I get torn about New Year’s Resolutions. On one hand, it’s a convenient spot to stop and reflect on things, but on the other, there’s a lot of pressure to suddenly reform and change yourself for the better. While giving up bad habits is a positive thing, there’s no particular reason why you gotta do it in January. Our Gregorian calendar is an easy but arbitrary way to keep track of time. Why not have a fresh start in July, or in the middle of March? Which is why I feel more like reflecting on the past year— like that Tori Amos song, it’s been a pretty good year.
Despite 2016 being terrible for celebrity deaths, I feel like this past year was a great one for me, personally. I feel a lot more settled, both in terms of my job and to living in Poland. And my blog reflects this: Most of my blog posts are about Polish recipes, and a little bit of traveling (back to my home in Michigan, and to Ukraine.)
Without further adieu, these are my favorite posts from the past year:
Mushroom hunting in Poland
An annual autumn tradition, I was lucky to have a friend who showed me which mushrooms are delicious— and which ones to avoid. While I can always buy a bag of my favorite wild mushrooms in the market Hala Targowa in town, there’s nothing quite like spending a fall morning traipsing around in the woods.
An unexpectedly pretty city, this was my birthday present to myself. In addition to lovely museums and a famous cemetery, there was also a great vegetarian restaurant, Green, with an attentive staff and delicious food.
Baking: pumpkin pie
This was also the year I rediscovering American dishes. It started when my flatmate asked me if I could bake a pumpkin pie. I hadn’t before, but it turned out to be very easy. The tricky bit is cutting a pumpkin in half, particularly if it’s a burly one. Pumpkin spice may have spread to Europe, thanks to Starbucks, but few people here had tried real pumpkin pie before— and I was happy to be the one to introduce it to them!
Discovering the joys of beets
I’d never cooked with beets before, and I don’t know why I waited so long. Beets are delicious, nutritious, and a very pretty vegetable. Warning: you do have to be careful, as beet juice will dye everything: your hands, your cat, your kitchen rugs. Chłodnik and barszcz Ukrainski are great soups for summer and winter, respectively.
Here’s to a great New Year! Do you have any resolutions, or are you awesome enough already? 😉