Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wrapping Up 2011

Around the end-ish of each year I like to go back over the goals that I set for myself the previous year, before setting new goals for the year ahead. 2011 did not quite go as planned, but by no means would I consider it a failure. It was an interesting one.

1. Do things that terrify, embarrass, startle, and otherwise freak me out
I'd consider this the biggest success of all time. I ended a relationship that had been my absolute rock and place of consistency and security for three years. I moved into a place on my own for the first time in my life. I asked for a bigger raise at work (and got it!), I swam with a whale shark (briefly, in six foot seas and open water, and mildly panicked the entire time). Ultimately- I completely restructured my life, stopped shying away from the unfamiliar, and learned to start trusting my own gut more than ever before. It is not the journey that I had intended for myself by any means, but it has been the most significant.

2. Learn more about the joys of yeast and fermentation.
I'd call this questionable. While I started working with sourdough fairly early on in the year- in coming to terms with my gluten intolerance as well as moving into an apartment with the most inconsistent temperature range (ever!) I really let this one slip aside. Bread baking may not be a consistent thing for me, but my love for kombucha, kimchee, and all other things vinegary and mildly terrifying has not faded. 2012 might just be the perfect year for strange fermented things.

3. Go places, take classes, and make things.
2011 was: a gyotaku class in Portland, a four-week mushroom identification class through The Puget Sound Mycological Society, a very successful mushroom hunting trip, the best cupcakes I've ever made, two types of homemade cereal (granola, and amaranth). I also took swim lessons, made recipe after recipe of mediocre gluten free cookies, and spent a whole lot of time tromping around in the woods and mud.

4. Run a full marathon and start training for a triathlon.
Hah! Oops. While I did run my second half marathon (and cut 15 minutes off my previous time!) life really got in the way of any other training. An injury in October led to me having to wear this lovely thing for three weeks, and my foot still isn't fully healed. I'm signed up for my third half marathon this coming March, and will again aim to run my first full marathon in the next year.

5. Go somewhere I've never been before.
Success! Chimacum & Point No Point, Canon Beach, Whidby Island, Guemes Island (favorite!), Port Townsend, Crystal Mountain, and most wonderfully of all- La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico!

Did 2011 throw any surprises your way?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Slow Food Seattle & Canning Wild Pacific Albacore

A few months ago I was invited to apply for a position on the board of directors with Slow Food Seattle, my local chapter of Slow Food International. I was thrilled to come on as their new treasurer, and while I'm definitely still finding my feet- yesterday was my first Slow Food event, and I had an absolutely fantastic time of it.

Jeremy Brown, charming tuna fisherman and canning expert- came down from Bellingham with 800 pounds of locally caught Wild Pacific Albacore tuna and a whole lot of patience. He talked members through the process of canning tuna- from cleaning and trimming fish to stuffing jars and testing for a proper seal. It was at times chaotic and crowded, always cold, and absolutely smelly. We had a seriously great day. And a tremendous "thank you" to Gourmondo for hosting us!

Step 1: Cutting tuna into chunks, removing skin and guts
Step 2: Fine trimming, cutting tuna into smaller pieces to fit into jars
Packing jars
Step 3: Adding salt, olive oil, and our special "secret" ingredient
Filled and cleaned jars waiting to go into the pressure cookers
Step 4: 90 minutes in the pressure cooker
Checking pressure. Yes it takes four people.
Removing cooked jars 
Cleaning and separating unsealed jars
Cooling- the bubbles in the jars are a good sign- it means pressure is built up and they're properly sealed.
Waiting on the last three cookers to finish.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...