I came across an article on MSN Food & Drink that outlines new things that foodies should try to do in the new year. There are a whopping 51 things listed and, as it turns out, I have already accomplished a lot of them! Go me! There is always room to do better, though, so here is what jumped out at me.
The first thing on the list, clean-out and reorganize the fridge, seems like simple food safety and common sense to me. Nobody wants old food sitting around for eons, stinking up everything else. A better one to mark down as a goal for the year is closer to #38, create a well-stocked pantry, or clean out and reorganize the pantry. It is always hard for me to find things in mine, since all of the shelves in the cabinets in my kitchen are way too deep to be useful without some serious Martha Stewart-style modifications (e.g., lazy susans and lots of baskets to hold things.) I have certainly accomplished cleaning-out to some degree in the past, though, using ingredients in pantry raid recipes, which have been both practical and fun to make. As a result, make at least five pantry raid meals and document each recipe sounds like a good food resolution for me for this year.
As a frequent pinner, I instantly connected with #2, make a recipe from one of your Pinterest boards. I started a board a while back for bourbon- and rye-based drinks, which I have grown especially fond of over the past year, but a few other things have snuck in there since that time, like recipes for small-batch mixers and bitters. One pin from Liquor.com features a number of great bourbon-based cocktail recipes. Make all 10 drinks on the 10 Bourbon Drinks to Try Now list sounds like something fun to try over time, especially at parties.
Read a non-fiction food book comes in at #9. When I was younger, I loved to read and would eat books as if they were candy (double pun not intended). I haven’t read a lot lately — textbooks, cookbooks, magazines, and blogs/websites aside. For shame, yes, I know. Several food books have been sitting on my “to finish reading” pile for the longest time, Heat by Bill Buford and The United States of Arugula: How We Became a Gourmet Nation by David Kamp included. A massive book of short stories published in The New Yorker, appropriately-titled Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink edited by David Remnick, and a very tiny book, The Anatomy of Dessert by Edward Bunyard, have both lingered, too. I am going to pick something manageable for this one, given all of the graduate-level reading that I will be trudging through over the next couple of months for school. Read at least two food-related non-fiction books could be approachable.
#17, invent your own cocktail, is already a favorite activity of mine. Something is almost-always infusing, chilling, or mixing-up on the weekends. Sangrias and punches are probably my favorite go-tos that are easy and good with just about anything. On Monday, and in honor of the snowstorm (turned out to be a bust), I made Dark and Stormy cocktails. Clearly, I didn’t invent that one, but I used aged rum and a dash of meyer lemon bitters which made it a little different. For this one, I might make homemade bitters and/or cordials, which could also serve as ingredients in the bourbon cocktails, too. Nice!
I am not sure how feasible #19, cook dinner at home at least three nights a week for a month, will be in the immediate future. School is starting again and I will be out of the house at least two nights a week –- and maybe more, since this will be the crunch-year to finish most of my MBA while also interviewing for new job opportunities. I aspire to cook at home as much as possible, anyway, but I will formally go with #42, make homemade pasta, as one of my food to-dos for the year. I made dumplings in the past using wonton skins, but not dough for homemade pasta. I know for a fact that Steve has a pasta roller, so we might need a weekend project soon to complete this activity, make ravioli from scratch – pasta dough included!
And this is hard, but for the sake of not bogging everyone down with a massive post and making the whole process enjoyable, I will choose one more.
#23 on the list is make a condiment from scratch. For me, this is a no-brainer: make a batch of homemade mustard. Like pasta, mustard is another bucket-list item that I have been dying to try ever since seeing an article about homemade condiments and summer grilling in a previous issue of Bon Appetit and, more recently, a recipe in Food in Jars by Marisa McClellan for spicy honey mustard. These two could easily relate to #44, follow a recipe to the T without making any changes, and #40, can/preserve something. Triple win!
Let’s recap my anticipated food to-dos / resolutions…
- Make at least five pantry raid meals and document each recipe
- Make all 10 drinks on Liquor.com’s list of 10 Bourbon Drinks to Try Now
- Read at least two food-related non-fiction books
- Make homemade bitters and/or cordials
- Make homemade ravioli
- Make homemade mustard
This list adds up to be more than six things, if you count the few that involve multiple tasks. Needless to say, every single one of these resolutions could be followed-up with the statement, and blog about the experience. With the majority of the year still ahead of us, this certainly sounds do-able… :)
Do you have any food-related resolutions for the new year?