINALLY on the waiting list! Homemade butter and cheese and yogurt, here I come...

2. Fruit. Apple and peach trees should be ready for harvest, along with our recently transplanted blueberry bush.

3. Hard cider. Did I mention that Will's gonna be making that from the apples?

4. Beeezzzz. (or bees). Guff is getting some bee gear for Christmas. At least that's the buzz around town.

...and last but not least...


You will know from an old post that I have a long-standing love affair with rhubarb. Well, we finally transplated it to a new spot where it is MUCH happier. It was probably ready to harvest this year but I wanted to make sure it was good and ready before going to town. My heart does a little pitter patter when I think of all the yummy pies, sauces, and jams that are in my future...

Well, that's it for 2010. Now that I've totally implicated myself as some sort of yuppy hippy bleeding heart foody, I hope you don't judge me too much. I just really love food and its role in community.