Monday, January 05, 2009

Pledges, Oaths, Doubts, Resolutions, Hopes

Have you noticed the Roman numeral configuration for 2009? Perfect!
So let's mmix it up.
Here are my food predictions and pledges for the year of Obama (only two weeks to go, pant, pant).

Backyard (and frontyard) farming. I know, it's already happening. But now it will be out of necessity, not just locavore trendiness. It is economically prudent to grow what you eat. And if you raise animals, grow what they eat, too.

Animals. I am not allowed to raise goats in my neighborhood, and I don't even think chickens are allowed here. So count me out, but count so many lucky others in. Urban chickens. Eggs for breakfast. (And don't forget my whack-and-twirl advice.)

Homemade bread. This is nothing new, and even I, the bake-phobe, managed to make a few loaves last year. But, at $6 a loaf, commercially, for artisan bread, I think I'm going to knuckle down and bake even more.

Canning. So many of you already practice this noble art. I have yet to attempt it, but I resolved a few months ago to get a pressure canner. That way I can grow more food during the summer and preserve it for winter. (The chest freezer we bought helps out a lot in the preservation regard, but I must can, so I will.)

The end of granite kitchen countertops. Please?

Frontyard artichokes. (This is a wish, not a prediction.) I hope the two artichoke plants I dug into my frontyard survive and prosper. They died (apparently) last year, but they've miraculously sprung back up, bushier than before. Fingers crossed.

I would add cheesemaking, but I vowed to do it a couple of years ago, and still haven't gotten around to it. I'm quite a bit more inspired now, though.

And many more.


Era said...

Ha! So jealous of your artichokes. Also, I'm surprised at you. I would have figured "I can, so I will."

kudzu said...

Check the ordinances to see about chickies. In Mill Valley one was allowed to have (dim memory) up to three hens, but no roosters.
Guess there was something about their sweet voices that went unappreciated!

Making cheese is looking more and more appealing these days, no? I just spent almost half my grocery bill on cheese (and it wasn't even Andante or some imported luxe choices).

Zoomie said...

Go Google Vetrazzo if you are looking for good countertops other than granite. Recycled glass. Beautiful!

dancingmorganmouse said...

What about quail? You could have a aviary full of sweet little quail that you could let out to forage in the garden and lock them up at night. They lay the most darling little eggies.
I used to have a granite countertop (10 years of so ago), I loved it for making pastry, pizza dough and looking pretty! Beige laminate now, bah.

cookiecrumb said...

Era: Good catch! I thought it over, but stumbled. But I can't can, so I might must.

Kudzu: To my surprise, Terra Linda is Homeowners Association territory. I don't know the rules, but in other parts of the county, you'd have to put the hens 30 feet away from all the neighboring abodes, and I don't have that much space.
Cheese. Should we have a challenge, you and I?

Zoomie: Thank you. I love recycled glass counters. I can't wait to go Google and drool. Cranky is resistant, not because he doesn't like glass, but because he fears change.

Morgan: Quails! That would be so adorable. But we live in a remote hilltop area near open-space preserve land, and the skies are FULL of raptors.

Barbara said...

I once planted artichokes in my front yard but someone always stole them during the night when they were ready to pick. They were alays perfectly cut off so they came prepared.

dancingmorganmouse said...

OOO raptors - beautiful to watch, except if they are eating your quail :(

el said...

I'm loving your predictions AND your mild declarations, m'dear. Of course I say you can can, loaf, cheesemake all...and looky you're even an artichoke rancher. (Mine have to be covered and tended with loving care if they ever are to thrive here in the hinterlands so count yourself lucky.) W/r/t granite countertops: the last one I spec'd was in 2004 so maybe it's a prediction that will come true. (Marble slabs, on the other hand...) Considering how fearless you are in most things (I am thinking SPAM in particular) these other things should be a breeze.

cookiecrumb said...

Barbara: Oh, horrors! I've heard so many stories about "neighbors" stealing food from gardens, I must have been crazy to plant them out front. I was congratulating myself that deer probably would avoid them, but now... people?

Morgan: It is prime bird-watching here. But some of those big hawks could probably swoop down and spirit Bean Sprout away!

El: Thanks for the courage. After all,
“Well, how hard can THAT be?”
I totally DIG your observation on granite.
And, I have a marble-top wash stand that's just the right height for me 'n' pastry.

Heather said...

I am so behind you on all of these except breadbaking.

Mimi said...

Hi Cookie,
I haven't been around in awhile but I stopped by today and was very stoked to see your resolutions. Stop by my blog if you have a chance and look at old posts so that you can play with vinegar and sourdough with me.

I'll keep stopping by to see what your up to this year. I've been banned from making yogurt and cheese and I am way to neurotic to can anything but I'll be happy to see what you do.

Have a happy 2009!

dancingmorganmouse said...

I paid almost $10 for a loaf of (very nice) bread yesterday - I may have to consider baking myself.
Keep an eye on your bean sprout.

Anna Haight said...

Hear, hear! I'm with you. I bought a cheesemaking kit with DVD and it's languishing in the corner. All from thinking I might attempt fresh mozzarella.. I've been doing a lot more bread baking too noticing the same pricing trend, just not blogging it. I have a great winter crop of green onions, mint and lettuce going. The broccoli is alive, but not really growing.

cookiecrumb said...

Heather: You are such a kickass cook, I'm surprised to hear you don't do bread.
Here's what I've decided about homemade bread (and I do the no-knead): If it comes out lumpy or dense or ugly, so what? It still tastes really good. So I'm just gonna do it. Stay with me, sister.

Mimi: Banned from making yogurt? Oh, I'll rush right over and read about that. Horrors! Be strong.

Morgan: It's pretty pathetic for a bake-phobe to be giving courage... But I urge you to try once or twice. And the more you try, apparently the better your results.

Anna: We had a very skimpy broccoli harvest, but it does very well in winter. So maybe yours will flourish.
As for cheese, ricotta is an easier first-try! Try!
Congrats on the bread baking! Yikes. Good.

KathyF said...

I saw the most beautiful artichokes in Andorra I almost reached through the fence and picked them. I figured I'd be out of the country before anyone caught up with me.

When are you coming to Belgium with me? Artisan bread is much cheaper here; think of the money you'll save.

Rev. Biggles said...

I don't think what I eat grows in the ground. That isn't to say I haven't tried, but you know.


cookiecrumb said...

Kathy: Let's see, I'm doing the economics on getting cheap Belgian bread and a ticket to London. Nope, doesn't add up.
(Would LOVE to, BTW.)

Biggles: Don't cows grow in the ground? And all that free methane gas. You'd have it made.
(Cafe Rouge in Berkeley is starting monthly classes in butchering!)

Farmgirl Susan said...

Great list. Happy New Year - and Happy Bread Baking! (I know you can do it.) You know homemade pizza dough counts, right? I'm supposed to be retesting a wonderful yogurt onion rye bread recipe today since I'm "already going to be in the kitchen making pizza." Oh, wait. That's wrong. It was actually, "Let's have pizza for dinner because you're already going to be in the kitchen making bread." Somehow I doubt both will get done today - I'm not that organized! ; ) xo

cookiecrumb said...

Susan: Thanks. Funny, I'm perfectly happy to make pizza dough, but I klutz up when it comes to loaves. I am totally ready to jump back into that pond, though. I have a jar of yeast in the fridge and (you'll laugh) five lbs. of flour. :D
And, wait! We can put yogurt and onion into bread! I'm so there.

outofdoors said...

I always enjoy Mad Eating, but this post was just so much up my alley I giggled a little (to myself. Well, the fish might have heard, but he lets me get away with almost everything). Artichokes!, And the politics of eating from the garden! Love!

creativecarryout said...

Really enjoyed the header of your blog and your Obama/Star Wars reference. Love it.

cookiecrumb said...

Out of doors: I'm so sorry I missed your comment. Thanks for the solidarity! It's sort of like the Victory Gardens during WWII.
Now I will go follow your links. :)

Creative Carry Out: Aw... thanks. Of course, I'll have to change the banner in a few days (but I've already got the new one ready to insert).