Friday 1 January 2010

Reflections on 2009

Happy New Year everyone! I wish you all the best in seeing out the old and welcoming in the new. New Year’s Eve has come and gone in our household yet again. The haggis nachos are devoured, washed down with some wonderful raspberry lemonade. But rather than share the recipes just yet, I wanted to write a little round up of 2009.

Let me start with the brightest highlight in the shape of dear Sylvia who was born early this year. She is just gorgeous and has brought immeasurable joy to E and me and both our families. Life has been a rollercoaster of change with her arrival and will continue to be next year when I return to work.

I was surprised just how much time I was able to devote to cooking and blogging after Sylvia’s birth. She has been such a good baby with her sleeping and playing, although, now that she sleeps less and moves about more, I am finding that she is demanding more of my energies. Zinc (our cat) and the garden also continue to be other delightful distractions.

The other personal highlight of the year was our trip to Edinburgh to visit E’s family. Edinburgh is such a beautiful city that it is a delight to wander around the atmospheric old streets and gaze at the gorgeous historic buildings.

But best of all was having Sylvia meet E’s Scottish family and friends. They absolutely loved her and it was such a pleasure for us to spend time with E’s parents and his sister’s family. It was great to be able to share Sylvia’s Christening with them as well as an early Christmas dinner. Leaving Edinburgh made me sad not to be living near them on a more permanent basis.

I have made a best of 2009 list but this year has been one where I can count on one hand the number of films I have seen at the cinema and the same might be said of new cds and gigs. On the other hand I have watched too much tv and read too many trashy novels.

Best of 2009

Now onto the blog highlights. I had thought I could do a best of each month as I did last year but in the end there was just too much good food this year to narrow it down to 12 posts. Instead I will just do a list of some of the highlights:

Blogging and Food Highlights of 2009

I could go on and on about all the wonderful food of the year but Sylvia is yet again dismantling the cd collection. The bounty of good food on my blog illustrates how much fun I have with blogging. It continues to inspire me and keeps me sane.

As I have said in previous years, I am not into new year’s resolutions. I merely hope for health and happiness and the strength to throw out my beloved manky old oven mitts. I have many ideas for blog posts that I hope will appear in 2010, a small backlog to post and a huge list of bookmarked recipes to try.

Finally, I end with a huge thank you to everyone who reads this blog. Thank you for your comments, your ideas and suggestions, your thoughtfulness, your feedback, your sharing, your support. I continue to connect with wonderful people in reading many favourite blogs and discovering great new ones. It was encouraging to hear from family and friends in Edinburgh that they read my posts. I send best wishes for 2010 to fellow bloggers, family and friends. (Picture below is of me and Sylvia by my little 4 year old niece Grace. She and my other nieces make great contributions.)

Most of all I want to thank my mum and E. Thanks Mum for all your support and friendship this year while I have found my feet with Sylvia. Thanks to E for his constant support in doing dishes, keeping the music playing on the stereo and trying almost anything I care to cook. I would not have cooked and blogged so much this year without E to encourage me and keep an eye on Sylvia while I am in the kitchen and on the computer.


  1. As a nut roast pro (12 is amazing) do yours fall apart when make them? Mine do and I dont know why :( They still taste good though.
    Happy New Year to you all x

  2. Some great 'best of 2009's', Johanna! I clicked on your link about making stock from vege scraps and I'm hooked! I will start a bag in the freezer tomorrow. If you invest in a bokashi bucket you can put ALL scraps in there, including cooked ones. (I got mine second hand on ebay)

  3. I am seriously impressed by how much blogging you have been able to keep up with a baby, I hope when I have kids, I can do the same!

    Hope to see you at more potlucks this year :-)

  4. Thanks you for sharing your 2009 reflections, I really enjoyed reading about them, and namely your blog which I have enjoyed since discovering it two years ago. I will be celebrating my Blogiversary in a few days time), who knows I may do a similar style 'Reflections too'. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of Sylvia too.

