Rather than go for the old January stand-by article on ‘Healthy New Years Eating’ and ‘Get Yourself in Shape for the New Year!’ I’ve decided to share my eleven eating and drinking hopes for 2011.
1. Eat seasonal – I’ve always realized the importance of this but it wasn’t until recently when I just bought some frozen berries at Trader Joe’s and canned tomatoes over the summer, that I’ve actually acted on this mantra. In the long run I’ll save money for not being a victim of a high mark up, and save the environment by reducing a potential high carbon footprint on food shipped from Chili.
2. Host a ‘perfect pairing’ dinner party – By early 2011 I will have completed my culinary studies including a six week wine studies course. This year I will make a strong effort to apply my knowledge to really understanding how wine and food were meant for each other. This task will be completed by creating a three course ‘perfect pairing’ menu for some friends and myself.
3. Eat at a foreign restaurant – At this point, there aren’t too many cuisines I haven’t tried. But I think Turkish and Ethiopian are still on the list.
4. Give myself recipe freedom – One of the things my school keeps reinforcing is, ‘don’t be so recipe driven.’ I hope to use recipes as a springboard for my own creativity rather than an instructional guide.
5. Visit a working farm – There is nothing like seeing first hand where food comes from and getting an appreciation for the people who work hard to bring it to us.
6. Make a carbonated beverage – Soda makers were the absolute IT gift this year, once they’re back in stock I’m buying one on sale and making some healthy carbonated experiments.
7. Read a book on food science – While I was never very good at science in school, I always found it interesting. I think being a great chef requires knowing a little more about the scientific reason behind how food reacts to cooking elements.
8. Use my new Kitchen Aide Mixer at least once a month – This will include making fresh pasta with the attachment, grinding my own meat (another attachment), and if I get really ambitions try and use it to bake some bread.
9. Organize my food magazines – Yes I’m one of those people who have piles and piles of food magazines from 2009. I have some great recipe organizers and hope to find time to consolidate and archive.
10. Support artisan food makers – To me, these people express the highest level of creativity and bravery. They are also usually pretty cool people. This past year I met a beekeeper from Brooklyn, bought artisan ice cream from a farm in Ohio and got hooked on chili mango ice pops.
11. To continue to appreciate the vast culinary universe, to never feel like cooking is a chore; to never lose the sense of joy I get from setting a plate down in front of a guest, and try and live each day for the love of food.