Friends, Happy New Year! We did another year together, in large part to the efforts of Team JtB who kept the train on the tracks and the calendar in order. January 2023 (what even?) marks 15 years of Joy the Baker which feels like an elaborate, pastry-heavy fever dream. I hope this finds you easing into this new year. January is like Monday – even though we make the thorough To Do List, not everything gets done in one day or in one month. Let’s ease in.
Here is a list of some of my favorites through the year of our lord 2022, may it rest in our memories.
The biggest thing I crossed off the 2022 Bucket List
Turns out my proudest moment of 2022 was a little tumble into the gravel with my motorcycle this week on a past-my-technical-ability hill in Arkansas. Every rider I’ve dragged advice and encouragement out of has told me that every rider, experienced and beginner, drops their bike. I sure did stall myself on the edge of a double steep curve trying to figure out how to get myself up and out before unceremoniously tipping my bike and myself down the gravel. I could hear Will laughing (in his head only) while jogging down the hill to save me. Turns out I was supposed to be in first or second gear instead of fourth – OOPS. I get it now. Low gears. More revs. Dropping my bike means I’ve crossed Learn How To Ride a Motorcycle off my 2022 list and I know how to dust myself on and ride myself back to camp. It only took a few hours before Will and I were both laughing about my gravel dive.
Do you know Wendy from TikTok?
My friend texts are fully invested in Wendy’s dating life, road trips, and makeup tutorials I can’t explain it but TikTok is full of things we didn’t know we needed. (TikTok)
While I’m not fully prepared to take the show Yellowstone on as my personality, I am fully prepared to watch Kevin Costner in Wrangler jeans and various cowboy hats of wealth. I’m only on the first season and I swear every episode is feature film length but ok YES cowboys. (YouTube)
90’s food served with hot tea
Sara Moulton’s Long Overdue Autopsy of 90’s Food Culture left me wanting more like, we need to sit down for some real team, ma’am. Nevertheless, I loved this walk down Fruit Salsa Lane. (Saveur)
My favorite and most underrated recipe on JtB this year? These Bacon Jalapeno Smashed Chicken Burgers. It’s not the recipe itself, though the recipe is elite – it’s the idea that we can smash all sorts of things into our burger patties which feels like a new kitchen skill we should all carry forward. (Joy the Baker)
What *gestures largely* Y’all Read
I did entirely not enough reading this year because I was simply not in the mood but even I read Lessons in Chemistry and loved it. Y’all sure turned some pages though. I love these lists from trusted readers: Amy Estes, Toby Lowenfels, and Ann Friedman. (Bookshop.org and Instagram)
My favorite show of 2022 actually came out in late 2021 but spare me a little grace. Kevin Hart’s True Story is dark and twisty and a surprising departure from my favorite character from Jumanji 2 (and no one loves Jumanji 2 more than me it’s very weird). (Netflix)
Joseph the Tradesman
Abby’s Trader Joe’s Haul goes down as one of the most useful JtB posts of the year and calls for a TJ’s splurge for all. (Joy the Baker)
The most compliments on a single item
My favorite frivolous purchase of 2022 was this custom phone case. It delights (and would make a cute Valentine’s Day present for your girlfriends – just thinking ahead!) (Bauble Bar)
The podcasts episode I would not shut up about
This episode about a plane crash and survival in the Andes – it’s more than everything you could ever never want in a story and I show no signs of shutting up about it any time soon. (Apple Podcasts)
Eat your grapes and black eyed peas today, friends! My love to you this year – we’re still chuggin.