Sunday, December 30, 2007

Il meglio del 2007

I like the idea of thinking back about 2007 and deciding what were the best things that happened and were recorded on this blog. There are a few events that encourage this, and so I'll join my voice to the 'Best of 2007' event proposed by Nupur at 'One hot stove'.
On a 'culinary level', the best things that happened to me were:
1) I learned how to bake bread, and found out it's easy, fun, and the results are always good!
This is the summary of four different bread recipes, which you can find here.

2) I also learned how to make home made pasta! This was a big discovery too, although I don't do it as often as baking bread, as it requires a much longer time investment.
If you want to see a pasta-making session, click here.

3) I started participating to a lot more food-blog events. This has been really good in many ways: I was pushed to try and make different types of food, create new recipes with new ingredients, and also, I got to know a lot more food-bloggers, who are now almost like friends for me.. Also, I found out about a lot of interesting recipes. I truly believe that some of the blog-events roundups are little jewels, which no one would have ever thought of before this big blog word started existing.
This is an example of one of the events that pushed me to think about something new: it was 'Waiter, there's something in my.. dumplings', and I made some steamed chickpea flour dumplings filled with nuts and raisins, which is something I would have not really thought of if I hadn't been inspired by the guidelines of the event.

4) I also started to host a food blog event here on my blog, called 'Fresh Produce of the Month'. It's exciting and instructive for me to choose which produce can best represent a month, and see what people come up with! This month we have Apples as theme, and I'll post the roundup quite soon.

5) I became almost vegeterian, and stopped cooking meat except for very special occasions (like Christmas or so). I've never been too big on meat, but now I really enjoy more vegetables than meat! I still really like fish, though. This is just an example of some cute vegetable dish I made at some point, Grilled veggie and tofu bruschette with mango and tomatillo salsa!.

6) Being more vegetarian also made me become inventive and experiment with fruits in savory dishes, such as in this veggies, fruit, tofu and somen noodles

7) I made my first liqueur! I made limoncello when it was lemon season here, and the result was so good that it disappeared in one evening.. :)

8) I also made my first jams. I haven't posted about all the jams I made, in the end, as they are always very simple! I found out cooking any fruits with sugar, lemon and spices makes the best jams ever, and there's no need to buy them anymore. Here is an example of my peach jam

On a non-culinary note, this blog witnessed a few big changes in my life that occurred this year.. most important, our move to Berkeley!
This meant saying goodbye to many dear friends, although luckily, as I said, some of them actually moved on the West coast too. And it meant knowing many new great people, and experiencing the lifestyle of Berkeley, which I really enjoy.

It also meant visiting a lot of nice places around California. I particularly enjoyed going to Yosemite Park with Lucas's parents. It's a wonderful place, and we went when the falls were in their greatest beauty. Here is a picture of Lucas and I, taken by Debbie:

This year was also the year when most of my friends had babies. This made me realize how life goes on around me, and also made me think about the beauty of having a baby! I think next year will see a few more babies born among my friends. Here is baby Crystal, Yan Li and Dazhong's baby, when she was very little:
My other friends' babies were Giulia, Clementina, Sara, Eleonora - all little baby girls! I'm really happy for all of them, and I wish all of them joy and happiness.

Today is actually the 'anniversary' of the end of my third year in a row in the US. So far, it's been a very nice time of my life. I enjoyed a lot of things of this country, and of the people here. It does feel a bit strange, though, to know that I haven't been living in Italy for so long. Who knows what will happen in one year? Things will change again. Well, we'll see, and hopefully this blog will witness the most important events again!


Nupur said...

Wow, you have had an amazing year- learning to do so many new things! Thanks for this delightful entry :)
As a vegetarian, I wish you lots of fun with vegetarian dishes and ingredients. And a very Happy New Year!

Namratha said...

That sure is an awesome fun filled year Marta, glad it went well for you :) Everything looks good, will look at all of them in detail in a day or two...have a very happy and wonderful new year :)

Gretchen Noelle said...

You should feel very proud of this year. You have accomplished much and stretched yourself in many new ways! Happy New Year!

Mansi said...

Yosemite is the best!! I'm glad you enjoyed your time in CA:) that pasta making sure looks tedious, though I've seen them show it so simple in commercials:)

wisih you a happy and healthy 2008!

Holly Chase said...

Living in Florida and writing about Italian-American food--- and how the food of southern Italy, like pizza became "American" standards.

As for our work,we'd love to have real Italians visit our food sites, too! and

Right now, we have a glut of Persian limes & kumquats in our yard, and I think it would be fun to make limoncello verde and kumquatcello. Your recipe looks like the one we'll try....

Auguri! holly (at)