New year, new dishes?

Today we bid a not-so-fond farewell to 2008. While good things did happen and I’ve had a lot to be grateful for in the past year, I have heard from many people that the year itself was at best a weird one and at worst, terrible. The economy tanking was icing on a very strange cake for a lot of people I know. So I’ve got high hopes for 2009, if not for myself personally, than for the many people who felt raked over the proverbial coals.

Now that the fuss of the holidays is pretty much over and the leftovers from Christmas are inedible, it’s time to start thinking about new stuff to cook in the new year. It’s freezing here today, so maybe I’ll start with a soup. Mr. Pea has (appropriately) asked if I could make some pea soup with the hambone I froze from Christmas dinner. I am not a fan of pea soup myself, but I’m a nice wife, so I think I’ll pick up a sack of dried peas later today and give that a go.

For Christmas Mr. Pea gave me a cheesemaking kit, which was something I’d come across in Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle over the summer and immediately wanted to try. It comes from a company in Massachusetts, and this particular kit is good for making mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. There are other kits also available–hard cheeses like cheddar, cultured cheeses like blue, and so on. We’re starting small, with the kit that takes only 30 minutes and could reportedly be done by children. I’ll be trying it later this week and will let you know how it goes….

Happy new year!

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