Last night I made the final dish of Project 365. It has been quite an adventure and I almost didn’t make it. I had a bit of a crunch at the end… Now my refrigerator and freezer are overflowing!
My friend, Jennifer, asked me to do a blog on my thoughts about doing a project such as this, so here we are.
First of all, I could never have done this without the encouragement from my friends. Face Book and other social media (the blog, flickr) let me share the recipes and photos will all of you. And since so many people knew about the project and asked me throughout the year how it was going (and what I was making!), it kept me on track. I couldn’t let my friends down, right?
It is weird now that the project is over. I should feel no anticipation or pressure to pick recipes out of my cookbooks when making up our menus, but that feeling is still there. Only time will tell how long that will last. My huge collection of cookbooks are finally getting the love the deserve.
We discovered a lot of new favorites. I’ve already made the Zydeco Green Beans twice and I only have a few jars left! The kidling asks for the “lemon fish”; Lemon Herb Swordfish Steaks, which is wicked easy to make and can be made in advance. The Country Lentil Soup both freezes and dehydrates beautifully. I’ve made that one twice too. So good!
I learned how to make risotto this year, and did a lot of canning. The bento cookbooks were heavily used and will continue to be used. I love the celery kinpira recipe! That was a pleasant surprise. I did NOT like the miso eggs, which was a not so pleasant surprise.
I’ve missed making homemade pizzas. (Pizza dough from Trader Joes) There’s only so many real recipes for pizza in my books and I’ve made all of the ones I know the hubby will eat. I’m looking forward to putting our homemade pizzas back on the regular rotation. Hubby likes ham, pineapple, red onion and olives on our pizza.
Most of the recipes were a success, but I also had a few disasters. The Daikon Kimchee Cubes (and I like kimchee!) were inedible. The Cinnamon Rolls, from my Freezer Cooking book, was a huge mess!
One other negative thing about the project was that I feel like I spent too much money on food and wasted a lot of food last year. Recipes “had” to be made to get 365 recipes for the year, so I made more food than we really needed. In 2012 we will be eating a lot more leftovers. In the next blog post I’ll talk about the new challenge.
I acquired MORE cookbooks this year, and I have a few new favorites. What’s worse is that there are at least four or five more books that I will be adding to the collection. They will be ones I know I will use though.
All in all, it was fun. And I will continue to track what recipes I’ve tried. Having a weekly menu with the recipe names and books listed was a huge help in both grocery shopping and deciding what is for dinner. I will continue to do this.
Thanks again, everyone, for the encouragement and being willing food testers! I look forward to feeding you all again in 2012.