Making like Janus

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year citizens of blogland! Thank you for all your new year wishes :)

Pardon the rather belated post but at this time of year I find it incredibly difficult to drag myself to the computer.  Summer has finally made an appearance so more important pursuits beckon - sand castle building, swimming, bike riding and all the other stuff school holidays are made of. There have been chances to enjoy some quiet time as well, let’s just say a couple of siestas under the belt does a body the world of good :).

All this downtime has put me in a bit of a reflective mood, thinking about the year that was, and planning for the year to come. I guess January wasn’t named after the Roman god Janus for nothing. (He’s the dude with two faces, one facing forward and one facing back).

The second half of 2011 whizzed by in a bit of a blur for us. There was the minor upheaval of moving apartments unexpectedly, then an overseas holiday, MC Junior’s birthday, and of course the usual end of year busy-ness thanks to school stuff, dance school stuff and just general family stuff.

The blog suffered a little bit as a result. Posts were late and often patchy. I do apologise and although I’d like to say this year will be different, the reality is that I will probably have even less time for the blog in 2012. I did toy with the idea of stopping completely but I know that won’t happen either, I love hanging out in the blog universe too much. When I started this thing way back in 2009, I had no clue what I was doing or what I was in for. In fact, the blog lay relatively dormant for about six months until I started posting “properly” from about the middle of that year. Even then, I wasn’t very prolific, nor very interesting for that matter. And don’t even talk about the photos from that period *shudder*.

I don’t really have much to show after nearly two and a half years of blogging. The amount of hits I get daily are miniscule (sorry earnest PR folk ;P), only the very faithful leave comments (bless you all!) and as for followers...what followers? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not feeling sorry for myself - far from it! I’m just constantly amazed that for such a little blog, there is so much goodwill and love sent my way. Thanks to fellow “little” (but huge in heart) bloggers  and also to much more established, more “famous” bloggers, who have made this food-blog universe such a wonderful community to be in. That sense of belonging is not one I want to give up anytime soon.

So, however busy 2012 gets, I’ll still swing by my happy place as often as I can. For those who are wondering, my time will be spent studying - I’ve enrolled in an off-campus post-grad course. On top of that, we are facing a possible relocation soon (more news when I know more).

And a post like this wouldn’t be complete without some resolutions right? Food based ones only though, I don’t make the other kind :) Last year I expressed a desire to try my hand at sourdough baking, to make more stuff from scratch instead of relying on the supermarket, and to explore more cuisine from other cultures.

Thanks to our December Daring Bakers challenge, I now have Blobby! And after about 3 weeks, he’s settled down, smells lovely and is producing much lighter bread (just like Lisa predicted he would). As for the other two resolutions? Uh, I did make grissini once, but it was nothing to write home about, and we definitely explored and ate many new foods we wouldn’t normally be exposed to while on holidays, but making them at home? Not so much, unless you count Coca-Cola roast pork which sounds trashy but is anything but!

Three week old Blobby

This year, I’ve got three resolutions I’ll hopefully be able to keep.

1) Again, to try and make more stuff from scratch. So far, we’re off to a good start with Blobby bread, and I got myself a new toy with gift vouchers, so lots more home made ice-cream will be on the cards (the base for a maple pecan ice-cream from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop is sitting in the fridge as I type this). I’m going to dust off the pasta machine to ensure we have more fresh pasta on the table, and one of these days I’m going to attempt yoghurt. Wish me luck.

2) As I get a bit older and rounder wiser, the idea of healthy baking is starting to sound a little bit more appealing. Don’t worry, no way am I giving up butter and other decadent goodies, but I’m open to the idea of trying to give a healthier spin to old favourites. Having said that, if they don’t measure up taste-wise, forget it, I’ll stick to the high calorie version. I’d much rather eat a small amount of the real thing and work it off, than to eat a pale imitation that leaves me hankering for more. So if you’re got some ideas for healthier bakes, send them this way :)

3) Little MC Junior is not so little any more and is starting big school this year! So far, I’ve never really had too much of an issue with what to put in MC Senior’s lunch boxes. She dawdles a little over her food, but apart from that, she’ll eat almost anything. MC Junior though, is a fusspot has more definite tastes. I’m going to try and make like those amazing Bento mamas out there and send the MC’s to school with more interesting lunchboxes. It remains to be seen who will emerge victorious in the MC Junior vs Lunchbox challenge this year!

