A whole year. It’s amazing to think that we’ve made it, living across the ocean on another continent for an entire year already. Our year of travels, food, friends, adjusting to expat life, learning a new language, so much happened in 2010. I know my last post was a bit of a sappy roundup already, but this time I wanted to look a bit more towards the future, as to what 2011 might bring.
We spent our New Year’s in Switzerland. It was relaxing and quiet. After our very eventful Christmas in Venezia, a few days of nothing together was just what we needed. Well, not quite nothing. The very day that marked our first entry into Switzerland with only 4 suitcases of belongings the year before, we decided to go to the pinnacle of all train stations – literally! The Jungfraujoch is the highest train station in all of Europe, at 3454m high, nestled right between Mönch and Jungfrau in the Alps. We ate duck and pumpkin soup at the highest restaurant in Switzerland, and then we went outside and to stare at this:
It may have been -11C out with near 30 knot winds, but completely worth my numbing hands holding my camera to see the Jungfrau up close and personal. It just seemed a fitting way to commemorate the beginning of our adventures en Suisse.
It’s also a good place for a little soul searching. And thinking. Thinking about this blog, and where I want it to go. Where do you want it to go? If you’ve noticed on the right sidebar I’ve had a little poll up for a while, asking your favorite aspects of this site, and at the moment I’m writing this it’s an exact three-way tie between recipes, food photos, and gluten free tips. Ha I guess this is to be expected as those things are at the heart of Jenn Cuisine. But so is the world around me, and the stories that surround us and the food we eat. As much as we love to cook and eat yummy food, we love to travel, explore new places, and experience some of the wonderful beauty that nature presents to us.
In the coming year, I hope to open up more to you – to tell you more stories, show you more photos, and as always, savour in the bounty of flavor that is gluten free. I’ve always called Jenn Cuisine a *mostly* gluten free cooking blog, because every once in a while I would make something that was glutenicious (afterall, it is only my husband who cannot tolerate gluten, and I am perfectly content to munch on fresh made bread and pastries). But looking back at 2010, I realized that every single post last year was gluten free. That’s right, every. single. one. I intend to keep things this way. Will I get rid of the old glutenicious recipes? I don’t think so, but I may make a special category for them so that it’s even more clear than it is now. I think after a year of blogging completely gluten free, I can transition from being a *mostly* gluten free cooking blog to a full-fledged gluten free blog. What do you think?
The gluten free online community is one of the most tightly knit, friendly and supportive groups of people I’ve come to know. I have to thank you all for your encouragement with my baking experiments, suggestions, and beautiful recipes, many upon many of which we have enjoyed in our kitchen this past year thanks to your awe-inspiring talents. And for you glutenicious folks, don’t think I will abandon you. Y’all have been with me through my gluten free forays so far, and hopefully you’ve figured out by now that most of my posts are just as tasty to a glutenicious person as they are to someone who is gluten free. And if nothing else, my crazy baking attempts are at least entertaining
Instead of resolutions, I decided instead to set goals – but what good is a goal if no one knows about it? So I get to share
As for my food goals, I have a few things I’d like to conquer over the next year…the first being cookies! Gah they are my baking nemesis. Who would have thought that such a simple basic baked good would bring me such frustration? ha. Remember when I was getting close with my peanut butter cookies and was foiled by a difference in ingredients? Turns out I was foiled by more than that. I need to work on making cookies with gluten free flour. Next up – puff pastry. I am bound and determined to get this figured out too. Another baked good I got close to, but never quite got to work. I WILL be successful with puff pastry this year, I promise! I want to do more with pastas. We both love pasta dishes, and the variety and diversity of pasta really lends itself to a number of great dishes. I also want to cook more with beans. Beans are full of important nutritious elements, gluten free, and really underutilized in my kitchen. We’ll see what happens, I’ve got lots of new ideas of flavorful dishes to try!
I have photography goals. Really specific ones like figure out an artificial lighting set up and how to nail my focus. And more generic ones like to capture more moments with friends, and actually go hiking with my tripod. I decided to participate in a project 365/52 this year – don’t know if I’ll be doing every day or every week, but I want to take more pictures and practice. I’m also going to start a new series here on Jenn Cuisine – I don’t know yet how often it will be (I’m thinking weekly may be too much, maybe every 2 weeks or so), but it will be about the tips & tricks I’ve learned as I’ve tried to take food photos. Maybe it’s helpful to see things from a total amateur’s perspective. Like how I set up a shot and how I went from my first frames to my final pic that shows up in a post. To go over some of the technical in relation to food photography – how different light affects photos, why in-camera flash is not your friend, a few other things 😉 I asked about this on twitter and got a rather overwhelming interest in me sharing my thoughts, so stay tuned for some gluten free photography fun as well.
Apparently one learns a good deal about one’s self when going to the mountains. All my best thinking is done with mountains in view. Especially mountains as wondrous as the Swiss Alps.