Thursday, December 31, 2009

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

2009 was a good year, for a variety of professional reasons:  finishing my Masters degree, passing my licensing exam to be a school principal, starting a successful and popular Forensics Science elective at school, teaching physics, being able to go to work with some of my best friends.

2009 was a good year for a variety of personal reasons:  I watched as two good friends got married to awesome ladies.  I saw my best friend start a relationship with an amazing girl (and a kickass baker!).  I heard amazing news from friends that they are expecting a baby in the new year.  I saw my parents, sister and the rest of my family go through another year in health and happiness, along with the addition of 2 new Great Dane puppies to the family.

2009 was a good year for my cooking and blogging:  All you need to do is go and read my previous posts.  My skills have improved, and I've gotten a bunch of new toys to play with in the kitchen.  I've been trying to be consistent in updating my blog.  I've been taking more and more pictures of my food, both during the process and the finished result.  I'm thankful for all the people from all over the world who have stopped by to read what I've got to say.

All in all, a good year.

While reminiscing is fun, let's look forward.  Here's some things I'm hoping to do in the new year, food-wise:
  • Eat more vegetables:  It's always a goal of mine, and I'm doubly-committed to it with Steph's and my new eating plan for the new year.  Look for me to be cooking and eating with a wider variety of veggies, even some more esoteric ones.  At the top of my list:  salsify (OK, it's a root, but it's a vegetable!)
  • Try to cook more 'on instinct':  I like to follow recipes.  It's probably because I was a chemistry major, and I am a science teacher, and so I like following procedures.  I've read enough cookbooks to know about technique, timing, and flavors that I have the knowledge that I can whip together a meal just by looking at what I've got in the fridge/freezer/closet...I just don't do it as often as I should.
  • Make more stock:  I've done it, I know how to do it...I just want to do it more.  I'm going to try the oven method, as I've done the measurements and my giant stockpot fits in my oven.
  • Ingredients I've never cooked with, but want to:  truffles, skate wing, pork belly, duck, bonito flakes, whole fish, liquid nitrogen, salsify, foie gras, rabbit loin, Cornish hens, smoked salt
  • Eat at the Chef's Table at Nicholas:  not so hard to reach this goal, as Steph and I have already decided that we're going doing this for our anniversary.
  • "Molecular gastronomy":  Love it or hate it, it's definitely changed the culinary landscape over the course of the decade.  It's not something I'll do often, but I bought the Alinea cookbook because I wanted those recipes, so look for me to do a thing or two from there.  I'm also dying to eat at wd-50...maybe for my 30th birthday?
  • Eat more 'locally':  I've got tons of farmers' markets around me, and I'm a lazy ass for not taking advantage of them.  I also need to take the time to go up to Red Bank on Sundays when the weather is warmer for their Sunday market at the Galleria.
Here's a some things I'd like to accomplish, blogwise, in the new year:
  • Write more about everyday eating:  my friend Heather's blog is an amazing chronicle of all the healthy things that she eats on a daily basis.  Since Steph and I are being really on top of our intake, I want to chronicle that more.
  • More pictures:  I've gotten better at playing with the settings on my camera, and have gotten more adept at editing my pictures.  However, I'm hoping the coming year will bring me a fancy new camera.
  • Play around more with Blogger:  There's like tons of things that I can do with this software, I just need to take the time to figure it out.

That's about it for now.  Here's two questions for you:  What other things do you want to see me try (and blog about) in the kitchen in the coming year?  What culinary goals and plans do you have for the coming year?

To everyone reading, a happy and a healthy New Year to you and yours!  Eat well in the coming year!


Caitlyn said...

let's blog about the weight watchers recipes you make ... laura and i have found a few decent ones but i am definitely looking for more ... i have several WW cookbooks if you want to look at them and/or photocopy recipes :)

Alex said...

Done and done! When I post a meal, if it's WW-friendly and not a 'use all my weekly allowace points', I'll include the WW point value and post the ingredients/method.

Ms. Meg said...

I'm with Caitlyn. I'm on the WW wagon as well and have been successful.