For my blog's birthday, which technically falls sometime in January, I made a CWA sponge cake. If you want to know what a CWA sponge is, try this article. The given recipe makes two massive sponges, I froze one, and then split the other one in half and filled it with sweetened whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

Thanks for stopping by and here’s to many more food adventures together in 2012. Have a great weekend and a great start to the year :)


3 hungry tummies said...

Happy new year my friend! I am glad summer has gone ur way at last :) It is hard to drag my self to the computer as well :(

Deeba PAB said...

Happy 2012 my sweet friend. I am in love with Blobby. May I have some? My silly 'Scrooge' died on me so that might explain my thoughts!!
Love the sponge too and must go and check out the link. Enjoy the good days. I am so envious of your summer especially since its freeeeeeeeeezing here. What a sweet poppet you have there on the bike. FUN!!
Yay for the resolutions which I shall borrow too. Enjoy summer and have a wonderful year! HUGS!!

Charmaine said...

Have fun with your ice cream maker. I look forward to your ice-cream posts. I made a salted caramel ice cream earlier this year, followed a recipe from Delicious mag. It was heavenly. PM if you want the recipe.

Hungry Dog said...

You lucky devil, enjoying summer and the requisite siestas! Can't say I'm not jealous. Anyway, I look forward to whatever/whenever you post this year. I do understand blog fatigue--sometimes it feels like a lot of effort without the return we want. But, I love your blog and would greatly miss it and your sunny personality if you gave it up. So, I hope you don't!

The sponge cake looks gorgeous, could use a hunk of it right now with coffee...

Hungry Dog

shaz said...

3 hungry tummies - We are so lucky! We had another glorious day today.

Deeba PAB - thank you my dear, but just think..winter will be over soon then it will be my turn to be envious :)

Charmaine - thank you, oooh, salted caramel is one of my favourite flavours.

Hungry Dog - aww thank you. I won't give up if you won't. Deal? :)

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Happy New Year to you! May this new year bring you load of fun.

My Little Space said...

Happy New Year to you & your family, Shaz! What a lovely post for 2012. Looking forward for more. Wishing you the very best & may 2012 will bring you all good things.

Shannon | Just As Delish said...

I miss summer in sydney and going to beaches.. actually I miss everything about sydney :)
I'm thinking of trying to make sourdough bread too.. have to get the starter. Oh you have to make yogurt, it's super easy and I make a new batch weekly. My man gobble down yogurt almost every meal. I'm still contemplating if I should get an ice cream maker.. :P
Have fun being a student again and may you have a blessed 2012!

Loveforfood said...

I am drooling over your sponge cake.

Beth said...

I'm trying to blog about more healthy foods too (although I'll keep lots of desserts in for my sweet tooth). So glad you're not giving up blogging. I'd miss you!

grace said...

the minute blogging begins to feel like a chore, the good times are over. i like your content and frequency of posts just the way it is. :)

Juliana said...

Happy New Year your resolutions, especially Blobby :-)
Your cake looks amazing, and the recipe so simple...I'll have to give this a try.
Enjoy your Summer, and sty in touch...

Lora said...

Happy New Year to you and your family Shaz. Wishing you all the best for 2012 and beyond.

shaz said...

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) - thank you, may your year be full of fun too.

My Little Space - and may all good things go your way too, thank you.

Shannon - I only got my ice-cream maker because I had some vouchers for the store. I'd probably think twice if I had to pay for it myself (because of the cost). Having said that, it's super easy to use and if you eat a lot of ice-cream or just like to experiment with flavours, then I'd say it's worth it :)

Loveforfood - you can have some any time :)

Beth - thank you for the encouragement! I'll be keeping an eye out for healthy ideas from your posts.

grace - thank you so much.

Juliana - the cake is relatively simple, it just makes quite a lot of cake, so make sure you have someone to help you eat it :)

Lora - best wishes to you too!

Fiona said...

Happy New Year! Sounds like you're going to have very fulfilling year with emphasis on the 'fill'!

Will you be my sourdough buddy this year? I filled a suitcase with good flour when I was in Tasmania last week and I'm all primed for getting a starter started. We can bounce ideas/failures/successes off each other!

shaz said...

Fiona - you don't even have to ask, I'd be honoured to be your sourdough buddy :)

dessert girl said...

Love the Blobby! How fun! Like a science experiment . . . that you eat! :-)