Sorry, folks, last one for a while — promise — it’s just that all this goal setting for the year ahead and looking back on the year that’s gone appeals to my OCD-like tendencies.
Who among you, I ask, didn’t clear out a closet or overhaul the pantry during the recent holiday break? (Unless of course you were on a fabulous vacation/holiday somewhere, in which case, please tell me all about it in the comment section below so I can live vicariously and be green with envy.)
Let me be clear: This is NOT a New Year’s resolution post. Tried that last year and look what a pickle that one got me in. (Though, truth be told, it did make for some entertaining blog posts and lively commentary from you all.)
Since this is a very public space devoted to good food matters, I’m gonna keep this list strictly on topic — and realistic.
So you won’t find lofty goals like ending childhood hunger or personal aspirations like finding a rich doctor to hook up with. (That last one is a joke people, and comes courtesy of my ex-husband during a period when I was recovering from some unfun medical matters. He figured it was a surefire way to take care of my finances, health, and heart all in one package. Call it gallows divorce humor. We thought it was hilarious at the time.)
What follows, just 11 modest food intentions for 2011.
11 Food Intentions for 2011
1. Ditch the ancient Teflon cookware. Check. (See, we’re down to 10, just like that.) My pal Marge was horrified I still had this stuff and has been urging me to get rid of it for years, for health reasons, of course. So it’s in a bag in my car ready for Goodwill drop off (is that okay?) and I’ve been running around town trying to find some more eco-friendly baking pans. Any recommendations?
2. Make a new meal at least once a month. Isn’t that the most pathetic little aspiration? You’d think that someone who writes as much about food as I do would be whipping up new dishes every day — or at least each week. But this isn’t a recipe site, per se, and I’m as guilty as every other time-stretched working parent of fixing the same favorite meals — over and over and over again.
3. Experiment with at least one recipe from each cookbook giveaway. Dovetails nicely with #2, don’t you think? Multi-tasking mama that I am I love a twofer. While I curate the books I give away I want to say something about the recipes within based on experience. (Note to self: Take care not to spill any ingredients on their pages.)
4. Sign up for a cooking class. Maybe I’ll get over my fear of canning. Or finally learn to cook some ethnic cuisine with a measure of authenticity. Works well with #2 too.
5. Try something new. It’s unfair to always harp on about this with kids if you don’t do it yourself. What sort of role model does that make you? I have never cooked a rutabaga, for instance, and I’m not entirely sure I’ve eaten one either.
6. Attend another underground dinner. They’re super fun and I love feeling vaguely adventurous showing up in some unknown person’s home to eat food by people you don’t know while sitting with folks you’ve never met.
7. Check out the restaurants on Chronicle critic Michael Bauer’s best of list. And make a best of list of my own, so that when people visit or someone local asks: “Where should we eat?” I’ll have my own handy dandy list.
8. Go to more conferences with food doers and fewer with food writers. A couple of years into this beat I feel like I know what a lot of other food writers are going to say (not that what they have to say isn’t interesting). It just appeals to my journalist sensibilities to cover events where people in the food field come together to talk shop. So hello Ecofarm and later BlogHer Food (for this year, at least.)
9. Find a regular, national outlet to write about all the great food news in my backyard. In the works. Stay tuned on that score. Don’t want to jinx myself on that one.
10. Plan ahead. Cook soup on the weekend. Make a pesto or sauce ahead. Fix a meal that might stretch to two. All that smart advice Vanessa Barrington offers here, which when followed, makes meal prep during the week a breeze.
11. Cook more. The simple truth is, the more I write about food, the less I seem to make it. I’d like to change that equation. Numbers 2-5 should help me get there. If you have any brilliant ideas, I’m all ears.
If you want to share your food goals for 2011, let me know in the space below.
Before I sign off I’ll leave you with a trio of links to recent list posts — set in the past, present, and future — that I’ve enjoyed and think you will too:
- PAST: Debbie Koenig’s funny FAIL post over at words to eat by, complete with photo evidence, of her worst cooking escapades in 2010.
- PRESENT: Cheryl Sternman Rule’s piece mocking all those edible trend prediction stories that come out this time of year over at 5 Second Rule aptly titled The Most Superlative Food Trends List Anywhere.
- FUTURE: Stephanie Rosenbaum’s roundup for Bay Area Bites on food pursuits you might consider doing during 2011 so you Eat Well, Cook Better, Do Good.
Happy New Year readers, here’s to a healthy 2011 for all.
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