Hello Everyone! I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas, and that it was full of delicious food & drink, joyous nostalgia and as few arguments as possible (lets face it, we all have them).
I did little in the run up to Christmas here, for a few reasons, one was that I just wasn’t feeling it (I will explain in a bit), the other was that I was furiously making 75 bacon boxes for Kickstarter Project: BACON supporters, to ensure that they were received just in time, and in the best, freshest shape possible. I have 160 more to make in the New Year, and I am still writing the book. But, I am very nearly there, and I am excited.
2013 was in some respects wonderful and exciting, and in others very difficult. I travelled a lot, and learned much from it, spending time in places that I love like Japan, Thailand, Peru & Australia, as well as many European cities. I went to Canada again, and finally to Newfoundland where I uncovered their connection to my home, via the blaa, I saw gibbons in the wild in Brunei. Wonderful.
A house on the Battery in St John’s, Newfoundland
I found them! Lori and her home baked blaas
A street of colourful houses in St John’s in Newfoundland at dusk
Chicken, in a lovely sticky marinaded, crisp skin, roasted between two pieces of sugar cane
Dee’s Kitchen, Dromana, Mornington Peninsula
Wonderful breakfast in Melbroune
Maiko in Kyoto
At market in Brunei
Food in Brunei
A monk at dawn outside Bangkok
Visiting a farm in Thailand
Floating Market in Thailand
Visiting Sweden – wild strawberries!
Lisbon – enjoying a suckling pig sandwich
I cooked, every day at least when I was at home, and often when abroad too. Your favourite recipes from the last year were Bajan Pepper Sauce, Thai Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango, Homemade Rhubarb Cordial & Siri’s Thai Seafood Green Curry Recipe Step by Step with Photos. Many from the past are still getting lots of attention like Roast Pork Belly, cooked simply, Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Spinach Curry, Rich Roast Duck Legs (Chinese Style), Chicken and Chorizo Pie, Prawn Curry & Spaghetti Corkese (Spaghetti with Black Pudding & Tomato Sauce).
Bajan Pepper Sauce
2 hour roast pork belly
That Green Curry
I took a risk and decided not to pitch my second book to a publisher, but to produce and publish it myself. I made this choice because I wanted to do something different and with complete creative control. It would have been much easier in many ways to go with a publisher, but I really just wanted to give it a go. I funded it on Kickstarter, and I am, as ever, grateful for your support.
I am almost finished the book now, and hope to publish it in late Spring. First it must be edited, designed and photographed before being sent to the printers. It has been a great experience in many respects, I need to do so much more, and I have learned quite a few things which will be valuable for the future. This project, and its evolution, has also shaped my plans in 2014.
My father, in his youth
Not long after Project: BACON was successfully funded, my Dad passed away. It wasn’t a surprise in many ways, but despite being ill, he was doing well. In the end he went peacefully in the night. Aged only 61, his heart stopped, and that was it. So, I went home for the best part of a month over two trips, before returning and contacting my Project: BACON team, explaining that everything now needed to pause for a bit. There is not much that I want to say about this at this point, but it will, I hope, explain my absence and frequent silence.
So, I am planning a quiet calm evening, so that I can let 2013 pass gently from my life. 2014, I am ready for you now. I have plans, lots of them, and this year I am going to make them happen. The first of which will be a further evolution of Project: BACON, and I will be announcing it in mid February, once Project: BACON is written and in hands that will beautify it and edit it, and when I have everything for the next phase researched and it is ready to roll. As for this blog, I have such a long list of recipes to share and so many travel stories too.
See you all soon. Happy New Year, and have a great evening, whatever you choose to do.