I'm a bit late on the resolutions part, which I suppose doesn't fare well with keeping them. But since I've only had about 3 New Years Resolutions my whole life, I feel like I can slack off a little.
The resolutions I will be sharing with you are not the eat more vegetables type (well maybe
a little bit only because I can never get enough vegetables). This is a food blog, and I'm a self professed foodie (even though I abhor that word), it seems fitting that my Resolutions would be centered around food.
1. Appreciate the art of simple cooking.
I don't do "simple" naturally. I'm prone to long complicated recipes with things most people have never heard of. Part of it is the challenge, to learn, and part of it is because I genuinely appreciate things that take a long time and skill to create. This year I would like to think in more simple terms and appreciate the basics.
2. Drink Italian wine.
I know Okanagan wine like no other region due to plenty of experience (read bottles of wine consumed), after that I can hold my own in French wine, which given how complicated that is seems sorta impressive. But one country that I have not spent a lot of time learning about or drinking is Italian wine. Since I feel Italy calling, it feels like the right time to start learning what makes Italian wine special.
3. Cook with raw and cured fish.
Over the last year I have come to fully appreciate the beauty of raw fish. I prefer a beautiful piece of cured salmon or rare tuna over their pan seared cousins. I hope to do more raw fish preparation at home to satisfy those cravings for clean flavours.
4. Eat more British cheese.
In May we spent a few days in Northwest England with a couple old friends. We went to Kirby Lonsdale and visited a fantastic cheese shop, Churchmouse Cheeses. These cheeses were amazing. They were unique and big cheeses that represented an entire nation of small scale English cheeses. After that we visited a farmers market in London where we tried some very small scale cheeses made nearby as well. Since then have realized this is a country who's cheese making traditions are worth searching out and I plan on trying whatever I can get my hands on.
5. Bake bread.
I go into phases with some cooking styles and bread baking is one that tends to be cyclical. Earlier this year after 2 failed attempts I managed to successfully build a Barm (a wild yeast starter). But something went wrong in the fridge and it died. Since then I've had 3 failed attempts and I fell off the bread wagon. Since the quality of artisan bread in my city is simply not high enough for my tastes anymore, and the cost of making your own just makes good economic sense, I would like to set a routine to make most of my own bread.
Over this past year I've eaten more oysters than ever in my life I believe. And I now "get it"! I'm feeling an obsession coming on, which is why when I needed a photo for this post I chose our New Years Eve Oyster feast. I love these salty, minerally, succulent creatures. Their shells are breathtaking with their almost prehistoric ridges and layers. I love the smell of the sea as you tip it towards your mouth and the, well lets face it, sexual texture, makes them one of my current favourite foods.
7. Read Brillat Savarin
"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are."
Considered to be the father of gastronomy, this food enthusiast wrote a book on the subject "The Physiology of Taste" in 1825. I've eaten cheese named after him, a dessert named in his honour, and even visited his grave in Pere Lechaise in Paris. It's time to read one of the classics.
8. Asian Greens
I live in a city rich in Asian culture and food. I love walking through Chinatown and see the heaps of exotic looking greens with similar sounding names. Since we all know how healthy greens are, I'd like to experiment more with these cousins of Bok Choy and Broccoli.
9. Use a Kitchen Journal More
I have a kitchen journal that I scribble ideas, original recipes or recipe results in when I think of it. However, I don't record nearly enough of my work which makes is a hassle to remember from year to how I made my raspberry jam from the year before or which shortbread recipe I like the most. Having this blog will certainly require a diligent sense of record keeping, so I plan buying some beautiful note books and keeping them close at hand.
10. Eat More Beans
Some of you may have heard of my Bean smuggling ring. My quest for the best led me to extraordinary lengths to get my hands on Rancho Gordo Beans from the Napa Valley. The Canadian government is pretty cautious about the number of heirloom beans coming in the country so I can't get them mailordered to me. And yes they really were worth the trouble. And now I'm feeling desperate as each bag gets eaten. But its left me with another resolution- eat more beans. They are cheap, so healthy, and have endless possibilities as main dishes, with fish, soup, pasta etc.