Yesterday I posted a look back at 2022 on the blog; today I have the customary look ahead to the coming month and also a little bit beyond. As I said yesterday, the blog will hit its 10th anniversary in late March. Contrary to public demand I will continue to blog into my 11th year. I feel the blog should at least make it into its teens. Maybe I’ll shake things up in year 13 but in year 11 you can expect pretty much more of the same. Three spirits reviews, one restaurant report, and one recipe post per week in most weeks. From time to time a bonus weekend report that looks at immigrant markets or catches up on restaurant report gluts from my travels. There’ll be a bunch of both in January: I have two reports coming on major markets in the north metro of the Twin Cities, and I have seven or eight reports to file from our recent trip to southern California. What there won’t be much of in January is reports on Minnesota restaurants. That’s because next Monday we are scheduled to leave for India for three weeks. What this means is that you can also expect reports on restaurants in Delhi etc. in January and February. My booze reviews for January are mostly already completed and so I won’t as usual be asking you to nominate reviews below—though I will be inviting some feedback.
Looking further ahead to the year, I have more international travel scheduled in 2023. In March I will likely be in either Hong Kong or Seoul for 7-10 days on work. Which means you can count on the southern California and India food reports being replaced by some from one of those cities in the spring. And then later in the summer—if everything goes as planned—I’ll be in Dublin for five weeks on work. Which means there’ll be a fair bit of Irish content in July and August. Yes, yes, I know, I still haven’t posted anything from my visit to Dublin last July (a trip that was part of the planning for this summer’s planned longer stay). And we may well do some additional family travel in Europe before our Dublin sojourn.
In Minnesota, I hope to further expand my sampling of Twin Cities metro South Asian restaurants and also to more fully explore the local Hispanic restaurant scene. As for recipe posts, I will continue to chronicle my regular home-cooking and if you are interested in more of that than shows up on the blog, you may want to track me on Instagram.
Later in 2023, I also hope to get back to some more writing beyond recipes and restaurant reports. My next round-up of writing on South Asian food is long overdue. I hope to get that out by February. I also want to restart my “Bombay Cinema: A Rough Guide” series, which stalled in 2020 after three posts. I hope to get my annotated recommendations for the 1960s and 1970s done by the middle of the year. Let’s see how all of that goes.
Okay, back to business. First, I have for you the recipe poll for January. As always you can vote for up to four recipes that you’d like to see. The poll will be left open through Tuesday with the first recipe being posted on Thursday. Here are the recipes in contention:
- Chana Masala, Take 4: I think I may have happened on my best chana masala recipe to date. I make mine with Rancho Gordo desi chana (they no longer carry it but I have a deep stash) but you can make it with regular store-bought desi chana or even with garbanzos.
- Chettinad’ish Oxtail Curry: A bastardized Chettinad-style curry that I made with oxtails but which you could make with whatever cut of beef, mutton or lamb you have.
- Goat Neck Curry with Sweet Potato: An also-ran from past polls.
- Lamb Shank Curry with Tomato and Potato: Another also ran.
- Shortbread with Ajwain and Cardamom: Yes, a rare foray into baking for me.
- White Bean Stew with Coconut Milk: I made this with Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans but you can use your white bean of choice.
Here is what they look like:
And here is the poll. Again, you can vote for up to four candidates.
By the time I leave for India I will already have all the whisky reviews for January (plus a few extra) done. What I don’t have done right now is the thematic clusters/sequences in which they could appear. So you can help me figure that part out by choosing the thematic weeks below that most interest you (write in to the comments with your nominations). Some possible clusters are:
- A Caol Ila week featuring a 12 yo red wine finish bottled by DS Tayman, a 13 yo refill butt bottled by Old Particular for K&L, and an older 17 yo bourbon cask bottled by Single Malts of Scotland.
- An Ardbeg week featuring Ardbeg Kelpie and an edition each of the Uigeadail and the Corryvreckan.
- An Ardmore week, featuring two recent WhiskySponge casks and another from Whisky Doris that was released some years ago.
- A peated whisky week featuring some of the above and/or peated malts from Ledaig, Kilkerran, Laphroaig or Bunnahabhain.
- A WhiskySponge week, featuring the aforementioned Ardmores and a Glen Grant.
- A Single Malts of Scotland week featuring three recent releases for the US market (the Laphroaig above plus a Clynelish and a Linkwood).
- Another Campbeltown hand-fill week, this time of casks of Hazelburn, Springbank and Longrow filled at Springbank in late-October 2022.
- A Compass Box week featuring the Kensington Wine Market 25th Anniv. bottling, the Delilah’s 20th Anniv. bottling, and This is Not a luxury Whisky.
As you can see, that’s more weeks than there are in January. However, as a number of the whiskies overlap in these clusters it’s not the case that I could post any combination of them. I couldn’t do both an Ardmore week and a separate WhiskySponge week, for example. And note: the Ardbeg and Compass Box weeks are dependent on my samples from those bottle splits arriving as scheduled, early this coming week.
Alright, over to you.