So, What Else is New?

by Zehorit Heilicher, Tastemaker in Residence

"Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein 

In this spirit, every New Year I take a deep breath and dive into learning a new skill in at least one of my hobbies or professional pursuits. It could be anything from learning how to knit cables (still working on that) to making jam (success!!) to painting a room. I love the exploration, the research and being able to share the results with my loved ones. I have had some disasters: watery jam, wall boarders that wouldn’t come off, over caramelized fruit, overly browned nuts, dropped knit stitches – you get the picture… Frustrating, maddening and at times so disappointing!

And yet, that moment when your experience crosses the bridge into proficiency – priceless and oh, so rewarding!

This winter my family has enjoyed munching on the granola I learned to make as well as the spiced nuts. Pretty much the same technique is used; choice of core ingredients, seasoning, fat, medium heat oven for 20-30 minutes and Voila! Breakfast treat and mid day snacks are ready: quality ingredients, homemade with love! See my recipe for Cinnamon-Maple Granola. The crowning glory this winter has been my Sea Salt Bourbon Caramels – courtesy of I have never made caramels before, though they are my husband’s favorite candy.  For some reason, they always scared me… This recipe made 80-90 caramels and I made it 3 times in one week! My family was complaining, since I just kept gifting it, so of course, another batch was made – and another...

My New Year’s tradition is basically the same: gain a skill and share the goods. However, I am never bored with it, since each endeavor introduces new challenges, produces proficiencies and offers great satisfaction.

Pretty terrific start for a new year!

Head over to Desserts for the Sea Salt Caramel Recipe and Snacks for Granola! Enjoy and pass it on...