In January, Anything is Possible…

4 Jan

Happy 2011, y’all!  Back to the grind.  Back to work.  Back to clean spare lines organizational kale tasting January, instead of loud tinsel-y fatty whiskey tasting December.  Mmm, whiskey.

Double S and I got a new whiteboard to better organize our lives and we busted it out this weekend.  Aren’t we cute and low tech?  So far it’s working!  And I instituted a policy (Mandatory!) of each of us taking a turn writing a (quasi) inspirational thought of the week on said board.  For this week, all college style with my dry erase marker on the whiteboard, I wrote: “In January, anything is possible.  So get out there and make it happen, you crazy fool.”   Question: Do college students in dorms use whiteboards anymore?  Remember those big-ass things taped up on everyone’s dorm room door?  Mine was small.  Sigh.

Anyway.  Hey!  I’m doing some new stuff this January!  Wanna hear about it?  I wrote a blog post about it.  Wanna read it?  Here it goes.

I wrote this blog post about some shit I’m gonna do in January.  Ahhh, haaaa!  Oh, I loved In Living Color back in the day.  That was David Allan Grier as Calhoun Tubbs.

It’s a raging cliché, but I got myself a new treadmill and I’m about to start running my ass off on it.  I had been going to the gym.  Well, by “had” I mean “much earlier last year I sometimes went occasionally.”  Why do people go to gyms unless they absolutely have to?  Well, other than the variety of equipment.  They’re always crowded, you might not get the machine you want, and if you don’t have individual teeevees on your piece of equipment, you can get stuck watching “Rock of Love” or something equally awful.  So I started running outside.  But with the darkness this time of year in this part of the country—we make up for it in the summer when it doesn’t get dark till 10pm (what what!)—and the rain, and work and all that jazz, it’s not easy to find your way outside for a run every day.  No more of that for the Briggster!  I’m taking the plunge and getting a treadmill this week.

I have a feeling The Bear will be doing this. His current perch of choice? Suitcases.

I won’t be blogging about my struggles all Oprah inspirational style, but it’s January, it’s a new year, and I’m gonna figure out if I can get a little fitter while still participating in multiple food challenges and eating my way around the country.  This update about my fitness brought to you by Cathy cartoons.

This was me, looking at some recent pics of myself. Time to watch my stories on a treadmill! Also, I want a bear ice sculpture!

Speaking of food challenges, this year I’m participating in CharcutePalooza, another year-round food blogger challenge, brought to you by Mrs. Wheelbarrow.  I eat meat, but I really do strive to eat only what I call ethical meat—most preferably from a local farm, organic, grass-fed, non-factory farmed.  I do the cooking of the meat at our house—breaking it down, seasoning it and marinating it, grilling or roasting it.  This year, I’m going to preserve meat.

This is a good book. I even made a great vinaigrette out of it on Sunday night!

I was hesitant at first to participate in the challenge, as I’m not a offal-head or a bacon-aholic as is de rigeur (Enough with the bacon flavored everything and general over-exuberance for bacon, people.  Enough.) these days, but we have great sources for ethical meat here in Seattle—namely from the awesome Thundering Hooves ranch—and I like cured and salted meats best anyway.  So every month this year you can read about my trials and tribulations preserving meat and making charcuterie, right here at ohbriggsy!

I’m also going to be back with the Tigress’ Can Jam 2.0 in 2011, learning to can more things, be more creative, follow recipes, and branch out.  Simultaneously.  Remember the can jam last year?  I made some pretty sweet stuff, for the most part.  And now in the cold dark winter, Double S and I are enjoying the larder, eating pickles and kraut and tomato soup and peaches with gleeful abandon!   Last year I agonized too much and was a bit afraid to get creative.  Thank to the first Jam, I’m ready to try some new stuff.  Let’s get jammin, yos!  For now, let’s walk down memory lane of some highlights from my can jamming in 2010, shall we?

August...Pizza Sauce! My favorite thing I made!

Peaches! It is magnificent to enjoy these now, in their light summery syrup, in the dead of winter.

Dill Pickle Chips. I made a ton of pickles and our garden cukes were one of the success stories in an otherwise bad weather summer.

Strawberries in simple syrup...June 2010. Double S and I picked these berries!

Pickled Asparagus from May 2010!

Herbed mushrooms from April 2010. Great in salads, and cooked.

Salsa criolla, March 2010. Bonus! Now I finally have a mandolin! Thanks, Double S!

Mexican carrots and jalapenos, from March 2010. These are now top notch in our beans and rice!

You can find the recipes for all of the above delicacies and more, right here on onbriggsy!  Search for can jam!

In 2010, I canned my way through most of  the Tigress’ Can Jam.  I made it through September, then didn’t finish, due to vacations and writer’s block, but I learned a lot and am ready to can again in 2011 with more confidence and creativity.  Double S and I have been enjoying our larder this fall and winter, and gave away pickles and jams and salsas to many happy family members this past xmas.

And this just in, I’m also gonna participate in Mother’s Kitchen’s Spice Rack Challenge.  Because, one, our spice rack area (or piles of various powders marked and (mostly) unmarked) is a total mess and we have a goal to reorganize it this month, and, two, I thought it’d be fun to try a challenge that doesn’t have to be plopped in a hot water bath and processed for 20 minutes when I’m trying to watch my stories.  I want some instant gratification, dammit!  And here’s where I plan to get it.  I’ll have my first post up about Rosemary (of all things) by January 21.  This is gonna be fun because I’ve never been a major fan of rosemary, so I wanna see what I can come up with.

I don’t just participate in challenges proposed by others!  This year I also plan to challenge myself, and with that I will learn to bake bread.  Like almost every cheftestant on Top Chef has ever said, I cook…I don’t bake. Well, other than some pretty effin’ sweet chocolate chip cookies.

I'm trying to end this in 2011, mmkay?

They say baking is a science.  Well, I’m gonna get some science then, bitches. I was an English major, and didn’t take a science class after high school other than some made up shit about science for non science majors.  I think we watched a Jodie Foster movie from the mid 90s in that class.  Maybe Contact?  Anyway, I got a Kitchenaid Mixer last year, good bread is expensive and bad bread is plentiful, and I have some tried and true bread recipes in my pocket from friends and well-wishers to try for myself.  Do you bake?  Maybe you wanna try right along with me!

I’m also gonna keep right on fermenting.  Although, making charcuterie and bread is fermentation.  Once again, I have to say it:  Fermentation is awesome and life wouldn’t be worth living without fermented food.  Speaking of, who wants to make beer with me?  That’s on my maybe list.

Happy new year, y’all.  Let’s see what crazy shit we can come up with in 2011!


4 Responses to “In January, Anything is Possible…”

  1. growandresist January 4, 2011 at 9:40 PM #

    i’ll make beer with you! you can count me in on any food/beverage/etc thing!

    • ohbriggsy January 6, 2011 at 1:32 PM #

      thanks, friend! and i’m glad you’re doing the spice rack challenge too! can’t wait to hang out again…it’s been too long!

  2. Urn January 7, 2011 at 3:09 PM #

    Beer brewing: I will let you know when Kat and I do our next batch.
    Bread: Kat and I bake bread! All the time! It’s fun!

    • ohbriggsy January 10, 2011 at 12:49 PM #

      awesome! yes, please let me know about the next beer brewing! would love to learn from someone and not a book. and i’m gonna try to make a focaccia this week. wish me luck!

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