So that’s it for 2012…no more London Olympics, no more Diamond Jubilee, and no more #Project366! This time last year I set myself a challenge to capture a food-related photograph every day for a year, and confess to feeling a mixture of emotions now that it’s over. I’m delighted that I successfully reached my goal, proud of the improvement in my camera skills during the past 12 months, a tiny bit surprised that I didn’t miss a single day, and relief that there’s no longer the pressure to take a daily photo of something, anything, to do with food!
I’m grateful to my friends and family for supporting me through #Project366 (especially my long-suffering boyfriend!) and to everyone who’s taken the time to read these blogposts and follow my life on a plate for the past year. There were times when I was dashing around the country for work when I feared I wouldn’t find anything to photograph (hence the number of snapshots of train snacks!), and that I’d never write up my huge backlog of weekly updates. But thankfully I got back up to speed before the year drew to a close, and can share with you this final roundup covering my Christmas week menu and seasonal celebrations back in Dorset…
Day #359 – Considering my trepidation over producing a full-size version of The Little Loaf’s chocolate and amaretti mini Yule logs, I was very impressed with the result!
Day #360 – It was just the two of us in our little London flat on Christmas Day (well, three of us if you include our #littlecat), so it was my first time cooking the festive feast...roast goose breast crown, potato and leek dauphinoise, orange and honey carrots, sausage and apple stuffing balls, buttered spinach with sour cherries and sloe gin gravy
Day #362 – Trying to beat the Christmas excess by ordering the lighter option of sage-roasted chicken breast with feta, orange and olive salad whilst catching up with friends back in Dorset
This photograph comes with a health warning, for me at least…the salad’s dressing wasn’t advertised on the menu, and was laced with mustard seeds (which I’ve feared I was allergic to ever since a severe reaction as a teenager). It wasn’t possible to pick the spicy wholegrains out of the leaves and after eating a few bites with no problem I decided to take the risk rather than delay everyone’s dinner. However, the next morning I suffered a spell of dizziness and nausea even worse than when my man forced me to join him on the rollercoasters in Bavaria, and can only conclude this was the cause. The moral of this story for me is to be brave enough to ask ahead when ordering a meal and not be afraid to send it back if it turns out to contain the dreaded mustard seeds, and my plea to restaurateurs is to include more details about the ingredients used in salad dressings and sauces so that your customers can enjoy your dishes.
Day #363 – Silky squid ink tagliatelle with mussels, langoustines and prawns in a sauce rich with garlic and tomato whilst celebrating my parents’ wedding anniversary at our favourite Italian restaurant Alghero
Day #364 – Roasted winter vegetables to refuel after an intense cardio session in the gym with the girls
Day #365 – Helping myself to just one more tiiiiiiiny slice of my Nan's Christmas cake, iced and decorated by my talented Mum, before leaving Dorset for another few months
Day #366 – Predicting that a lot of my time in 2013 will be spent in the kitchen working through these new cookbooks!
You can look back on the whole series on my #Project366 Pinterest board – I’m hoping to turn this into a book so that I will never forget my achievement. Despite being stressful at times this was also a very enjoyable experience, and over the next few weeks I’ll share with you some of my favourite streetfood, supperclubs and other tasty treats from the past year that I think you should check out too!
Next weekend I’ll be launching my new regular project for 2013, and in the meantime I’ll still be posting plenty of culinary images on Instagram (such as this tip for using up leftover mincemeat) and gossiping about gastronomy on Twitter, so please do follow me for more ramblings to make your tummy rumble! Happy New Year!