Many of us are pleased to be seeing the last of 2019 but I have to admit that there have been some wonderful memories and highlights during the year.
Apart from starting my Tuesdaynightcookbookclub I managed some exciting food trips in May to Greece, Turkey and Portugal and later in the year a trip to Russia, Georgia and Armenia. What did I enjoy the most? Friends and family quizzed me. I can say I loved visiting Greece after too long an absence and before the summer crowds was ideal. It looked just like the photos you see in a travel brochure. Having a guide on a food trip who is a chef is a bonus and especially when you have to opportunity to share food at their family restaurant.
The food in St Petersburg wasn’t a highlight but the architecture was. It finally was real and almost takes your breath away…such opulence and grandeur and history was a standout of our Russian trip. The food …well the food! It was not all bortch and dark bread and vodka! The honey cake was outstanding (I am yet to replicate it at home for fear I will eat all of it) and some wonderful savoury pies, delicious mushroom soup and potato pancakes, crepes with condensed milk. But it was in St Petersburg I discovered some Georgian restaurants. Words like kaphapuri and pellini now slip off the tongue like vegemite does. Some deliciousness!
But what of the New Year! Resolutions? I always make them and always break them so this year no more diets or being tidier or more exercise. This year I have challenged myself to read fifty books! Almost one a week which is a tall ask but may get me off social media more. Then for every cook book I buy I donate one to our Farmers Market library. And I plan to try a new recipe every week and a new restaurant every month or maybe a new market! That is a start as I want to push myself outside of my comfort zone.
Travelling back to Russia will do that with two long (23 hour) rail journeys from Moscow east. Arriving in Kazakhstan and flying onto Uzbekistan for a tour there will help that push to find myself out there in less comfort and more challenges. A food trip to Turkey will complete the journey.
But before that a family wedding in the South of France with my eldest son marrying his long time girlfriend. They have opted for a small family wedding and we are excited to be spending a week in a gorgeous villa close to food markets, galleries and wineries. I am following this with a food trip from Venice to Naples. Tough I know but I promise to post pictures and blog about the food.
But January is over…how did that happen? Reading a few of the fifty books I promised myself (cook books not included here….I only browse them and google recipes), watch a lot of tennis from my air conditioned living room. I tried new recipes and ingredients….lavender, pink peppercorns and my love affair with polenta continues…..And mostly vegetarian. An accidental vegetarisn! But not a vegan with my love of cheese and eggs!
It is important to make the most of every day, surround yourself with positive, supportive people who make you laugh, get rid of negativeness in your life .Life is too short to put up with that crap! Smile and get a dog! Walking my gorgeous rescue and retired greyhound is the best part of my day. SusieQ or her racing name Stealthy Blonde! My best friend!
Happy New Year….even though it is now February! Just!