Happy New Year! It's the dawn of a new year -- 2014 -- in our lives and in our kitchens. Let's work to make it a great year!
Now I don't know about you, but I've been drawn to online lists of food and cooking resolutions over the past few days. Many of them seem stale, even if they contain good advice like eat more veggies. But a few caught my eye and I thought I'd share them.
Mark Bittman offered a list of sustainable food resolutions in his New York Time column. They are described as steps you can take toward a diet healthier for you and the planet. Instead of sweeping generalizations about eating more veggies, Bittman suggests doing things like cooking big batches of whole grains and beans so you have them on hand throughout the week or incorporating vegetables into breakfast to increase your fruit and veg intake.
Danielle Nierenberg of Food Tank looked beyond the kitchen more than Bittman did in her Huffington Post column. Her 14 suggestions focused on larger food system issues. They range from getting to know your local farmer to cooking indigenous foods to help save traditional crops. (A quick aside: the post is co-sponsored by Chipotle Grill and pushes the Scarecrow video we wrote about here.)
But my favorite single resolution -- and the one I am adopting as my own for this year -- came from the Huffington Post Taste team's list of food and cooking resolutions. Their top resolution is to bake more pies and I can get behind that, too. But it is the second item on their list that really caught my eye: "Cook at least one recipe from all the cookbooks we 'collect' and never use."
Through multiple moves (earlier this week, we realized that, except for 2011, we have moved every single year since 2005), I have pared down my cookbook collection significantly. But there are still a number of them that I've used for "inspiration" rather than actually following a recipe from start to finish, as written. That changes this year! I will be choosing at least one recipe from every cookbook I own and making that dish. And if there are any cookbooks I end up skipping? They obviously don't need to take up space on my bookshelf anymore and can be given away.
Do you have any resolutions in the kitchen this year? Any new foods you plan to try? New cooking techniques or skills you hope to learn?
Keep in mind that the Food Council will be running a series of DIY Food Workshops throughout the year. If learning to preserve the harvest is on your list, we might be able to help. In January, we'll be offering two half-day canning classes: