2011 Recap- Food & Foraging

As 2011 comes to a close (and 2012 is actually here) everyone seems to have a list of faves, experiences and plans for the future.  The more I think about it, my 2011 list involves a lot of food, drink and travel.  I’m still saying that stalking the wild asparagus was one of the highlights of the year:

And certainly our 2 trips down to Montana for a plethora of local craft beers, nosh and skiing was memorable.  Alberta, why can’t you relax your liquor laws so we can have more small-scale breweries & wineries? 

my fave

A recent trip to Mexico also involved a lot of food for me… and since I’ve now got a little bean incubating in my ever expanding tummy, I couldn’t partake in the alcohol component.  Though, I’ve gotta say, the virgin pina colada I had with fresh pineapple was quite tolerable.   As was the freshest pineapple and cantaloupe I’ve ever had paired with fresh queso blanco.

And, luckily, baby bean hasn’t been too fussy; despite a brief aversion to anything tomato earlier in the fall (which could have also been a result of me just dealing with too many tomatoes), we’ve been lucky.  In 2012, I will take charge of labeling the tomato seedlings so we don’t end up with buckets of cherry and grape tomatoes… which, you can really only do so many things with other than eat fresh.

2011 was also the year of the cabbage fail.

I may or may not attempt another cabbage crop this season.  I’ve heard a few ideas that sound promising, such as nylons.  We’ll see!  I’d love to be able to make my own kraut with homegrown cabbage; as the organic stuff is hard to come by.

What else is in the works for 2012?  Possibly more peppers and another attempt at eggplant, which I started from seed too late in 2011.  By the end of September, there were tiny little purple eggplants growing, but nothing substantial to harvest.  We seem to do well with hot plants so we’ll continue to roll with those.

I’d also like to bake more bread.  Lethbridge suffers from a lack of artisan bakeries- wouldn’t it be great to have some nice seedy, Austrian bread? We make our own pizza crust and focaccia lots, since these don’t suffer if you don’t achieve a decent rise from the yeast, which is usually the problem when I make bread.  This no-knead bread article and recipe have created lots of buzz on the internet over the last 5 years, so I’ve gotta give it a try.  And it sounds like a good recipe to have handy with a baby around-  you just mix the ingredients and let ferment at least overnight and bake. In fact, it claims to be so easy, people actually let their kids make it!

Image from steamykitchen.com

I can’t wait to see what 2012 holds- with that in mind, I may be posting less as we prepare for baby bean.  I would like to extend an invitation to any readers who’d like to share something unique on the Lethbridge Veg- whether it be recipes, your favorite local haunt, information on gardening, an event notice, or whatever you see fit.  Feel free to drop me a line!

I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2012 full of lots of fresh, local food and a reminder to slow down and enjoy the little things!

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