    Like yourself i am not into keeping NY Resolutions, so will just try and enjoy the 2010 and confront whatever it throws at me.
    Happy New Year to your, E and Syvia.

  5. It sounds like 2009 has been a lovely and eventful year for you! I enjoy your blog and look forward to reading more in 2010.

  6. A great post, and so many great lists (thrilled you love Mad Men too!). So many wonderful recipes--it really is amazing that you've managed to cook/blog so much since Sylvia was born, and you seem to be managing the balance beautifully. Glad for the reminder of the pumpkin brownies--I am going to aim for a GF/stevia-sweetened version and see where that takes me! Happy New Year to all of you over there. :)

  7. Happy New Year!

    I was thinking today about things I'm thankful for, and then saw your post of today.

    One of the newest things I'm thankful for is my newly-awakened passion for food! And related to that, the discovery last month of your blog, through the website. Shauna tried one of your recipes and went on and on about how good it was, so I had to try it too.

    Anyway, basically I just wanted to say that I very much enjoy your blog, and you're helping to re-educate me on the joys of cooking! :)

  8. Just found your blog and I have to say that it is quite adorable and clever!

  9. What a busy and delicious year! All the best for the next decade... X

  10. Happy New Year to you and yours! I loved reading your thoughts on Sylvia. So lovely. I am so jealous that your little darling will sleep without you....Aodhan refuses to keep those peepers closed when I am not there....Keep Blogging!!

  11. 12 nut roasts! I need look no further for a recipe to try then. which one would you recommend for taste and waist-line friendliness?
    Happy New Year Johanna, may 2010 bring you more of what you want and less of what you don't.
    cheerio, love Nic x

  12. Loved reading the memorable moments of 2009.My best wishes for 2010 and lots of hugs to the Sylvia,I know that's the cutest age :D

  13. Happy New Year Johanna! A beautiful post - hope 2010 brings you just as much joy.

  14. Thanks Fleur - my nut roasts sometimes fall apart - I think the best one for sticking together is my christmas cheese and walnut loaf - it even slices really thinly when cold - but they taste good even if they fall in a heap

    Thanks Rachel

    Thanks Tahn - the freezer scraps stock is brilliant and tastes so good - I have heard of bokashi buckets but am quite fond of my compost dalek for the moment - however maybe some day I might take the plunge

    Thanks Kristy - I am lucky that Sylvia has been a good baby and to have the support of my mum - hope you have some good babies to eat all your yummy vegan baking as I would love to see them on your blog :-)

    Thanks Mangocheeks - I didn't know you had been reading my blog so long - must be before you were a blogger as I notice it is only your 1 year anniversary - glad you enjoyed the reflections

    Thanks Nupur - yes 2009 was very eventful - though all the changes in babies can be tiring

    Thanks Ricki - not sure I get the baby/blogging balance right all the time - I joke about my blog orphan - sometimes the Mad Men world looks so refreshingly simple! Hope the brownies work for you.

    Thanks Amacuba - it is a pleasure to share the joys of cooking with you

    Thanks My Year Without - welcome - so glad you are enjoying the blog

    Thanks Lisa - busy and delicious is such a good combintion isn't it!

    Thanks VeganCowGirl - I can't believe the food the Aodhan eats with you - am sure that will fill his little belly so that he will learn to sleep and let you cook and blog! I still love it when we get an evening when Sylvia sleeps well, as I am sure you would understand.

    Thanks Nic - yes I love my nut roasts - I can't claim they are waist-line friendly - but a little goes a long way and I love serving them with lots of salads or roast veg - probably my easiest one is the cheese and walnut loaf - it is also a sentimental favourite as the first nut roast I tried

    Thanks Yasmeen - I suspect that they are so cute at this age so they can get away with being such rascals :-)

    Thanks Cakelaw - and to you too!

  15. Sounds like 2009 was a wonderful year. =) Happy (belated) new year! Looking forward to seeing your blog posts in 2010!


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